Clients can check out their rooms
before they pack their bags.
Offering a new view to aid European hotel bookings, two online sites are using video clips to help agents and travelers make better-informed choices.
Trivop.com, launched in Paris, lets users view videos of hotels’ surroundings, lobbies, restaurants and rooms. Meanwhile, four former managers of Expedia Europe have founded Tvtrip.com, which lets users view video clips of European hotels.
Officials at Trivop which also integrates maps and user reviews at its site noted the move comes as few hotels have used video as a marketing tool. “Trivop’s aim is to become the online reference of choice & about the hospitality industry by applying the Internet’s hot content unique video to the largest e-commerce sector, travel,” said Thomas Owadenko, founder and CEO of Trivop. Video is the most effective hotel sales conversion tool in conveying the atmosphere of the hotel and its guestrooms and reassuring potential guests by showing them the hotel from a true customer perspective before booking.”
Investors in Trivop include Morton Lund, one of Skype’s first investors, and Aydin Senkut of Felicis Ventures, one of Google’s early employees.
“Trivop is in a unique position to change the way travelers research and book hotels worldwide and to be considered by consumers and hoteliers as the leading site of their industry,” said Lund.
Trivop launched in March and has amassed hundreds of videos on its site, offering hoteliers free distribution of their own hotel videos. A new version of the site is in the works, and will incorporate user-generated content and customized functions.
At the same time, TVtrip.com also is vying for its share of the market by enabling users to view videos of 1,500 hotels in 25 European destinations.
The firm has recruited professionals in various cities including London, Paris, Brussels, Rome and Prague to produce short video clips that show the rooms, facilities and areas surrounding hotels. Consumers also can share opinions and upload their own videos at the site.
The site was founded in May by former Expedia executives Marc Ruff, Fabien Bourdier, Marc Pfohl and Anja Keckeisen.
While the site currently features about a dozen international cities, the company recently landed $4.8 million in funding for expansion.
“TVtrip.com’s aim is to become the online reference of choice for the travel industry by allowing travelers to view their accommodation online before making their purchase,” Ruff said. “We are showcasing how video can facilitate consumer choice.”
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has redesigned its preferred-guest Web site, www.spg.com, to include new tools, features and downloads. The portal allows members to access and monitor their accounts, customize information displays and search for properties based on interests. Members can also download a desktop application that sends personalized daily alerts with special offers based on preferences.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide
Aloha Airlines has chosen Sabre Airline Solutions to help boost efficiencies as it seeks to expand. The deal includes the Sabre Flight Control Suite, the Sabre Streamline StaffPlan system, the Quasar passenger revenue accounting system and the Sabre Qik Business Processing Solutions. Aloha emerged from bankruptcy in early 2006 but faces intense competition in its key interisland and trans-Pacific markets.
The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) has paired with VIDITalk Corp. to enhance agent communications. VIDITalk provides integrated video publishing solutions, allowing users to create video messages for the Web and mobile devices. VIDITalk already has partnerships with AOL, AIG, and several government clients.
American Society of Travel Agents