Hotels Upgrade Systems
Behind-the-scenes technology offers booking and planning efficiencies
Technology is the new weapon of choice for hotel
chains as they battle for group business, and planners stand to
benefit from the virtual arms race.
In 2003, Toronto-based Fairmont Hotels & Resorts,
Atlanta-based InterContinental Hotels Group and the Washington,
D.C.-based Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. each began to create centralized
global sales processes using Delphi technology. Developed by
Portsmouth, N.H.-based Newmarket International, the tool lets a
chain’s sales team check function space, rooms, pricing and
availability across the entire portfolio speeding response times
“Group business is very important, and we want to grow it,” said
Tom Storey, executive vice president, business development for
Fairmont. “To do that, we want all the group leads centralized and
interconnected, so we can get back to the customer within 24
hours.” Fairmont’s system will be rolled out over the next two
InterContinental also is implementing an automated RFP process.
“We are looking at ways to make it easier and more applicable for
meeting planners,” said Stevan Porter, chief operating officer of
the chain’s Americas Division.
Last month, Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Hilton Hotels Corp.
introduced Group Reservations Identification Program, which allows
meeting planners to download registration lists, which are then
automatically cross-referenced with a property’s rooming list. The
software will help planners manage attrition and
“The expectation of the client is that we should be able to help
provide this for their meeting, and we are,” said Joyce
Inderbitzin, CMP, vice president, meeting and convention services
for Hilton. (For a related story, see the