Utell offers travel agencies more properties in the growing boutique or lifestyle category than any…
Utell offers travel agencies more properties in the growing boutique or lifestyle category than any other global hotel company. Utell represents prominent hotels such as the Berns Hotel in Stockholm, Kensington Town House in London, Le Soleil in Vancouver, the Berjaya in Singapore, the Royce Hotel in Melbourne, Australia, and the Sunset Marquis in West Hollywood, providing travel agents with a familiar resource through which they can book these distinctive properties. Utell is a service of Pegasus Solutions, Inc., a worldwide provider of hotel reservations-related services and technology.
With more than 100 boutique hotels in the Utell portfolio, these elite properties recognize that Utell`s long-standing relationships with the world`s leading travel agencies help build awareness of their properties and ultimately drive new bookings. Dennis Hofilena, director of sales and marketing for the Sunset Marquis Hotel and Villas in West Hollywood, California, credits Utell`s broad electronic distribution for generating increased worldwide exposure to the agency community. We became Utell members in January 2001, said Hofilena. Even with the drop in occupancy that we attribute to the economy, we`ve seen a 24 percent increase in year-over-year GDS travel agency bookings since joining Utell. The results certainly confirm that we made the right choice.
Utell added a number of stunning properties to its catalogue of boutique properties in the past 15 months. Recent highlights include:
- In February, the four-star Magnolia Hotel opened in Houston after a $50 million renovation.
- On the other side of the globe, the five-star Arabian Court in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, celebrated its grand opening in December 2002.
- The newly renovated four-star Majestic Hotel in mid-town Manhattan joined Utell in January.
Conde Nast Traveller named new Utell member Sixty Thompson in New York one of the world`s hottest hotels.
In addition to the decor that defines today`s lifestyle properties, Utell boutique member hotels are known for delivering exceptional service. For example, the 2003 New York Times Travel Guide honored the Lucerne Hotel in New York City, ranking the property first for service and value in its category. Frommer`s Guide similarly lauded this hotel in 1999.
Utell`s connection to Pegasus` Electronic Distribution System allows member properties to be accessible via the four major GDSs (Amadeus, Galileo, Sabre and Worldspan), the leading sources for travel agent bookings. According to PhoCusWright, GDS bookings via traditional offline travel agents are the second-largest channel for hotel reservations, accounting for 21 percent of bookings in 2001. (Hotel call centers handled 63 percent of bookings in 2001.)
Our vast range of hotel options gives agencies around the world a single, best source to better serve their client base, said Graham Richards, vice president of Utell Global Sales for Pegasus Solutions. We are uniquely positioned to link boutique hotels, many of which have limited resources to promote their properties via electronic and traditional channels on their own, with agents that have the power to recommend a hotel at the point of sale. Through our electronic distribution outlets and everyday contacts with agents, we will continue doing our part to build awareness of the extraordinary experience a traveler can expect from staying at a Utell boutique hotel.
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