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Hotels using internet manage to boost business

Date Posted: 2010-04-15

Okinawa’s hotels struggling to make a profit are relying more on the internet than travel agencies to get customers, and a new survey shows mixed results in how the hospitality businesses are faring.

Hotels, according to a new report from the Okinawa Development Promotion Financial Loan Corporation, are grappling with a struggling economy as they try to attract more customers. The higher-class hotels are using the internet to get new customers, offering a high degree of service to attract visitors. They are reporting a solid number of repeat customers.

Other hotels, many of which rely on travel agencies, are lowering prices to attract customers, but are reportedly reducing the services being offered to keep costs down. The just-released results of a questionnaire circulated by the Okinawa Development Promotion Financial Loan Corporation shows about 70-90% of Okinawa hotels are suffering from low numbers of repeat guests. Travel agencies are the primary source of customers for 29 of the hotels surveyed.

The other 9% of hotels say they’ve begun using their internet home pages and internet reservations booking process to gain customers. Those hotels are offering higher degrees of service, which they say is possible because the prospective customers can tell them exactly what they want. When booking rooms, customers using the internet can tell the hotel where they want to go and what to see on their vacations, and can even book ahead for a future vacation.

Hotels depending on travel agencies for customers say it’s difficult to know what customers want, because they don’t get advance information from people booking with travel agents. Hotels are saying they’re making plans that offer unique services to customers, while holding prices down.

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