Starting in August, a traveler to Colorado Springs can book a hotel or get tickets to local attractions from the Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau website with a button that says “Book It Now.”
The CVB has signed an agreement with Regatta Travel Solutions, a Virginia-based online booking company that specializes in marketing tactics for destination marketing organizations.
The deal is expected to increase bookings for both accommodations and attractions in Colorado Springs and the surrounding region.
“We spent quite some time talking to other CVBs and researching the available options in the market,” said Tracy Kocher, CVB online marketing and publications manager. “We wanted a solution that would truly make an impact, and that would allow us to grow traffic, conversion and revenues for our partners. Based on what we heard from Regatta’s existing customers, and our audit of other available options, the choice was clear.”
Hotels and attractions can opt in to use the technology, said Chelsy Murphy, CVB public relations manager. Regatta earns a commission fee when the hotel or attraction is booked through their site, similar to Orbitz or Travelocity. Murphy said the commission varies depending on the hotel, attraction or the type of reservation made.
Murphy said one advantage of using Regatta is that smaller properties can use it as well as the larger, better known hotels. Already local hotels and attractions have expressed interest in the program, she said.
“This is meant to expand our members’ reach,” she said.
Regatta will integrate its booking engine for CVBs with Google Hotel Finder, a new feature offered in Google search results.
“If someone Googles a hotel in Seattle and clicks the price that appears in the Google+ Local listing, there is no reason that VisitSeattle.org shouldn’t appear along with the other OTAs as a booking option with live prices,” said Ashwin Kamlani, Regatta Travel Solutions president. “CVBs underestimate the credibility they carry with consumers, and unfortunately many have given up on the idea that they can drive a significant volume of leisure bookings to suppliers in their destinations. The results from our clients prove otherwise.”
Regatta offers its CVB clients the capability to be listed as a booking option in TripAdvisor’s “Show Prices” tool.