Hickory Travel Systems and TRAVELCLICK Announce Global Marketing Partnership

  • TravelClick
  • 09.15.09
Hickory Travel Systems (HTS) and TRAVELCLICK announced an innovative new program that provides desktop advertising access to travel agents worldwide.

Hickory Travel Systems in partnership with TRAVELCLICK, a leading provider of e-commerce solutions for hotels, is launching Hickory UltraConnect - premium targeted travel agency GDS media advertising delivered exclusively to HTS member agencies. Hotels participating in the Hickory Worldwide Preferred Rate Hotel Program will now be able to target unique selling messages directly to HTS booking agents at their desktops.

"The consortia hotel market segment produces a significant amount of travel agent bookings within the global distribution systems," said John Hach, vice president of media and industry relations for TRAVELCLICK. "Hickory first approached TRAVELCLICK regarding this new approach to reach consortia affiliated travel agencies directly through GDS advertising. Through our year-long collaboration, we discovered Hickory travel agents alone produce over $600 million of annual advertising enabled hotel revenue. The result is Hickory UltraConnect, an innovative, cost-effective and measurable way to increase consortia hotel reservation performance.”

“UltraConnect will revolutionize the travel industry segment and is a milestone for Hickory. TRAVELCLICK’s unique ability to target GDS media advertising to HTS member agencies in all four systems offers our hotel partners the opportunity to distribute an exclusive value proposition to HTS booking agents and their travelers at point of sale, giving Hickory a competitive edge over the larger travel management companies,” said Ann Albano, vice president, hotel relationship management for Hickory. 

The business model has changed dramatically over the last five years. Hotels are more selective with their travel industry partners opting only to participate in those consortia hotel programs that have the ability to leverage hotel bookings at point of sale to deliver real trackable ROI and provide the data. According to Hickory, the partnership was a logical choice given TRAVELCLICK’s reporting and premium targeted GDS media advertising capabilities.

“UltraConnect is the perfect solution to a challenge we have faced for many years - how to communicate directly to a specific group of agents with a targeted message exclusively for them. Being able to segment the agents that view a GDS message with a special offer is critical in the current environment. This product will only increase the value of working with Hickory Travel Systems and growing our business with their member agencies,” said Mark Ginna, vice president, transient sales for Loews Hotels.

“As the oldest consortium/network we were the original architect of the preferred rate hotel program and have always strived to distinguish the Hickory program from all others,” said L. William Chiles, chairman and CEO of Hickory Travel Systems. “We want to be the absolute best in the industry and receive the support of the agency community. Our goal is that they embrace the Hickory hotel program over all others for it is simply the best. UltraConnect is a significant enhancement to our program and positions us at the forefront of the industry.”

Hickory UltraConnect Media Advertising enables hotels to market to and influence bookings from a specified segment of travel agents at point of sale in all four GDS. This highly targeted GDS media advertising offers hotels cost-effective and measurable results, including the opportunity to maximize sales and grow market share on the Hickory rate access code.

TRAVELCLICK, a leader in hotel e-commerce solutions, provides a continuous flow of high-value online bookings to hotels worldwide.  A uniquely comprehensive one-stop solution, TRAVELCLICK offers business intelligence, distribution and demand solutions, and digital agency services delivered with personal attention and local market expertise. With revenue optimization experts in every global market, the company helps its clients make better business decisions, generate greater demand from the right mix of channels, convert more shoppers to high-value guests, and increase revenue and profitability. Serving the hospitality industry since 1999, TRAVELCLICK has more than 14,000 customers in 140 countries with offices in Barcelona, Baltimore, Chicago, Dubai, Houston, Phoenix, Melbourne, Shanghai and Tokyo.

TravelCLICK is a registered trademark of TravelCLICK, Inc.  All other marks are property of their respective owners.

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