September 25, 2002
Hollywood, Florida MetroGuide.com, Inc. (MetroGuide) and Thayer Interactive Group (TIG) have joined forces in an agreement that will benefit all parties involved in transacting online hospitality bookings, including travelers and hoteliers.
MetroGuide is a family of travel and tourism sites visited by more than two million people every month. HotelGuide is the site's reservation booking engine. TIG is a unique, full-service hospitality Internet marketing firm, with headquarters in Washington, D.C. Because the company's staff combines more than 70 years of experience in hotel operations and strategic planning with 30 years of marketing and online advertising expertise, TIG knows the hospitality industry. This extensive knowledge is reflected in the marketing efforts it executes on behalf of its top-name hotel clients.
"The on-line travel business is a $30 billion industry and the hotel segment is the fastest growing of all travel segments," said James Baumann, TIG's client services director. "Experts forecast that 15 percent of lodging revenue will be generated online within the next two years. When deeply-discounted hotel inventory is sold through this channel, it threatens the integrity and viability of the entire industry. TIG is pleased to unite with MetroGuide to combat this destructive trend."
"HotelGuide brings to Thayer Interactive Group a new high-quality visitor base, composed of people who have learned to rely on MetroGuide-brand sites for thorough, accurate, user-friendly information," said Mark Metz, president of MetroGuide. "TIG brings a roster of fine properties of the type sought by our visitors, properties that care about their image and how they are promoted."
MetroGuide and TIG saw a rift developing between high-quality hotel properties and deeply-discounted hospitality inventory providers. The companies found that their corporate philosophies concerning marketing integrity and image aligned, laying the foundation for a firm alliance.
"We've seen ads running for cut-rate hotel room providers," said Metz. "If I owned a top-shelf property, I would not want to be represented by such a bottom-shelf image." Metz observed that these ads give travelers one of two ideas: Either they can expect to get quality rooms for next to nothing; or, if they pay a fair price, they are being cheated.
"HotelGuide is hotel friendly," said Metz. "We understand hotels must protect their image as well as their ability to maintain the property. Endlessly pushing cut rates does not achieve this, and HotelGuide does not enable it."
Metz believes the day fast approaches when quality properties will cease to do business with cut-rate hospitality inventory providers, and will seek marketing relationships that do not undermine image or viability. Cooperative arrangements like that of TIG and HotelGuide will fill the online marketing void.
For more information on HotelGuide or MetroGuide, call MetroGuide vice president, Scott Rogers, at (954) 981-5850, or visit http://www.metroguide.com.
For more information on Thayer Interactive Group, visit the company's website, http://www.thayerinteractive.com, or call (202) 745-6960.