Carlson Hotels Worldwide Enhances Online Experience

Minneapolis, MN | August 12, 2008

Carlson Hotels Worldwide today announced it is enhancing the capabilities of its hotel brand web sites to create visually rich new media content and compelling destination information for properties of its five hotel brands. Carlson Hotels includes Regent Hotels & Resorts; Radisson Hotels & Resorts; Country Inns & Suites By Carlson; Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts and Park Inn.

The enhancements are being implemented through services offered by 10Best Inc. and VFM Interactive Inc., two leading firms in the field of on-line content. "The web sites will be enhanced through new tools of search engine optimization, destination content, videos and photos that align with marketing initiatives," said Jerry Johnson, senior director of Channel Marketing, Strategy and Optimization for Carlson Hotels Worldwide.

Industry-leading 10Best, Inc., which has been providing online destination guides to Carlson Hotels Worldwide since 2001, will be assisting hotel properties worldwide to improve and maintain their websites.

A first phase of the project includes content development for all Carlson Hotels Worldwide property websites by professional travel writers and editors, highlighting the most popular things to do around the hotel property. This localized effort utilizes 10Best's travel researchers to work directly with properties to identify nearby attractions, hotspots, restaurants, and more. "10Best optimizes websites for organic search by using popular keywords to inform travelers about both the property and its surroundings," said Brice Bay, CEO of 10Best, Inc.

VFM, a market leader in the production, management, and distribution of rich media for the travel industry, will produce and distribute photos, photomontage videos, and full-motion videos for Carlson Hotels around the world. VFM assists brands and individual hotels to increase bookings and revenues by showcasing their property to the online consumer. With a distribution network of more than 20,000 web sites and partners, including Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz, Yahoo, and Tripadvisor, VFM dramatically increases a hotel's online profile.

"In a recent study, we found that consumers who viewed rich media (virtual tours and videos) were '67% more likely to book' than those who did not," said Paolo Boni, President and CEO of VFM.

(0)

Carlson Hotels Worldwide includes five hotel brands, totaling 995 locations in 73 countries. Hotel brands include: Regent Hotels & Resorts (www.regenthotels.com); Radisson Hotels & Resorts® (www.radisson.com); Park Plaza® Hotels & Resorts (www.parkplaza.com); Country Inns & Suites By Carlson℠ (www.countryinns.com); and Park Inn® (www.parkinn.com). Carlson Hotels Worldwide is one of the major operating groups of Carlson, a global leader in the travel, hospitality and marketing industries. Other names among the Carlson family of brands and services are: Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Carlson Marketing Worldwide, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, T.G.I. Friday's and Pick Up Stix restaurants. The company has been recognized by both Fortune and Working Mother magazines as one of the "100 best places to work in America," Carlson corporate headquarters are in Minneapolis, Minn.

About 10Best Inc.Established in 1999, 10Best, Inc. provides unbiased travel advice to more than 40 million travelers each year, through its consumer site 10Best.com, and its "Virtual Concierge" business application that is licensed by some of the leading brands in the travel industry. The combination of its expert sources and exhaustive research process allows 10Best to provide the best in online travel planning recommendations and localized data, worldwide. For more information, visit www.10Best.com.

About VFM Interactive Inc.VFM Interactive is the leading end-to-end provider of online media management, production and distribution for the hotel and travel industry. VFM helps travel companies maximize brand penetration online through the power of rich media marketing that includes still images, rich media videos, 360º virtual tours and Flash productions. VFM offers clients access to the largest and fastest-growing distribution network of more than 25,000 distribution points where consumers most often research and purchase travel products. These distributors include online travel agencies, travel suppliers, search portals and Global Distribution Systems such as Travelocity, Orbitz, Priceline, TripAdvisor, American Airlines, Yahoo!, SideStep, Galileo and Worldspan. VFM's clients include more than 10,000 hotels and resorts from brands and management companies. For more information, visit www.vfmii.com.

Back to News Releases