Starwood Sees Dividends From Online Push

Starwood Sees Dividends From Online Push

Starwood Hotels kicked off 2005 with a record-breaking month of Web site bookings in January, generating approximately $82 million in gross dollar bookings and surpassing last year’s single-month record high of $68 million set in August 2004.

The increase indicates that the industry trend of simultaneously offering best rate guarantees while disallowing frequent guest points earned from third-party discount Web sites seems to be working.

The growth represents a 39-percent increase over last January and comes on the heels of a year where gross dollar bookings on Starwood’s Web sites grew 38 percent in 2004. As of July 2004, in fact, Starwood’s online bookings actually surpassed toll-free phone bookings.

Recent enhancements to Starwood’s sites include new foreign language functionality in Spanish, French, German and Japanese.

A redesign of the company’s SPG site and a new look for Starwood’s St. Regis brand were also introduced, providing members with a more streamlined approach for making reservations.

Other online initiatives launched in 2004 included the Starwood Preferred Guest Honeymoon Registry (

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