Fairmont Experiences Online Group Res Uptick with Automated System

The brand-wide deployment of Passkey's latest technology, the GroupMAX online group reservations system, is producing exceptional results for Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and their planners worldwide.

"Our meeting planners have come to expect the highest level of service from our hotels worldwide, so in 2008 we decided to deploy the best-in-class event housing technology across the brand," says Jeff Senior the company's executive vice president, marketing & sales. "Our objective was to offer a centralized process to create the best possible event experience for both guests and meeting planners by using Passkey's integrated set of GroupMAX tools. The results have been spectacular whether in terms of automating the group reservation process or raising service levels to meeting planners and attendees."

Using GroupMAX, Fairmont can create a customized booking website for every event at any Fairmont hotel worldwide, establishing flawless levels of service for both meeting planners and event guests. In addition, by shifting reservations to an online channel, the luxury hotel brand can offer event guests a wide variety of room type options, extended stays and upgrades. Over the past year, Fairmont has automated an average of 48% of its reservations and experienced a drastic uptick in up-sell revenues.

Alternative reservations method
For groups who prefer to use rooming lists as their method of reservation, Fairmont is using GroupMAX to automate and secure the rooming list process, providing meeting planners a secure online location to submit and manage their lists. This eliminates the security risks inherent in sending rooming lists via e-mail, and the errors associated with the manual re-keying of rooming lists into Fairmont's internal systems. In the first six months of this year, Fairmont has seen an increase of over 90% in the usage of the rooming list feature compared to last year.

Importantly, with GroupMAX, Fairmont is offering meeting planners the convenience of real-time event tracking, which planners can access via any web browser or mobile device, along with tools such as SmartAlerts, which send automatic e-mail notifications to meeting planners at critical inventory milestones.

Cathy Houston from OGRA (Ontario Good Roads Association) shares her experience using Passkey's GroupMAX system at a recent event at a Fairmont hotel:

"The Fairmont Royal York in Toronto has been the host hotel for the Ontario Good Roads Association/ROMA Combined Conference for many years. With total conference attendance at approximately 2,300 people, the demand for rooms at the host hotel greatly exceeds the supply. Approximately 600 rooms were booked online in two hours. Passkey handled the volume of traffic with no issues. The information and tools available to us through GroupMAX makes the management of housing that much easier."

In addition, meeting planners are able to connect their preferred registration system to the event's hotel booking website using Passkey's RegLink technology, providing event attendees a seamless one-stop event booking experience. Doug Carr, Director of Global Support Services with the luxury hotel group, described Passkey's impact on Fairmont's group business, "We deployed Passkey across the Fairmont brand worldwide in 2008 and it has exceeded our expectations; now Passkey's latest innovation, GroupMAX, has further raised the service bar for meeting planners and attendees with new tools such as integrated event enrollment and social networking, which further enhance the meeting experience for our hotels, meeting planners and guests."

Passkey has invested heavily in its technology over the last 18 months, introducing a number of new capabilities such as GroupMAX and Group Campaigns, a tool-set that allows Fairmont to offer highly targeted room upgrade, extended stay and amenity offers to its group guests, before, during and after each event.

Passkey's GroupMAX is available to meeting planners at all 66 Fairmont properties in 15 countries.

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