Red Lion Hotels Corporation (RLHC) is a hospitality company that franchises, manages and/or owns over 1,100 properties. The company operates under the Red Lion Hotels, Red Lion Inn & Suites, Hotel RL, GuestHouse, Settle Inn, 3 Palms Hotels & Resorts, America’s Best Inns & Suites, America’s Best Value Inn, Canada’s Best Value Inn, Country Hearth Inn & Suites, Jameson Inn, Lexington, Signature Inn, and Value Inn Worldwide brands.
“We have been happy with the ability to control content for the booking engine directly from the application, and its flexibility to control rate displays. OTA and GDS Direct Connectivity is a definite enhancement over products we have used in the past.”
—Kristi Garrahan, Director, Central Reservation Systems, Red Lion Hotels Corporation
Windsurfer® CRS, Booking Engine
When Red Lion decided to elect SHR as its distribution services provider, they were well aware of SHR’s reputation for excellent customer support, steep hospitality experience, along with the industry-leading functionality Windsurfer provides. During implementation, it occurred to Red Lion that they could improve direct bookings if they were to address two key areas in the booking process. Specifically, they wanted to provide a comparative view of multiple property listings so that guests could more easily view hotel information without having to click away back to the site. Another area they wanted to address pertained to the ability to merchandise specific member-only rates and encourage more member sign-ups.
Within the multi-property results listing, SHR added the display of additional hotel information that would give the guest a more comparative view across the properties shown. Guests see a thumbnail image of the property alongside a summary of hotel information including a prominent from-Rate and the call to action to “Select” a property to link to the property availability screen. Additional tabs below the summary information allow the guest to view more detailed information about the property such as location, a list of amenities, and a photo gallery. As a result, the guest now has a more comparative view across all the relevant properties—beneficial information to encourage a decision to continue into the booking flow to complete the reservation.
The Windsurfer feature to tackle Red Lion’s second challenge is “curated rates.” This allows for the selection of multiple rates to feature on the initial 3-column grid view of the availability results screen. Within this view, the system loops through all of the featured offers and brings up the best rate available for a particular availability request. For example, someone staying three days will get a different display than someone who is staying for seven days. In addition, Red Lion can feature member-only rates with the added functionality that if the guest viewing the rates is not a member or not logged-in, the call to action on the rate button would read “Sign-Up or Sign-In.” Upon clicking this button, a Sign-up/Sign-in modal window would appear to guide the guest through this process; thereby adding to member sign-ups.