HENDERSONVILLE, Tennessee and DENVER, Colorado—Representatives of the Vacation Travel Research Program (V-TRiP) and Smith Travel Research (STR) have reached an intent to partner agreement designed to better serve leisure travel destinations and their growing condominium and vacation rental lodging by providing a definitive set of destination market intelligence and performance metrics.
V-TRiP will offer destinations and their tourism-dependent businesses with industry-standard tracking and planning tools based on lodging occupancy, rates and related revenues. It will also feature new, unique attributes that would accommodate all types of lodging inventory. The market intelligence available will additionally utilize a forward-looking “Reservation Activity Outlook” that was previously only available to MTRiP clients.
“A complete destination overview would be available for the first time,” said Ralf Garrison, V-TRiP’s president. “And the unique forward-looking features allow destination market organizations and their public sector partners to adjust to changing market conditions by proactively developing targeted sales promotions and the ability to anticipate shifts that can help everyone better control their costs with better staffing and inventory management tools.”
The new partnership will combine the strengths of both companies to serve leisure destinations that have a significant amount of condominium, time share, and vacation rental lodging, which both companies believe is currently being underserved. “Many of these destinations lack access to site-specific research and data that could assist them in more effectively monitoring and managing the travel trends and projections for their destination,” Garrison said. “The rapidly changing marketplace has made it apparent that this problem warrants a solution that together, we are uniquely qualified to provide,” added Mark Lomanno, president of STR.
“V-TRiP is a new brand from MTRiP, the Mountain Travel Research Program, established in 2004 to meet the needs of the destination mountain travel industry and their tourism-dependent lodging properties,” he said. “Smith Travel wrote the book on tracking lodging performance and brings the clout to extend our model to all warm weather destinations in North America with the V-TRiP brand,” he concluded.
STR, the recognized leader in hotel benchmarking, will provide market metrics, advisory services and the synergy of its research data set. Additionally, the research production and analytic services of RRC Associates, a STR company MTRiP has been collaborating with since 2004, will be contributing their expertise.
“We have been watching the leisure travel industry for some time and believe the market demands better data,” said Mark Lomanno, president of STR. “We want to extend our reporting tools to an emerging segment of the lodging industry. By supporting the V-TRiP initiative, we can provide information and research to this segment without being diverted from the services we deliver to our core market.”
Lomanno and Garrison said the STR/MTRiP partnership has great potential. “Our businesses nicely complement each other,” said Garrison. “We have similar approaches and share an absolute commitment to data integrity and customer service while cultivating different yet complementary markets.”
“It made a lot of sense to explore a cooperative relationship so that together we can cover all types of lodging products,” added Lomanno.
The town of Vail, Colorado, a founding member of MTRiP, considers the MTRiP data a vital tool. “We have integrated much of Vail’s destination marketing research into an integrated set of MTRiP-provided research tools,” said Kelli McDonald, Vail’s manager of economic development. “Now, our economic development, local marketing district, and town council have joined with the tourism dependent businesses as part of a comprehensive program of which MTRiP is the foundation.”
The Hilton Head Island (South Carolina) Visitor and Convention Bureau is V-TRiP’s first user. “We’ve been using Smith Travel to track our destination’s hotel business for years,” said Jack Reed, sales director for the Hilton Head Island VCB. “With the addition of V-TRiP, we’ve been able to include and better understand the patterns and trends for the condominiums and vacation rentals that comprise the majority of our resort lodging. Now for the first time, we can get a complete destination view of where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going.”
The V-TRiP initiative is expected to formally launch in the fourth quarter of 2009. Garrison will serve as managing partner and oversee administrative operations. For additional information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About STR & STR Global:
For more than 20 years, Smith Travel Research, Inc. (STR) has been the recognized leader for hotel industry benchmarking and research. STR and STR Global offer monthly, weekly and daily STAR benchmarking reports to more than 38,000 hotel clients, representing over 5 million rooms worldwide. STR is headquartered in Hendersonville, Tennessee, and STR Global is based in London. For more information, visit www.strglobal.com or www.HotelNewsNow.com.
About V-TRiP and MTRiP:
V-TRiP is a new sibling of MTRiP, established in 2004, as a leisure travel research program for the destination mountain resort industry. MTRiP lists most major western mountain destinations as clients, along with several hundred lodging properties whose advanced reservation data comprises MTRiP’s primary research set.
Vice President, Digital Media & Communications
Smith Travel Research
+1 (615) 824-8664 ext. 3318