DALLAS, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Planning a getaway for a crowd? hotels.com(R), the expert in booking hotels online and via the phone, is making the process easier and faster for people to plan a variety of group trips.
The new "Groups" tab on the hotels.com home page offers users a clear and easy path for starting the planning process. Unlike other sites, which require multiple clicks to access group travel services, visitors to hotels.com are just one click away from beginning the planning process.
Streamlined access is important to the process, as it helps alleviate some of the burden from those tasked with planning group travel. "Trying to find the right property that will meet the various needs of travelers within a group can be a stressful process, particularly if you are not a frequent traveler and trying to research in your spare time," said Jack Richards, senior vice president of product marketing for hotels.com. "With hotels.com, customers work directly with hotel specialists whose sole focus is group travel. These seasoned experts consider specific customer requirements to find and book the best property for the group at the right price."
Richards adds that the fall season is often prime time for planning group travel. He cites the following groups, all of which have special requirements for their trips:
* Athletes, coaches, fans and families -- The fall season puts many people on the road for a variety of collegiate, children's, amateur and professional sports. This is prime time for college alumni trips, homecoming weekends, tournaments and other events. * Brides and grooms -- Brides and grooms are firming up plans for the upcoming spring/summer wedding season. Whether the wedding is close to home or in a dream destination, couples often need to locate and block hotel rooms for guests. They may also be planning special weekends for the bridal party (such as a spa weekend for the bridesmaids and a golf getaway for the groomsmen). * Families -- The end-of-year holidays are approaching quickly. Increasingly, people are choosing to book hotels rather than impose on relatives in already crowded households. Many families also choose to get away for the holidays, gladly giving up the chores of cooking and cleaning at home to the hotel staff. * Friends and couples -- Fall is low season for many popular vacation spots. Friends and couples often take advantage of good deals and fewer crowds by planning group trips once schools are back in session. Fall foliage trips to New England and Colorado are very popular choices. How the Process Works Here is the process for booking group travel on hotels.com: * Travelers interested in reserving nine or more hotel rooms can complete a brief online form on hotels.com, which requests details on the destination, preferred hotel brands, travel dates and number of rooms required. They may also speak with a group travel specialist at any time by calling 866-476-8771. Travelers may review a wide range of hotel descriptions and customer evaluations on hotels.com. * Once the form has been submitted, a hotels.com group travel specialist will research the request and contact individual hotel properties. * Within 24 hours, the group travel specialist will research room availability, negotiate rates, and contact the customer by e-mail or phone to make property recommendations and confirm the reservation.
Each group travel reservation booked on hotels.com is backed by the hotels.com Low Price Guarantee. If there is a lower rate available for the same travel dates and property, hotels.com will either refund the difference or cancel the reservation without penalty.
To learn more about the group travel service, visit hotels.com or contact a group travel specialist directly by calling 866-476-8771.
hotels.com(R) is a leading provider of lodging worldwide, offering reservation services through its own web sites (including hotels.com and others), its interactive affiliate network (https://www.IAN.com ) and its toll-free call centers (1-800-2-HOTELS). hotels.com gives travelers one of the widest selections of lodging accommodations from traditional hotels to vacation rentals at more than 70,000 properties worldwide. hotels.com is an operating company of Expedia, Inc. (NASDAQ:EXPE).
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