Langham Hotels International (LHI) has revamped and retuned its online presence and is targeting the business events sector as part of its continuing expansion plans.
Alison Styles, LHI vice-president – sales, said that the group had recognised the growing importance of the conference and meetings segment and that this was reflected in the expansion of ballroom and meeting space in a number of properties.
“Our target is to make the business events sector generate 20 percent of our revenue in the longer term,” she said.
The group is already committed to opening seven new hotels in 2009-2010, four in China, and one each in India, Thailand and New Zealand, to add to its existing network of eight.
Despite the global downturn, Styles said the Langham group was looking to add still further new hotels. “While some of the larger groups are slowing down, we are building up.”
A number of potential properties are in negotiations and an announcement is expected soon on a major southeast Asian destination.
The souped-up website is designed to make booking and searching faster and more intuitive, downloading will be speedier and the hope is that the new site will result in a 30 percent increase in business for the group.
To drive its meetings business, the group has launched an innovative online product called takethelead. The aim is to provide a fast-response one-stop-shop for event planners. Requests for proposals will be acknowledged within 90 minutes and a tailormade response to event planners will be sent within 24 hours.
The takethelead project also includes a membership rewards programme.
An additional element is the Meeting Planners Academy, an online how-to resource for event organisers.