Market Overview

USA TODAY Travel Media Group Announces Launch of HotelMe

Joint Venture with District Hospitality Partners Provides Authenticated Hotel Reviews

MCLEAN, Va., Dec. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- USA TODAY Travel Media Group has announced the beta launch of HotelMe, an authenticated hotel review site. HotelMe is a joint venture of USA TODAY Travel Media Group and District Hospitality Partners.

Authenticated hotel reviews represent the next generation of online travel review sites for travelers seeking a trusted resource. Hotel brands including Hyatt, Best Western, La Quinta, Trump, Preferred Hotels, Omni, and Radisson – representing more than 8,000 hotel rooms - have already signed on to verify whether review writers actually stayed at their properties, regardless of how or where they booked the room. The authentication process (patent pending), enables HotelMe to show consumers verified reviews from hotel guests who paid and stayed at the hotel.

"USA TODAY knows travelers and we think consumers will be eager to utilize these authenticated hotel reviews when making their travel plans. HotelMe is part of a larger USA TODAY Travel Media Group strategy to provide consumers with news and information all throughout the travel process – from trip planning to providing news and information while they're away from home to reviews upon their return," said John Peters, president of the USA TODAY Travel Media Group.

"The problem of fake reviews in the travel industry is widespread and we think we have a solution to that problem in HotelMe's authentication process. Consumers can now take comfort in the fact that all of the reviews marked as 'verified stays' on HotelMe are based on real stays - meaning the review reflects the experiences of guests who paid and stayed at the property, a fact that is verified against hotel records," said Trip Schneck, a managing partner and co-founder of HotelMe.

"Hyatt joined the HotelMe platform because the concept is simple, honest and refreshing," said John Wallis, global head of marketing and brand strategy of Hyatt Hotels and Resorts. "There long has been a need in the marketplace for a truly unbiased forum that fosters a real conversation between hoteliers and their guests. HotelMe encourages the pursuit of a shared goal between Hyatt and their guests -- a superior hotel experience." 

HotelMe aims to become the most trusted source of user generated online hotel reviews, allowing consumers to make more informed travel planning decisions based on real reviews.  HotelMe is also a social community, where like-minded individuals can connect easily based on travel preferences to discover the perfect places to stay, eat, and explore while traveling. For more information, please visit www.hotelme.com.

USA TODAY is a multi-platform news and information media company. Founded in 1982, USA TODAY's mission is to serve as a forum for better understanding and unity to help make the USA truly one nation.  Through its unique visual storytelling, USA TODAY delivers high-quality and engaging content across print, digital, social and video platforms.  An innovator of news and information, USA TODAY reflects the pulse of the nation and serves as the host of the American conversation – today, tomorrow and for decades to follow. USA TODAY, the nation's number one newspaper in print circulation with an average of nearly 1.8 million daily, and USATODAY.com, an award-winning newspaper website launched in 1995, reach a combined 6.6 million readers daily. USA TODAY is a leader in mobile applications with more than 16 million downloads on mobile devices. USA TODAY is owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI).

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120913/DC73541LOGO)

SOURCE USA TODAY

 

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