World Rainbow Hotels (WRH), the world’s leading collection of gay & lesbian-welcoming hotels, is today celebrating being shortlisted as the Best Accommodation Website in the Travolution Awards 2013. The prize will be awarded in London on October 17, 2013.
The 1,200 hotels in 129 worldwide destinations displayed on WRH’s website have all been put through a rigorous set of screening criteria, including analysis of their current involvement with the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender) community, compliance with non-discrimination policies and same-sex benefits for their staff.
Member hotels are encouraged to undergo LGBT-welcoming training and required to put together an “Out & About” information guide providing tips about their local gay & lesbian scene, which can be downloaded from the hotel’s profile on WRH’s website.
Sharon Wimborne, eCommerce Director, said:
“We are delighted to be shortlisted for Travolution’s Best Accommodation Website award. We feel we have developed a unique online proposition as well as some innovative ways for the LGBT community to share experiences and contribute to the assessment and suitability of LGBT-welcoming properties around the world.”
The website’s uniqueness comes in great part from its original, information-rich content and its interactivity, making it a place where users can obtain up-to-date recommendations about the properties’ local gay & lesbian scene and share their experiences with others.
WRH’s website has been designed in such a way that hoteliers, customers and non-customers from around the world can easily contribute information via on-site social media.
“LGBT travellers need more than just a web-listing of gay-friendly hotels and events: it is essential to build a community of hoteliers, customers and travel agents sharing information relevant to the LGBT community.” Nicolas Wijnants, WRH Brand Director.
The properties’ profile information – 100% original content created by WRH – can later be edited by hoteliers themselves, ensuring that prospective guests obtain the most accurate and relevant information about their stay. The website also allows concierges to contribute relevant LGBT-related news to their hotels’ profiles.
Customers and non-customers alike are also invited to provide feedback on the local LGBT scene through the “Add Your Voice” feature of the website.
To create an engaging and inclusive feel to the user experience, WRH offers two key user journey types: the search route, enabling a quick search-and-book journey and the browse route, promoting community, advice and recommendations.
Website visitors can explore WRH’s destinations and properties through whichever path is most appealing to them: an interactive map, a destination directory, browsing by style or amenity or by an LGBT events calendar.
WRH also works closely with its member hotels to provide its customers with the most competitive rates on the market, and create with them innovative promotions and rate packages that can be booked only on WRH’s website. Member hotels also provide negotiated rates for WRH’s demand partners and travel agencies.
To better collaborate with affiliated travel agencies and tour operators, WRH developed a dedicated Agent Portal which enables demand partners to securely book exclusive discounted rates while earning enhanced commissions. Registered agencies can view commission information, as well as manage and amend their own bookings and branded client communications.
On July 3rd 2013 WRH launched its 2014 RFP program, giving hotels around the world the opportunity to be included in its program and to be featured on its website. To participate, hotels can submit their RFP by August 16th either electronically via Lanyon or Nexus or by contacting WRH offices at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WRH’s website has been designed by Zolv, a leading web design company specialised in the travel industry.
Olly Wenn, Zolv’s owner, said:
“We are delighted worldrainbowhotels.com is a finalist in this years’ Travolution Awards. We are enormously proud of what we have achieved together. The brief presented plenty of opportunity for us to come up with new ideas and this nomination is proof of our success. Good luck World Rainbow!”
About World Rainbow Hotels
Launched in 2011, World Rainbow Hotels is a carefully chosen collection of more than 1,200 gay & lesbian-welcoming hotels located in over 129 destinations worldwide.
For information about World Rainbow Hotels, please visit www.worldrainbowhotels.com or call us on +44 (0)845 004 9393 – ext 6523
To see examples of Out & About guides, click here.
To see testimonials of leading hotel brands and LGBT organizations, click here.