Marriott Boosts Site with Interactive Mapping Visitors to the Marriott Web site www.marriott.com will find several technological enhancements, including "interactive mapping," the hospitality industry's first online locator system, with a database containing 16 million businesses and points of interest in the U.S. Click on "driving instructions," and users can print out a street map to any one of 1,200 U.S. Marriotts. Other enhancements: better searching (by location, features, airport, and other qualifiers); simpler reservations; easier navigation; and a more comprehensive meeting planning database, including room dimensions and floor plans.
Sheraton Adds Meetings Section to Web Site ITT Sheraton's 30-member Meetings Advisory Board has helped the hotel chain define the features of its Web site's new meetings section. Users can now access information on 225 properties in the U.S. and Canada and e-mail meeting requests to ITT Sheraton. Sheraton's international hotels will be added to the guide by the end of the year. Also coming soon: a "hot dates" section, listing available meeting space for specific dates; information on GlobalVue videoconferencing capabilities at hotels around the world and the ability to send a request for proposal online; a description of ITT Sheraton's Executive Conference Centers for smaller meetings, with hot links to the hotels that offer them. Find the chain's Web site at www.ittsheraton.com.
IBM/Hilton Project Improves Online Site Inspections Hilton is using PanoramIX, a real-time, virtual-reality technology from IBM that allows Internet users to see the guest rooms and facilities of The New York Hilton and Towers interactively in 3D. PanoramIX uses actual photos to create the panoramas. Accessed through www.hilton.com/panoramix/nyhilton/nyhilton.htm , PanoramIX lets users pan left and right, look up and down, and zoom in and out to thoroughly inspect the facilities. PanoramIX hotlinks embedded in the images provide direct access to many other Internet applications including multimedia access. For example, users can double-click on a door and immediately enter the next conference room or guest room.
"The user can see everything at its true detail and depth," said Jeffry Ullman, an Internet specialist with IBM Travel and Transportation Industry Solutions Unit.