According to Rich Westerfield, Passkey's vice president of marketing, the yet-to-be-named product will be a Web-based application with features similar to Passkey's ResDesk, an Internet-based housing reservation function that allows the hotel and planner to view and manage room blocks in real time as well as generate tracking reports while allowing attendees to view their bookings.
The new tool, Westerfield explains, will allow individual hotels to launch a Web page for each event; the page will be branded with the hotel's name and will be hosted by Passkey, which is a departure from marketing its tools through CVBs. TravelCLICK's take in the deal is Passkey's database of hotel, event, and registration information, which it will use to get a foot in the group market door by creating trend reports for individual hotels. Reports would contain, for instance, occupancy rates, he says, but mainly their advantage would be the ability to separate transient from group bookings.
What does all this mean for religious planners? First, Westerfield reassures planners that proprietary and confidential information, such as personal data and meeting data, won't be divulged. The primary benefit to planners will be that they will be able, at any time of day or night, to view pick-up reports from the hotel. The cost depends on the hotels, he says, which can opt to charge planners for the service or offer it free. It remains to be seen, but the likely scenario would have hotels building the cost into the room rate charged to the attendee. Pricing for the new product is still being worked out, but besides a “nominal” licensing fee for the hotel, each transaction will cost $1 to $2.