Immersive Travel Site Pushes Guest Photos to the Fore
CHEVY CHASE, MD – February 24, 2016. Welcome to the new RitzCarlton.com.
Through the eyes and lens of The Ritz-Carlton and its guests, a new Ritz-Carlton website brings a world of travel experiences to life by way of a fully immersive online experience. Digital explorers have a distinctive new hub on which to browse, crafted to simplify journey planning and inspire exploration through photos by fellow travelers.
“With more than 50 million unique visits to RitzCarlton.com in 2015, we wanted to offer global travelers the most insightful, user-friendly and innovative experience available on the internet,” said Ed French, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. “Authenticity and transparency is critical to consumers today, which is why we have integrated user-generated social content as part of the web experience.”
One of the new special features on the website is ‘Ritz-Carlton Memories’, a homepage display of photos as they are being posted and hash-tagged on social media by visitors to 90 Ritz-Carlton hotels and resorts worldwide. This display is then localized to each hotel as you click on the destination you are browsing to view guest photos from that place.
Kyle Murdoch, Head of Digital for The Ritz-Carlton explained, “Across all our online channels we encourage users to hashtag their content with #RCMemories or #RitzCarlton when sharing travel experiences at our hotels. Today, anyone posting travel or Ritz-Carlton photos with the #RCMemories or #RitzCarlton hashtags may find their content appearing on the website or reposted on one of our 12 social channels.”
Each digital touch point across a guest experience, pre-visit, during a visit and post-visit, is designed to provide valuable travel information, interesting content and engage guests at each stage of their journey.
The new website has a staggering 30,000 pages of imagery and information, videos and interactive design features. The most notable enhancements facilitate exploration of destinations through immersive photography and video and through expertly curated travel experiences, in addition to hotel and room displays which enable users to not only reserve the room they prefer, but the view they desire.
As a luxury brand known for service excellence, The Ritz-Carlton website was designed to extend that service experience online and anticipate what travelers and hotel guests need. “Digital environments can be overtly functional or transactional, which does not represent who we are as a company,” continued Murdoch. “Success has come from pairing what we know about our guests and providing them with messaging and destination information that we believe will match their needs perfectly.”
All enhancements made to RitzCarlton.com were made in response to extensive global customer focus groups and research. “We want this site to inspire travel while being as useful as possible to our customers” said French. “We are leaning-in to the concept that memories inspire the creation of new memories. You can now imagine what it might be like to enjoy the same view or experience that other guests do in a way that’s more vivid and more tangible.”
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