Chicago, February 14, 2005 - At a time when the vast majority of travelers say location and price are integral factors when booking online , Orbitz.com launches an enhanced Hotel Matrix Display that offers users industry-leading interactive maps and city neighborhood descriptions for faster and easier booking. Orbitz's new "Neighborhood Matrix" offers travelers the unique ability to compare hotel search results on a detailed and user-friendly map that highlights each hotel's location, neighborhood description, price and star rating together on one screen.
"For many travelers, the perfect hotel is located in just the right area of town, but no travel site was making that information easily accessible," said Kurt Weinsheimer, Orbitz vice president of Hotels. "Orbitz is committed to making travel easier and faster for our customers by providing important details up-front in the search process so users save time while finding the right hotel."
With Orbitz's Neighborhood Matrix, travelers no longer need to scroll back and forth on a page to find a hotel, which is necessary on other travel web sites. After conducting a hotel search, Orbitz users will see the Neighborhood Matrix results with up to twenty hotels plotted on a detailed map. By rolling over the hotels on the map with their mouse, customers will view a pop-up box with the hotel's name, as well as see the lowest available price and the hotel rating for that property. Selecting a hotel will show users more details, including the neighborhood characteristics near the hotel, and move it to the top of the search results page for easy reference. In addition, the compact nature of beach and ski resort areas are reflected in unique search capabilities for them, such as "on the beach," "across the street from the beach,' "slopeside," "walk to the slopes," etc.
Users can view descriptions of the neighborhood, including key shopping sites, museums, historic landmarks and entertainment facilities, allowing them to select the perfect location for their trip. Currently available in 20 of Orbitz's most popular domestic destinations, Orbitz plans to add additional neighborhood maps to domestic and international cities over the next six months. Customers can take a tour of the neighborhood matrix at http://www.orbitzandgo.com/neighborhoodmatrix.
"The Neighborhood Matrix is especially helpful for first-time visitors who need insight into a city's different neighborhoods to help them pick a hotel, or for those who know they want to stay in a specific area, but aren't sure what hotel options are available," adds Weinsheimer.
Greater Savings, Better Visuals
To provide customers with better visual information as they shop for hotels, Orbitz has added approximately 50,000 new hotel photos and 2,000 new virtual tours.
In addition, Orbitz has worked with more than 100 participating hotels nationwide to provide special offers on the site, including complimentary parking, breakfast, room upgrades and other benefits, many exclusive to Orbitz users.
Orbitz is a leading online travel company that enables travelers to search for and purchase a broad array of travel products, including airline tickets, lodging, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages. Since launching its website, www.orbitz.com, to the general public in June 2001, Orbitz has become the third largest online travel site based on gross travel bookings. On Orbitz, consumers can search more than 455 airlines, tens of thousands of lodging properties worldwide and 22 car rental companies. Orbitz was acquired by Cendant's Travel Distribution Services division in November 2004, and is part of the Consumer Travel Americas group.