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Online Community for Hotel and Travel E-Marketers

The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) has launched virtual communities for its special interest groups, including its Travel Internet Marketing Organization (TIMO). As member of HSMAI’s Board of Directors and founding chair of TIMO, I am especially proud and excited that we now have such a powerful tool at our fingertips to communicate and share ideas. In addition to forums, the community includes resource links, papers and articles, and the ability to easily connect with other online travel marketers. HSMAI has launched also a similar community for its Revenue Management Special Interest Group. If you are an HSMAI member, I encourage you to log-in and to partake in the discussions by visiting www.TravelInternetMarketing.org.

The mission of the Travel Internet Marketing Organization is to:

– To help travel supplier brands leverage the

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Internet to maximize profitability, while protecting brand integrity.

– Increase awareness of issues, opportunities and trends as it relates to Internet marketing and distribution in the travel and hospitality industry.

– Develop and recommend standards and ethical guidelines for the Internet as a marketing medium in the travel and hospitality industry.


Please read today’s official HSMAI press release below.

HSMAI LAUNCHES TRAVEL INTERNET MARKETING ONLINE COMMUNITY;

VALUABLE TOOL FOR MEMBERS TO SHARE IDEAS AND DISCUSS TRENDS

MCLEAN, VA (Feb. 12, 2007) – In a significant move to generate discussion, connect members and share knowledge, the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) just launched the newest of its online communities. The HSMAI Travel Internet Marketing Online Community, which debuted last week (Feb. 8, 2007), goes beyond that of an online discussion forum to being an interactive, results-driven group meeting place where industry professionals can share best practices and find valuable resources. HSMAI members who opt in to the online community will find a wealth of information, including a welcome and overview, announcements, discussions, presentations from the recent HSMAI Travel Internet Marketing Strategy Conference, resource links, member directory, calendar, and help desk and site search, as well as options to personalize the site with “my settings” and mailbox options. Upon entering the site, Jack Schmidt, HSMAI chairman and senior vice president of Destination Hotels & Resorts, provides an orientation message for users. The topic of the first discussion was on “12 Technologies & Trends Transforming Digital Marketing,” timed to coincide with the cover story of the winter 2006/2007 issue of HSMAI Marketing Review by Don Bender. In advance of the online discussion, users were invited to read the article and post comments and questions to be answered by the author during the online event. “The travel and hospitality industry is a great community, and we believe the future of our dynamic industry lies in our ability to cast a wide net, reap the benefits of today’s technology, and communicate effectively and powerfully with our constituencies, which this concept of an online community embraces,” states Robert A. Gilbert, CHME, CHA, president and CEO of HSMAI. “The online community further supports and expands on the face-to-face networking and information sharing opportunities that are so prevalent at the strategy conferences,” states Jim Zito, HSMAI Travel Internet Marketing Special Interest Group advisory board co-chair and corporate director E-Commerce of Morgans Hotel Group.

The first online community group to be launched by HSMAI was on Revenue Management, with others expected to debut later this year.

The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) will partner once again with the Travel Industry Association (TIA) to present the 8th Travel Internet Marketing Strategy Conference, held in conjunction with TIA’s TravelCom at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas on

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April 4, 2007 from 11:30 am – 5:30 pm.

For more information on the community and conference, visit www.travelinternetmarketing.org.

HSMAI

HSMAI is an organization of sales and marketing professionals representing all segments of the hospitality industry. With a strong focus on education, HSMAI has become the industry champion in identifying and communicating trends in the hospitality industry, and bringing together customers and members at annual events, including HSMAI’s Affordable Meetings®. Founded in 1927, HSMAI is an individual membership organization comprising more than 7,000 members worldwide, with 40 chapters in the Americas Region.

For more information on HSMAI, contact the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International, 8201 Greensboro Drive, Suite 300, McLean, VA 22102, phone (703) 610-9024; fax (703) 610-9005, or visit the web site at www.hsmai.org.

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