Building Off - Season Sales: InterContinental Hotels Group

InterContinental Hotels Group retained KWE Partners to launch a national public relations campaign showcasing its "European Winter Spectacular," a value - oriented marketing program designed to boost off - season sales for the luxury hotel company's properties throughout Europe. Our challenge was to create a steady stream of publicity spotlighting the broad range of off-season marketing promotions and special values available to U. S. travelers visiting InterContinental's European hotels during the sluggish winter season.

KWE Partners had just four months to build off - season European sales for leading luxury hotel company InterContinental Hotels Group in the midst of a soft economy and with no support from advertising or direct mail programs. In partnership with the major European tourist boards, KWE Partners launched an aggressive publicity campaign that generated increases in room sales exceeding budget by 100 percent.

With no time to develop advertising or direct mail programs, we created and executed a high-impact publicity program designed to generate widespread interest in InterContinental's European campaign by integrating the company's value messages into broader, more newsworthy stories focusing on the advantages of winter travel to Europe. The cornerstone of the program was a strategic alliance with the leading European tourist boards that took advantage of marketing campaigns that these groups had developed to enhance off-season travel to their countries.

We launched the "European Winter Spectacular" campaign at a major luncheon/trade show held for the leading industry and consumer travel/lifestyle media. Working in conjunction with the major European tourist boards, we created a "European Marketplace" showcasing the diversity of winter attractions and value-added promotions available to U.S. travelers visiting the European countries where Intercontinental hotels are located. Journalists also had the opportunity to meet with representatives from the participating tourist boards to learn about the various off-season offerings in their countries.

Over the ensuing three months, the agency continued to publicize the "European Winter Spectacular" campaign to the company's key target audiences in the U.S. We hosted a series of receptions for travel agents in such major InterContinental markets as New York, Los Angeles, and Toronto. We also conducted an ongoing program of radio promotions in key U.S. cities to directly reach consumers with news of InterContinental's European offerings. To capture media interest in the "European Winter Spectacular" campaign, we launched an intensive campaign of one-on-one interviews for InterContinental's marketing director with the leading consumer and industry travel press nationwide.

The result of taking a leadership stance and forging high-level partnerships with the major European tourist boards firmly established InterContinental at the top of the European luxury hotel market during that critical winter season. Our success with the "European Winter Spectacular" campaign enabled the company to overcome the effects of a recession and traditionally slow off-season generating room sales that exceeded budget by more than 100 percent.
 

KWE Partners
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