PRTech was engaged by Sheraton®, the largest brand of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, to proactively grow their share and spend of the independent (FIT), direct Japanese traveler business at its oceanfront property in Hawaii, the Sheraton Waikiki.
The Sheraton Waikiki has been a leader in hospitality, located centrally on the world-famous Waikiki Beach since 1971. The hotel underwent a $20 million major renovation in 1995, and in 2007, the hotel completed a $55 million room renovation. At a time when Japanese were becoming savvy repeat visitors with independent travel planning preferences, PRTech helped the Sheraton Waikiki optimize its mix of online, Japanese language resources.
PRTech’s bilingual, bicultural Japanese team of online marketing experts successfully implemented recommendations on how to best address the discerning tastes and needs of the targeted Japanese demographic. Sheraton Waikiki’s Japanese language website was transformed with a new depth and breadth of detailed destination and property information as the Japanese consumer would want. Japanese copy was crafted with search engine optimization in mind, and strategic content management helped position additional opportunities for diversified and increased revenue generation—from suite room categories to food and beverage, spa reservations and other added amenities.
After a decade of collaboration, PRTech is still a trusted cultural and online marketing consultant for the Sheraton Waikiki. Subsequent developments include the launch of the property’s Korean website, both Asian language sites being redesigned with mobile responsiveness, and the planned development of a Chinese language website in 2014. Asian social media and email direct marketing campaigns with trackable conversions are a testament to the engaged, loyal customer base that the Sheraton Waikiki continues to capture, as well as PRTech’s approach in anticipating growth opportunities and addressing how today’s Asian consumer prefers to plan travel. Since 2004, the Sheraton Waikiki on average has seen increases in Japanese online direct bookings of 78% a year. While yearly visitor totals have increased by over 170% since PRTech was given the opportunity to fully redesign their websites.