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HOLIDAY INN WORLDWIDE INVESTS $60 MILLION IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

 HOLIDAY INN WORLDWIDE INVESTS $60 MILLION IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
 NEW YORK, March 10 /PRNewswire/ -- In a move designed to outdistance other hotel companies and significantly increase its competitive advantage, Holiday Inn Worldwide announced today that it will invest more than $60 million to enhance further the power of its Holidex(R) reservation system.
 This latest investment includes:
 -- the leasing of the ENCORE Property Management System from ENCORE Systems, Inc. for use in all Holiday Inn hotels around the world;
 -- development of the Holiday Inn Reservation Optimization system (HIRO), an industry exclusive which will allow consumers to have greater access to available room inventories and more flexibility in making reservations;
 -- free use of hardware and software to the 1,600-plus hotels in the chain as of March 31;
 -- and training for hotel employees.
 "These changes are not about technology, per se, but about using technology to change the way we do business and improve our customer service," said Bryan D. Langton, chairman and chief executive officer of Holiday Inn Worldwide. "With this latest innovation, we are investing to improve hotel operations, reservations, and customer relations, as well as to bring the most technologically advanced hotel management system to our franchisees."
 Once installed, only Holiday Inn hotels will be able to integrate revenue optimization and customer tracking software to maximize both income for the hotels and options for consumers.
 Holiday Inn has long been known in the industry as a technological innovator; it has recently announced that it is building a state-of-the-art computer center facility and is adding a breakthrough satellite communication link with Europe that will allow the chain to instantaneously communicate hotel room and rate information between North America and Europe.
 "HIRO adds a new dimension to hotel reservation systems," said Trevor Jones, senior vice president-Corporate Development. "Before, you primarily reserved a room based on rate or room availability. The HIRO software allows the hotel to examine all the options and adds length-of-stay as a third consideration.
 "Before HIRO, if you called a reservation center and asked for a room for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night at a certain rate and the hotel was sold out of rooms at your rate on Monday night, your reservation would be denied for all three nights. This meant that our hotels lost potential guests, and our guests were inconvenienced," Jones said. "With HIRO, the reservationist has access to all rooms, at all price points, to give guests the room they need."
 This $60 million upgrade of information technology is a vital part of Holiday Inn Worldwide's effort to maintain a competitive advantage for the brand, said Langton.
 "Our strategy was to focus our resources on the system that will increase the gap between Holiday Inn and our competitors," Langton said. "As a result, we chose to create the HIRO system and purchase a property management system."
 Installation of the global property management and HIRO systems will begin in the fall of 1992. Both will integrate with Holidex, which has the largest centralized room inventory of any hotel reservation system in the world.
 "Through software development hotels will benefit from new methods of inventory control to capture reservations that are currently being missed, at prices that make sense," said Jones. "The global front desk system will give us valuable information about guest stays and expenditure at the hotel rather than simply information about the reservations made through the system. In this way, we can continue to respond more quickly and efficiently to what our customers want."
 Holiday Inn Worldwide, which is owned by the U.K.'s leading brewer Bass PLC, is the world's leading hotel chain, with more than 1,600 hotels and nearly 326,000 guest rooms in 52 countries and territories around the world.
 -0- 3/10/92
 /EDITOR'S NOTE: Please note that further details on the global property management system and the HIRO system are included in additional news releases to be transmitted today by PRNewswire./
 /CONTACT: Gayle MacIntyre of Holiday Inn Worldwide, 212-315-6092 (March 10), or 404-604-2903 (after March 10), or Kathy Egan of Golin/Harris Communications, 212-315-6092 (March 10) or 312-836-7361 (after March 10)/ CO: Holiday Inn Worldwide ST: New York IN: LEI CPR SU:


BR-BN -- AT002 -- 6792 03/10/92 10:34 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 10, 1992
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