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New SolMeliaCuba site launched.
Thursday, 21st June 2007
Source : solmeliacuba.com
A more dynamic portal with an original design and many facilities for surfing, are some of the advantages that users will enjoy with the new solmeliacuba.com version -

Consequently, this first encounter becomes an emotional experience that concludes when the client actually lives the Magic of the Senses in the hotels and resorts operated by Sol Meliá Cuba.

Solmeliacuba.com was developed by a Cuban team using open-source technology which stands out for its usability and conciseness, thus enabling users to know at all moment their location in the website. Information about the Cuba destination is provided, including the regions where the 24 hotels and resorts are located. Solmeliacuba.com was designed based on an online strategy geared at competing in the different markets together with our tour operator partners, hence the wide range of regional versions.

The new WebTV is perhaps its most outstanding novelty, which features a series of programs on Cuban culture, culinary specialties, hotel spots and information about the different tourist resorts in the form of videos and stills. Furthermore, an exclusive booking system will also commence operations enabling users to book restaurants in any of the company's all- inclusive hotels as well as a browser for offers according to destinations, brands and segments. A Guest Book will be opened so that clients may post photographs and narrate their experience in Sol Meliá Cuba hotels with links to other websites of interest in connection with the hotels.

RSS format has been incorporated which provides updated access to solmeliacuba.com news without having to surf throughout the entire website and also a navigation path to guide users.

The different micro-sites can be accessed directly from solmeliacuba.com, since each of the hotels has its independent URL (Uniform Resource Locator) supervised by a person in charge who regularly updates its content.

Also, it is now possible to access independent micro-sites according to products and segments such as garden villas, weddings and honeymoons, golf and incentives, etc.

Travel Professionals, the downloading channel of the new solmeliacuba.com version has, incorporated novel facilities such as videos, high and low resolution photographs and presentations.

Thus, the use of the website as an indispensable tool for tour operators, travel agents and other collaborators is enhanced, as it provides complete and updated information on Sol Meliá Cuba.

Solmeliacuba.com: a moving online experience.The new solmeliacuba.com website will virtually familiarized clients with our product and generate a positive impression as to the gratifying moments they will experience personally in our hotels, where they will truly live the Magic of the Senses", affirmed Marco Fanton, Web Marketing Director of the Sol Meliá Cuba Division.

How has solmeliacuba.com evolved?

In 2001, our company created an e-commerce department for the purpose of launching the Sol Meliá Cuba product in the Internet.

Through the years, the department has been reinforced with a group of young local programmers who develop highly advanced models and solutions for the Sol Meliá Cuba family and its micro sites.

The main objective is to present the different Sol Meliá Cuba products using extensive visual information and integrated to the Cuba destination and to the attractions that this country has to offer.

Presently, our main markets are the United Kingdom and Canada. Visits to solmeliacuba.com grew by 13% during January through April, compared to the same period in 2006, and returns due to online booking increased by 47%.

Varadero and Havana are the favorite destinations.

What makes this web site so different?

Solmeliacuba.com is a project developed in conjunction with a team of Cuban professionals based on open sources technology.

Its strong points are its cost-effectiveness and flexibility.

Another positive feature is its dynamism, since webmasters in each of the 24 hotels and resorts can regularly update their respective l website.

In this new version we have dedicated much more space to the hotels so that each property will have its own, practically independent micro site.

What about the challenges?

With regards to sales transactions online, Cuba is a tourist destination with its own specificities, given the low number of regular flights and possibility to purchase seats online. To this we must add the absence of more economic airlines.

The country cannot make use of all the electronic distributions nor access online channels operated by US companies. In fact, the leading travel groups and portals exclude the Cuban tourist product from their inventory.

As a result, we have been forced to design an online strategy together with our tour operator partners, in order to compete in the market. This is why there are regional versions of the new solmeliacuba.com.

Tour operators who have not yet developed aggressive online sales models have realized the importance of supporting these channels. Consequently, new spaces of cooperation have opened up regarding the definition of campaigns and positioning of exclusive portals. As a result, every day we offer more information to our clients under the umbrella of recognized brands.

The main result of this cooperation effort is the enhancement of our product through the online sales systems of tour operators and their travel agencies, thus expanding the range of opportunities and services to our clients regardless of the channel. 

How does the tourist destination tie-in with Sol Meliá Cuba's online sales strategy?

One of the main challenges is to achieve visibility among the websites of different hotel companies. As a result, we have reinforced our brand's position by means of a tourist destination strategy, whereby the online user searching for information about Cuba ultimately visits our portal.

This is why we decided to develop micro sites on different segments, for example on Cuban culture, events hosted in the country, including the establishment of alliances with entities devoted to the promotion of Cuba as a tourist destination.

Which facilities have been incorporated to this new version?

Surfing is much more friendly and easy. Users can now move along the website with the aid of visual references and information is offered spontaneously and easily found.

We also provide images in the form of videos and stills. In fact, ours is the first web TV in Cuba, according to information.

Solmeliacuba TV has sections devoted to cookery with the participation of our chefs; original programs on Cuban culture, tourist resorts and on the event s and activities organized in our hotels.  Actually, the channel was officially launched with a program featuring Charles Parks, the company's culinary advisor and two chefs from the renowned Paradisus Resorts, who prepared recipes from the nouvelle Cuban cuisine.  .

We also included a Guest Book so that clients can leave their comments, photos and testimonies about their experience in Sol Meliá Cuba or link up with other sites related to our hotels. 

Another novelty is that clients can book reservations online for any of the specialized restaurants in our all-inclusive hotels. This exclusive facility was designed by our team, enabling clients to book their dinner 90days in advance. Initially, this service will be available only at Paradisus Resorts and Melía Las Americas and will later be extender to the rest of our all-inclusive hotels in the country.

Up to what extent were the views of the clients borne in mind when designing the new solmeliacuba.com?

The new facilities respond to the demands and needs of our clients. Consequently we defined a user profile, thus providing a unique inline experience with added values and quality, personalized online service.

The new solmeliacuba.com is therefore a virtual experience that offers firsthand information about our product, which in turn generates a wholesome frame of mind in our clients.

We offer them an emotional experience that begins with solmeliacuba.com and concludes in our hotels, where they will surely live the Magic of the Senses.

Visit www.solmeliacuba.com for a new virtual experience.
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