Has Castle’s consumer demographics changed over the last 10 years? If so, have your amenities, services or marketing strategies followed suit?
In general, today’s travelers do more research and utilize multiple online resources to make more informed decisions on both destination and accommodations. Online travel reviews now play a significant role in the selection process.
Travelers today want to see the exact unit they’re renting, especially those who are booking a vacation rental, as condominium and vacation rental units can vary greatly in size, décor, location, views and quality. Travelers are also looking for a more authentic and visceral experience, and this is especially true of the repeat visitor.
This has certainly fueled the growing vacation rental market and the popularity of online travel sites such as HomeAway, VRBO and Airbnb, which allows travelers to experience living like locals.
How has Castle’s web platform helped to set its properties and services apart from other hotels and resorts?
We are operating in Darwinian times. The resort condominium and vacation rental industry is changing rapidly, and we are migrating our current resort condominium operations to a completely new operating model and distribution platform. Castle has invested more than a million dollars in a new technology platform and partnered with a progressive European-based technology company to drive our new operating model.
This new technology platform will allow us to compete directly with the small vacation rental companies while continuing to allow us to sell and market our resort condominium inventory through our existing volume distribution channels—the best of both worlds.