Travelweb Spins Search Engine, Affiliate Deals

Travelweb LLC, an online seller of discount hotel rooms, will use search engine and affiliate marketing to get the word out on its brand amid stiff competition from rivals like Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity and TravelZoo.

The Dallas company seeks new customers for hotel rooms that it lists at The site offers a real-time connection to hotel reservation systems, yielding inventory right to the last minute.

Hotels Corp., Hyatt Corp.,, Starwood Hotels, InterContinental Hotels Group, travel technology provider Pegasus Solutions Inc. and Marriott International own the company. This is much like how the nation's major airlines own Orbitz.

"[Even though] they're part of very large organizations, the online entity has got to create awareness, create traffic to create bookings," said Chris Henger, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Performics, the Chicago-based online marketing services firm helping Travelweb.

Performics allows Travelweb to have affiliate relationships with Upromise, BizRate, MyPoints and DealTime, among others. On the search side, it bought keywords for use on engines like Google, Lycos, MSN, Yahoo, Overture and Inktomi.

The keywords are lower-level types targeted to destinations and brands to drive to relevant content and pages. These typically include "hotel reservations," "spa destinations in Florida," "cheap hotels" and "Hyatt New York."

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