How Visit NC is supercharging one resort’s marketing, while lifting the entire community to a more profitable future

In the heart of North Carolina’s Piedmont Triad, Christina York is the Director of Sales and Marketing for the 244-room Grandover Resort & Spa. She leads a small, but mighty team on the sales side, and an even smaller team on the marketing side.

Deployed as part of the first-of-its-kind NorthCarolinaBound collaborative, Flip.to’s out-of-the-box platform is built with hoteliers like Christina in mind. We do all the heavy lifting, so properties like Grandover get started with a copy-&-paste, and spend only a few minutes per week—yet net incredible impact.

Here’s what that looks like for Christina.

The results

The Flip.to platform is moving the needle for Grandover Resort & Spa with a minimal investment of time spent behind the scenes.

Infographic: A look at Impact, 90 days for Grandover Resort & Spa. 26K friends and family reached who are the perfect demographic; 11.4K planners unveiled considering a stay at the Grandover Resort & Spa; $102K in direct revenue earned tracked in real-time

Sponsored by Visit North Carolina, lodging partners across the state are joining the NorthCarolinaBound collaborative at no cost to them. And in Greensboro, Christina is grateful to have the platform working for her.

It’s acting as an extension of her marketing efforts, introducing the resort to travelers in the inspiration and dreaming phase through Advocacy, and sparking conversations with planners in the booking phase through Discovery.

Photo submission from Yvette G., showing 3 African American ladies enjoying their spa day in terry robes and stylish sunglasses

Lightweight by design

As a full-service, independent resort surrounded by 36 holes of golf, Grandover is an unexpected find in Greensboro. “It’s not the first place people think about going for a vacation,” explains Christina.

Yet, there’s a strong drive market within a six-hour radius, to which the platform has introduced over 26,000 potential travelers in the past 90 days. “These are people we would not have reached without Flip.to,” she added. “Every time I look at the dashboard, I’m like, ‘Hey, this is working. This is cool!'”

Photo submission from Hart F., showing 4 caucasian males on a golf green smiling at the camera.

From the start of NCBound, the Flip.to team made things turnkey for Christina.

“The onboarding process was tremendous. The service from the Flip.to folks was really amazing, and they walked us through very patiently. There was lots of education and hand-holding once we were all set up and going.”

Customer Success representative, Sam Gedihovich, is a great part of Grandover’s success. She keeps an eye on the resort’s efforts, and strategizes next moves, preserving Christina’s time for other tasks.

Why NCBound?

Visit NC is making this technology possible—supercharging Christina’s marketing while she’s executing her day-to-day—and lifting the entire community to compete for a larger share of travelers.

“I have really good feelings about Visit NC, and what they’re doing. They’re proactive, and I’m always surprised by the initiatives they take. They always seem to be onto creative things.”

If you’d like to be a part of something bigger in the North Carolina community, join NCBound here.

Why marketing your hotel is far more than selling a room

“The least important thing when booking a hotel reservation is the hotel room,” says Adam Hartenberger, which sums up a bold marketing ethos. In the ever-changing world of hotel marketing, the statement guides Adam’s open-minded approach to stay ahead of the curve.

“I think where a lot of hoteliers get lost is the one thing that most hoteliers sell on—hotel rooms. And really when you think about your vacation, most people can’t explain the hotel room they stayed in. They talk about the things they went on vacation to do.”

As Assistant Director of Marketing at The Osthoff Resort, Adam focuses on the experiences his lakeside resort in Wisconsin offers. As part of that effort, he relies on Flip.to to drive those experiential conversations with future guests. In fact, his team has become one of the most creative users of the platform to date.

3 photos sitting side by side. Photo submission from Jennifer B., showing 2 boys and 1 girl in swimsuits smiling at camera while sitting on a stone bench. Photo submission from Maria B., showing 2 women smiling at the camera. Both are holding champagne flutes and the younger woman has a bride-to-be sash, tiara. Photo submission from Stephanie C., showing a guy on one knee proposing to a woman at a lake shore

Sparking conversations with traveler planners

After Advocacy proved very effective in inspiring dreamers, Adam was introduced to the newest part of the platform by Flip.to’s Account Executive for Customer Success, Joseph Meuse.

Discovery is a reimagined booking path built to spark more meaningful conversations with travelers in the planning phase. Though Adam was intrigued, he admits he was a skeptic at first.

“When Joe [from Flip.to] pitched us on Discovery, he said, ‘Watch the numbers. Your conversion percentage is going to increase.’ I’m just thinking in my head, ‘Joe, there’s no way that’s going to happen. Joe, you’re asking people for their email. They’re just going to exit out. That’s not going to happen.'”

Until it did. Discovery helped the Osthoff learn about their travelers’ intent, unveil who they are, and re-engage them around their interests.

In just ninety days, here’s what The Osthoff tallied. 📈

Infographic: A look at Impact, 90 days on Discovery for the Osthoff Resort. 12K planners unveiled and shared their intent; 635 room nights booked, attributed to returning planners; $219K direct incremental revenue, tracked in real-time

The pursuit of audience growth

At the point The Osthoff switched on Discovery, Adam’s biggest goal to follow revenue was audience growth. He shared,

“We didn’t really—even at that point—understand what it was going to do. We didn’t realize how many people were going to our website, and how many people we could genuinely open up a conversation with.”

Once Discovery was fully live, the resort was seeing incredible audience growth.

“Going in, I honestly thought we were going to get like eight percent [of unveils]. Last time we checked it was forty-one percent!”

It’s proof that engaging planners in better conversations around their intent, and bringing the principles of hospitality into the online experience drives better results.

Other insights from Discovery

Screencapture of Flip.to showing Discovery engagement numbers for Osthoff Resort

On top of driving top line revenue, Discovery is giving Adam the real-time insights of travelers on The Osthoff’s site, including when travelers are looking to book. Those signals helped Adam identify previously unrecognized seasonal demand.

“We noticed that we had way more people looking at our website for dates that weren’t summer. We really didn’t think fall was a big thing for us. But we had a record breaking fall all of the sudden, because we found that there were really a lot of people searching for those dates.”

Adam was able to focus the efforts of his marketing team based on these learnings from Discovery.

“I now have data about when people are really looking to stay with us this year. I know that 40-ish percent of people unveil. If we just use some assumptive math, we can figure out the demand on our website. From a revenue perspective, that’s huge.

From a marketing perspective, I also know when people are shopping. I know what their booking window is. I know the dates they’re shopping. Most importantly, I have their email address to give them information about their shopping journey.”

The immediate takeaway from Adam’s bold new approach is if you do a really good job speaking to the individual interests of each traveler, you’ll likely be the top choice for their place to stay.

But Adam’s story doesn’t end here. Adam and his team took nurturing the extra mile—a story to look out for next.


Discovery was built to spark better conversations with travelers. And better marketing ultimately nets better results.

If you’re ready to reach, inspire and win over travelers with an approach that centered on authenticity and trust, give us a shout—we’re excited to kick off.

Woodloch Resort’s Rory O’Fee teams up with Flip.to to have better conversations with travelers

Since 2015 Woodloch Resort has been a power-user of the Flip.to platform, led by Director of Marketing, Rory O’Fee. He and his team have always felt that personal stories and authentic conversations are what resonate with travelers.

Recently, Woodloch implemented Discovery, and after only a short time, O’Fee and his team have been astounded by the results.

Infographic: A look at Impact, 45 days on Discovery for Woodloch Resort. 14K website visitors unveiled and shared their intent; 300+ room nights booked, attributed to returning planners; $300K direct incremental revenue, tracked in real-time

How did they end up with such a big bump in revenue and conversion? Let’s look further.

Family First

At Woodloch Resort, everyone is family. “We’re a family business that employs families that cater to families vacationing,” explains O’Fee. With thirty plus activities scheduled daily and inclusive meal plans, it’s easy to see why families are the number one draw to the 225-key resort. The property’s shores along Lake Teedyuskung, in the picturesque Pocono Mountains, are a wonderful place to make memories.

Photo submission from Xuefei T. showing a small child with mom warming themselves in front of a fire pit.

Marketing on Authenticity + Trust

Woodloch’s homegrown property management system has evolved over time, but is still limited for O’Fee’s marketing needs. When he first heard about Discovery, he knew it was a solve for many of his pain points.

“It’s the feeling you get when you come to Woodloch that leaves a lasting impression. That’s how we bring a family aspect into our marketing. We extrapolate those stories, and let people share their best moments,” says O’Fee.

Advocacy has been supporting that strategy for some time now in the dreaming phase. But O’Fee wanted to bring those tenets into focus on the planning phase.

“The Discovery platform has given us a new set of tools that I haven’t had access to previously. And that’s looking at traveler intent and interest—their timing interest, and their lead time to booking.

And being able to craft a message to talk to them, and help guide them through the booking process at the right time. That has been a wonderful tool for me, because I get to see when people are interested and looking. Then I can really shift my strategy accordingly.”

Intent: A Crystal Ball

That’s important for Woodloch, since its activities shift from season to season, maximizing fun in each. Winter’s snow tubing and “Winter Olympics” activities give way to spring and summer’s boating on private Lake Teedyuskung, nature walks through the mountains, and outdoor concerts.

Knowing a traveler group’s season of interest and mix of ages helps Woodloch continue the conversation further. It helps to connect them with the experience that helped win them over.

Photo submission from Joan G., showing a dad and daughters doing a workout at the Woodloch gym

The Discovery Difference: Unveil + Re-engage

With Discovery, travelers unveil far earlier in the funnel than a traditional booking path. Once a planner unveils, Woodloch tapped the platform to nurture around the experiences for their age mix, save their plans until they’re ready to book, and most importantly, re-engage at the most appropriate point in the traveler’s planning stages.

It’s no secret that understanding more about their travelers drives Woodloch’s impressive increase in conversion.

The Future: Better Marketing

Overall, Rory is seeing a strong desire for families to reconnect post-COVID. Like any marketing effort, reconnecting with and growing audiences also means navigating challenges around privacy and compliance that will continue to be important to travelers in the future, often strained by fragmented policies at varying levels.

“To be in compliance with one thing, you’re out of compliance with another. It’s very complicated.”

Photo submission from Melody Y., showing 2 girls holding hands standing on a pier looking out at sailboats out on the lake

But he’s optimistic about working through those challenges with Flip.to and people like Customer Success Team Lead, Michael Mathews.

“I know you’re going to grow, and come up with new solutions that will enhance the travelers’ experience. In doing so, you’re going to enhance the supplier’s experience in getting people booked,” said O’Fee.

“You’re working to change an element of the travel experience, and I’m excited to be a part of that.”


If you’d like to stay in touch with Rory to hear more of his ideas on where travel marketing needs to be headed, give him a follow, here.

If you think Flip.to can help you have better conversations with your travelers, and in doing so, increase your conversion at the same time, we’d love to hear from you.

Changing latitudes: a lake-loving audience is the key to a strong opening for Margaritaville Lake Resort, Lake Conroe | Houston

Beyond one-to-one traveler journeys, we’ve built a platform that launches hoteliers on a marketing journey, too. A journey that infuses the tenets of good hospitality from beginning to end, and that’s simple to manage, yet incredibly impactful.

When Margaritaville Lake Resort, Lake Conroe | Houston opened its doors, the property brought an entirely new concept to the area. They had to build an audience, and inspire them to get “into a vacation state of mind.

They tapped Flip.to to do just that—and when lake life called, this audience answered, to the tune of incredible impact:

Infographic: A look at Impact, 1 Year for Margaritaville Lake Resort, Lake Conroe Houston. 1,300,000 friends & family reached and inspired in the dreaming phase, in the most authentic way possible; 77,000 travelers unveiled in the planning phase, deciding where to go next; This resulted in $1,600,000 in reservations tracked in real time to direct, incremental revenue

So, how’d we get here? Let’s dive in. 🏊👇

Timing is everything, until it’s not

As you’d expect, mid-2020 was a challenging time to open a new resort—even for one with rock star branding and universal name appeal. But schedules are schedules, and a property sitting idle is guaranteed to earn zero returns.

On the edge of glimmering, boater-friendly Lake Conroe, the 335-room island outpost was fresh off a massive renovation and rebranding that made it unique to any other offering on or near the lake.

Changes in Latitudes

As it does, the Margaritaville brand brought a slice of boat-drink-inspired island life to the heart of land-locked Texas, where it created a new lakefront destination fit for the surrounding drive markets of Houston, Dallas, and Austin.

Caribbean-hued paint schemes and thatch-roofed palapas inspire a more southern latitude, while Jolly Mon Water Park, also tucked in a grove of swaying palm trees, kicks up a splash of fun. Of course, no Margaritaville property is complete without a signature LandShark Bar & Grill, which in Lake Conroe, is appropriately set waterside.

Photo submission from Christi G. showing a small child standing in a kiddie pool at a water park with arms outstretched splashing water.

Flip.to leads the charge

To thwart the unfortunate debut timing, the resort needed to grow an audience ready to receive this fin-tastic new concept.

When we partnered with the lakeside property, Flip.to Customer Success standout, Joseph Meuse, quickly became an extension of their marketing team.

Joseph helped formulate a strategy to reach and inspire travelers, especially ones that would be most engaged with lake life. His input led the resort’s team to launch conversations with a new audience in an authentic way, and at the right time in their traveler journeys.

Photo submission from Kellie P. showing 2 boys on innertubes floating down a lazy river in a water park.

Advocacy in the dreaming phase

Joseph first helped to maximize the impact of the Advocacy platform. He and the property’s team launched a campaign around lakeside memories.

Stories began flooding in, filled with travelers’ best moments spent on or near the water—a positive connection which was now associated with a new resort.

This led the brand into conversation with these potential new guests, and created an ever-growing audience for the resort with a love of the lake. Once the property was fully open, Flip.to helped to win-over this new audience with the right messaging.

Photo submission from Laura N. showing adirondack lounge chairs right by Lake Conroe, Houston TX

Discovery in the planning phase

Joseph then switched on the Discovery platform to win over planners visiting the resort’s website. This part of the platform starts conversations in a reimagined way, leads planners to unveil, and learns their intent.

Flip.to helps Margaritaville Lake Resort, Lake Conroe | Houston re-engage these planners around that intent when they’re ready to book. That effort increased conversion at the bottom of the funnel, and together with Advocacy humming along in the dreaming phase, fueled a successful opening year for the property.

A successful partnership

The platform sparks genuine conversations around travelers’ intent, comes fully charged to grow audiences, and converts planners into guests—all with only light lift from your team, and at a much lower cost than through traditional marketing channels.

Why better conversations with travelers lead to bigger successes for Plunge Beach Resort

Building an audience of like-minded folks is a top priority for 163-key Plunge Beach Resort. After all, as an independent hotel set in the lesser-known market of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, the property would be remiss to rely on marketing efforts from the municipalities of Fort Lauderdale and Miami alone.

It’s sleek, surf-inspired design, and edgy restaurants make it an unexpected gem in its neighborhood, and while the resort provides the unique experience its guests seek out, it’s not in an obvious location where those specific planners tend to search.

With this in mind, the team at Plunge Beach Resort knew an owned audience opens up the opportunity to have better, more authentic conversations with future travelers, and to key in on a right-fit demographic for their hip beachfront hotel.

In doing so, the property is able to win over travelers with a higher return on investment than through traditional marketing alone.

Photo submission from Jennifer C. showing a woman at the beach with hands outstretched looking out onto the ocean.

Advocacy in the dreaming phase

Our team at Flip.to initially worked with Plunge Beach Resort to build and grow their audience through Advocacy. There, the resort is introduced to friends and family of their guests, which are a perfect demographic to consistently fill their marketing funnel.

Advocacy reaches the traveler at their point of inspiration, and opens a dialogue with the resort that’s nurtured by the platform to help these warm leads convert.

Photo submission from Diane S. showing a beach at sunset with an empty hammock in between palm trees.

Discovery in the planning phase

Halfway through this year, the resort also began sparking conversations with travelers in another phase of the traveler journey—the planning phase. By switching on Discovery, Plunge Beach Resort aims to learn more about visitors who land on their site, ready to plan a trip.

Discovery unveils planners deciding where to go next, learns their intent and booking time-frame, and re-engages that traveler along their decision-making journey to help win them over for Plunge Beach.

In fact, whether that window is near-term or farther out, the platform helps the property re-engage at the appropriate time and with the right message to convert, all based on their intent. And it even helps extend a guest’s stay.

The results

Both parts of the Flip.to platform are performing swimmingly (pun intended!) for Plunge Beach, leading to a 137X return on investment. While the numbers speak for themselves, the biggest takeaway is that better conversations with travelers lead to better business for our partners.

Infographic: A look at Impact, 90 Days for Plunge Beach Resort. 47,207 friends & family reached  thanks to 93 advocates; 4,097  planners unveiled considering a stay at Plunge Beach Resort; Plunge Beach Resort has earned and tracked $198,033 in direct revenue, a 137X return on investment

How Alden Suites accelerated to a more profitable rebound, all thanks to a warm audience

We aim to tackle marketing that’s both good for travelers and good for business, and we partner with industry players who do the same to drive more impact for customers.

We teamed up with NAVIS and the Sunshine Gals to boost the bottom line for Alden Suites Beachfront Resort, a 143-room property in sunny St. Pete Beach, Florida. Here’s a closer look at how the partnership set Alden up for a post-2020 comeback.

A competitive market

Marketing duo Sunshine Woodyard and Trudy Anderson of the Sunshine Gals are the conductors of Alden’s marketing, together with Alden’s VP of Operations, Tony Satterfield. He explains,

“The challenge with an independent hotel is not having that big brother that can feed you anywhere from thirty to sixty percent of your business.”

Like other independent hotels, the property elbows its way into market share in many of the same crowded channels as its peers.

Alden and the Sunshine Gals knew they needed a different approach. They wanted to talk directly to their audience, segmenting based on their wants and needs, and knew focusing on the guest experience over promotions would be a better way to engage their community.

The approach was successful, but they quickly found the need to scale, leading them to tap Flip.to and NAVIS. The partnership would grow the audience faster, and build traveler relationships across the traveler journey, tackling their goals:

  • Reach and inspire an audience of dreamers who are the perfect demographic
  • Unveil planners on their site, sparking new conversations in more authentic ways
  • Win over new and repeat guests, inspiring them to return again and again

Isometric screenshots of Flip.to screens

Growth at every part of the traveler journey

Winning over planners and bookers

After 2020, Alden’s focus was to rebound more quickly and profitably by growing their direct channel. They turned to Flip.to, and we were excited to put to work the newest part of our marketing platform: Discovery.

Discovery unveils prospects on their site with a reimagined booking path, learning a planner’s intent and travel aspirations in a more authentic way. From there, the platform re-engages and nurtures prospects by sparking better conversations based on that newly discovered intent.

Switching on Discovery resulted in a leap in conversion, and a significant increase in direct revenue for Alden.

Letting won-over guests inspire a new audience of dreamers

After these guests have stayed, Flip.to steps in once again—this time with Advocacy. Alden turns their guests into storytellers, letting them share their experiences to grow a new audience.

They reach a highly-targeted, like-minded demographic who are dreaming about travel, before competitors even have the chance. Plus, these storytellers fuel other marketing. Woodyard shares,

“Flip.to lets us tell authentic guest stories throughout the traveler journey. People can see themselves at the property, living the vacation dream.”

The impact from Flip.to in the dreaming, planning & booking stages is massive:

IN JUST 90 DAYS ON FLIP.TO 147K Friends and family reached with Advocacy—the right demographic at the lowest cost-of-acquisition 12K Planners unveiled, leading to hundreds of added room nights using Discovery’s reimagined booking path ALDEN HAS EARNED AND TRACKED AN ADDITIONAL $470K in direct revenue a 325x return on investment, thanks to Flip.to and on pace to reach $1.8M in 2021

Extending the traveler’s lifetime value

After working hard to grow and maintain this highly valuable audience, Alden Suites sought to maximize its impact, and that’s where NAVIS took the reins.

In order to build more fruitful, long-term relationships, NAVIS aims to increase its value, analyzing guest data, nurturing leads, and creating new or repeat direct bookings.

In doing so, NAVIS helps Alden Suites continue meaningful conversations with past guests, keeping their audience from going stale and ultimately priming guests to return.

This increases long-term revenue, creating growth that has been especially important after the challenges our industry has faced in the past year:

Year Over Year (YOY) GROWTH WITH NAVIS 34K Click Throughs 17% Open Rate IN 2020, THIS RESULTED IN $1,343,780 in direct revenue an 18% growth in gross revenue YoY, thanks to NAVIS

Teaming up for better marketing and better results

Marketing efforts with Flip.to and NAVIS proving effective through to revenue have helped the spirited team at Alden and the Sunshine Gals solidify their strategy:

“The partnership with NAVIS and Flip.to is a critical component of how we’ve been successful over the last several years,”

says Satterfield. And Anderson agrees:

“Our investment in building our own audience prior to COVID has made recovery work a lot better.”

Let’s talk

If you’re ready to hear how the Flip.to marketing platform can launch incredible impact for your property in weeks, get in touch. To keep up with more on what Alden Suites, NAVIS, and the Sunshine Gals are doing to reshape travel marketing, give them a follow:

We’ll share how you can reach, inspire and convert new audiences at a massive scale.

Introducing: Influencer Labs

At Flip.to, we’re big believers in taking hospitality marketing to a new frontier. We share in celebrating experiences from travelers around the world, and work with folks truly passionate about providing top notch service at incredible destinations.

Somewhere, travel marketing got away from all of that, at the expense of hotels and travelers alike. So we set out to make things right.

Polished product aside, we knew this wouldn’t be a project we’d undertake alone. Nope. This would be an all-hands call with the goal of threading together perspectives from the best in the hospitality industry (and beyond) into a new fabric that defines great marketing.

That’s a pretty lofty task. So where did we start? Naturally, we called a few friends.

INFLUENCER LABS WERE BORN

Orlando Influencer Lab agenda

The idea for the labs was pretty simple. Invite some of the brightest minds in the local community to share their thoughts, spark the conversation, and then let it meander wherever our thought-leaders take it.

Ultimately we landed on very small, by-invitation events held with industry insiders on how to move travel forward—the type of honest conversation that can only happen in an intimate group of smart folks.

From broad topics in marketing, to a “mission to Mars” Elon Musk-style discussion, the groundwork was laid.

THE PILOTS: WHERE CONVERSATION TO MOVE TRAVEL FORWARD ALL BEGAN

Next up was to get the labs off the ground. To do so, we narrowed down three cities from coast-to-coast to be our experiments. And to fuel great conversation, we hosted dinner & compelling dialog with top minds in travel.

Influencer Lab: Orlando

The Alfond Inn

The good company:

  • Maurice Arbelaez, Corporate Director of Sales & Marketing, Vista Cay Resort by Millenium
  • Susan Keaveney, Marketing Director, The Shores Resort & Spa
  • Tony Aslanian, Director of Sales & Marketing, BENCHMARK, A Global Hospitality Company
  • Kit McClelland, Director of Sales and Marketing, Caribe Royale All Suite Hotel and Convention Center
  • Jessica Purslow, Area Director of Sales, TravelClick

Hosted by:

  • Richard Dunbar, Director of Partnerships, Flip.to
  • Diane Van Leunen, Director of Marketing, Flip.to

The biggest takeaways:

  • An all-Central-Florida cast and crew, this inaugural lab is where it all started. (In our hometown, no less.) Our influencers honed in on what matters most—beyond technology, marketing, and everything else—hospitality.
  • Hoteliers consistently go above and beyond when a guest is on property to exceed expectations. Now it’s time to take that same passion everywhere else: like your marketing, digital experiences, communication before and after the stay, and more.
  • Why? Sparking conversations and building relationships is at its heart what this industry is all about. So make sure that no matter how you’re interacting with your guest, that’s the intent that shows through.

Influencer Lab: Myrtle Beach

Travinia Italian Kitchen

The good company:

  • Alex Husner, CMO, Condo-World
  • Pete DiMaio, Director of Client Success, Fuel Travel
  • Matt Klugman, DOSM, Vacation Myrtle Beach Resorts
  • Patrick Norton, VP of Sales & Marketing, Brittain Resorts & Hotels
  • Josh Williams, Digital Marketing Director, Visibility and Conversions
  • Jacob Smith, Marketing Manager, Sandy Beach Resort
  • Jay McLaurin, Market Manager, Expedia

Hosted by:

  • Richard Dunbar, Director of Partnerships, Flip.to
  • Stuart Butler, COO, Fuel Travel

The biggest takeaways:

  • In Myrtle Beach, the market knows that to win travelers, you must first win them for the destination. After all, if you’re bidding for someone that wants to head to say, New York, and you’re in Myrtle Beach, they’re not likely booking your property anytime soon.
  • Taking this to heart, Myrtle Beach has become the example of “a rising tide lifts all boats,” working collaboratively from the ground up. And it’s been a win-win-win: for the destination, for their properties, and for the travelers.
  • The takeaway? Working together matters—and even promotes healthy competition—thanks to a healthy market.

Influencer Lab: Seattle

Edgewater Hotel

The good company:

  • Andrew Assante, Vice President Business Development, VR Cinematic​
  • Meredith Mara, Vice President, Sales, Coastal Hotel Group
  • Lindley Ferris, Vice President Marketing and Account Services, GCommerce
  • Frances Somers, Senior Marketing Manager, Content & Voice, Amazon Restaurants
  • Brent Lindberg, Principal and Founder, Fuseneo
  • Jenny Bullock, Senior Marketing Manager, Strategic Partnerships, Expedia, Inc.

Hosted by:

  • Diane Van Leunen, Director of Marketing, Flip.to
  • Raul Vega, Senior Director of Sales, Flip.to

The biggest takeaways:

  • Looking beyond our industry is a must. As shown by the diverse set of backgrounds who joined us at this lab, our industry should constantly be looking outward for ideas on better serving travelers.
  • So, where do you start? Consider that no matter the path-to-purchase, in every industry it’s all about anticipating the needs of people, and better serving the personal needs of those people at every step along the way. And at the end of the day, people want to be inspired, not sold to.
Influencer Lab: Seattle, hosted at the famed Edgewater Hotel
Influencer Lab: Seattle, hosted at the famed Edgewater Hotel

2019: TAKING INFLUENCER LABS WORLDWIDE

It was obvious from the pilot labs that something was sticking. And we knew that it was time to take this type of conversation to a larger scale.

So, back to boldly taking hospitality to a brand new frontier… 2019 has a ton in store, with labs lined up across the country and around the globe. In fact, the first few are already taking shape:

  • Influencer Lab: Montego Bay
  • Influencer Lab: Denver
  • Influencer Lab: Maho Beach

Be on the lookout for more to come from each of these regions, with lots of opportunity to join the conversation. Collaboration and bringing new ideas to light are musts in order to set a new course and move travel forward, together.

With Flip.to, Adventures on the Gorge primed for season ahead after inspiring new audience of more than 160K in 6 months

March 19, 2019 — Orlando, FL — Adventures on the Gorge—premier West Virginia adventure destination on the rim of the New River Gorge—has tapped the Flip.to advocacy marketing platform to drive growth by opening up an entirely new channel of travelers for their vacation resort.

6 MONTHS OF GROWTH WITH ADVOCACY

Launched in August of 2018, the property has sparked conversations with travelers worldwide, since reaching a new audience of over 160,000. This is in addition to converting thousands of unique site visitors and warm leads who are being nurtured down the path to becoming a future guest with the help of the Flip.to platform.

By tapping into Flip.to, Adventures on the Gorge is turning their travelers into storytellers who go on to share the highlight of their experiences to friends and family around the globe. In turn, Adventures on the Gorge is reaching wide, new audiences who are the perfect demographic for their unique experience.

Trust is a critical piece of the success of the platform. As Nielson, GoogleExpedia and other sources have continuously shown over time, recommendations from friends & family weigh heavily on travel decisions being made today. This is especially true at the point of inspiration—to the tune of ⅔ of all travelers, according to Expedia’s research for their 2016 American, British, and Canadian travelers’ paths to purchase.

With these impacts, the platform has opened up a new marketing channel to drive direct revenue for Adventures on the Gorge.

GEARING UP FOR 2019

A pioneer in the adventure resort industry, Adventures on the Gorge has over 40 years of experience bringing unique, adrenaline-fueled adventures to those traveling to the New River Gorge. Their peak visitation runs from mid-spring to the end of summer, edged with shoulder seasons and closing in the winter to prepare for the next peak.

For their marketing team, this meant the ability to continue reaching new audiences over the shoulder and closed seasons was critical to maintain growth.

The advocacy platform presented a unique solution to not only drive more business into their shoulder seasons, but also to continue to nurture and grow an audience of potential future bookers heading into next spring, setting up for the following year.

In fact, even during the months they’ve been closed, travelers have continued sharing stories to friends and family worldwide. This has added up to 60K+ in reach since December alone, raising awareness to hundreds of potential visitors each and every day, all who are being introduced in the most authentic way possible.

The platform goes on to help convert this pool of prospects, previously out of reach, into warm leads who are now in unique, personal conversations—each being nurtured to a future adventure for the the next season.

TAKING A STORYTELLING APPROACH TO MARKETING  

Beyond building an entirely new audience and growing relationships with their guests, the platform has helped amplify their efforts with a storytelling approach to marketing, letting guests share unique perspectives that only they can provide—more authentic than any ad.

With Flip.to, Adventures on the Gorge is netting a library of authentic, legally-owned content to highlight the travel experiences their guests are sharing, with the resort at the center of the story.

These candid adventures from their travelers have built a strong narrative that’s true to their brand and inspires travel, infusing a level of authenticity into all of their efforts.

Adventures on the Gorge 4-story-photo set
Stories and experiences shared by recent travelers to Adventures on the Gorge.
See more at:
https://adventuresonthegorge.stories.travel

GETTING STARTED

Drawn to the rim of the New River Gorge by world-class whitewater, rock climbing, mountain biking, and hiking, the founders of Adventures on the Gorge were driven to create a resort that could live up to the natural wonders that surrounded it. To see the authentic experiences being shared firsthand, visit, http://adventuresonthegorge.stories.travel/gallery or reserve your adventure today at https://adventuresonthegorge.com/.

To get started with Flip.to for hotels, the advocacy platform for that reaches, converts and inspires and entirely new global audience every day, take a tour, or see other hotels shining on the platform, here.  

Hard Rock Daytona Beach debuts to nearly a million in milestone opening with Flip.to marketing platform

January 29, 2019 — Daytona Beach, FL —Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach has switched on an entirely new approach to travel marketing with Flip.to, the advocacy marketing platform for hotels and travel brands.

Flip.to lets guests share their Hard Rock experience worldwide, debuting the property to a massive audience by opening up an entirely new marketing channel. The platform closes the loop on these conversations sparked, delivering authentic, personal conversations to inspire & win over new travelers for the hotel.

For Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach, that’s made a measurable impact for their business, earning nearly 100,000 in monthly reach, and tens of thousands of dollars in direct revenue so far.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: NEWLY OPENED HARD ROCK TAPS FLIP.TO

Opening its doors to guests in March of 2018, Hard Rock International brought modern luxury to the Daytona Beach market in partnership with Summit Hospitality Management, who invested $40 million into the 200-room beachfront property. It’s since set the bar for an entirely new level of guest experience in Daytona, earning its AAA 4-Diamond status just five months after hosting travelers for the first time.

Beyond the hotel’s extensive renovation, raising awareness and attracting travelers for this new Hard Rock experience was a critical piece of a successful launch. That charge was lead by industry-leader and years-long user of Flip.to, Susan Keaveney, Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach’s inaugural Director of Marketing.

Hard Rock Daytona

Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach — 918 N Atlantic Ave, Daytona Beach, FL 32118
https://www.hardrockhotels.com/daytona-beach

 

SETTING THE STAGE FOR SUCCESS

Keaveney joined her post in October of 2017—just six short months prior to the hotel’s opening. She quickly aimed to drive demand for the newly minted property that was soon to be at the top of its market.

Knowing the proven results of the platform and its ability to net immediate impact, Keaveney saw Flip.to as the a perfect fit to start inspiring travelers. With this in mind, Keaveney launched the platform in April of 2018 to start powering growth for their property and top her goals.

“As a new concept to the area, we were on a strict timeline and budget to increase the visibility for this unique Hard Rock experience with the right travelers—everyone from families seeking one-of-a-kind vacations, to those dialing-it-up at one of our events. This meant promoting the authentic spirit that defines the brand to a wide audience that was still highly targeted.

Switching on Flip.to helped tackle this goal by letting travelers share their Hard Rock experience to family & friends globally. This made for an incredibly receptive audience excited to hear about our property, and we saw impact from the first traveler who shared. With the platform we’re easily translating these efforts into business impact, tracking success at every stage down the funnel down to travelers earned.”

With Flip.to, Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach are reaching a new audience of nearly one hundred thousand organically each and every month, totaling more than 860,000 in reach, so far.

This drove more than 52,000 unique site visits and 5,000+ opted-in, warm leads for travelers interested in a trip to the Hard Rock in just the first 9 months, a remarkable 2.7X better than the industry benchmark for paid search, and a testament to the receptive warmth of the audience and quality demographic.

Add to that tens of thousands of dollars in directly booked room revenue, and the platform has made a lasting impression for Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach.

Performance compared to the travel industry paid search benchmarks.

 

HARD ROCK STILL SHINES ON THE PLATFORM

With 9 months on the platform, Keaveney and the Hard Rock Hotel team are looking ahead to even more growth on the platform. Together with Flip.to they’re crafting rich experiences to put the newest member of the Hard Rock International brand at the center of every traveler’s journey.

Flip.to President, Ed St. Onge, who’s worked with Keaveney spanning her many roles as a veteran in travel, had this to add:

“Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach provides experiences guests won’t soon forget, and are excited to share on. Flip.to has been key in tapping into what’s well known as an influential factor in choosing travel: recommendations from friends & family. And the impact of the platform extends even far beyond that, with quality that’s simply unmatched.

It’s shown time and again to drive the warmest traffic with higher conversion. And beyond reach, these audiences are being nurtured down to a buying decision, helping the hotel build long-term traveler relationships that net out better in every way.”

Now part of the portfolio for the Hospitality Ventures Management Group (HVMG) as of December, 2018, Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach’s goal is to continue to accelerate. In addition to building a wealth of traveler relationships, the property plans to continue enhancing its marketing strategy side-by-side with the platform. Keaveney added on Flip.to:

“I was an early adopter of the Flip.to platform, and now have been a customer spanning it’s growth at multiple properties I’ve marketed. As the landscape evolved, so too has the platform, bringing solves to the table that truly set out to make travel better for everyone, business and traveler included.

Flip.to will continue to be a part of my marketing strategy and an extension of my team at the Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach.”

Hard Rock Daytona 4-story-photo set
Stories and experiences shared by recent travelers to the Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach.
See more at:
https://hardrockhotels.stories.travel

 

GETTING STARTED

Embodying the essence of the Hard Rock brand—a kinetic spirit that’s ageless and electric—panoramic ocean views and legendary amenities are what awaits travelers to the Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach. To see the authentic experiences being shared firsthand, visit https://hardrockhotels.stories.travel/gallery, or reserve your stay today at https://www.hardrockhotels.com/daytona-beach.

To get started with Flip.to for hotels, the advocacy platform for that reaches, converts and inspires and entirely new global audience every day, take a tour, or see other hotels shining on the platform, here: https://www.flip.to/customers/hotels.


About Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach

Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach brings the global brand’s iconic vibe and energetic beat to a wide stretch of the world-famous Atlantic shoreline. The 200-room beachfront property features renowned, brand-exclusive offerings and amenities, including The Sound of Your Stay® music program, offering complimentary use of Fender guitars and Crosley record players for in-room jam sessions, as well as a renowned full-service Rock Spa® and Salon, a Rock Shop® and a Body Rock® Fitness Center.

The hotel also includes the signature Sessions restaurant and bar, the open-air Wave Terrace and 20,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, including a versatile ballroom terrace. The property’s resort-style beachfront pool features an expansive oceanfront party deck and outdoor pool bar and grill. Located at 918 N. Atlantic Avenue, just 15 minutes from Daytona International Airport, Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach is owned by Summit Hospitality Management Group. For more information, visit www.hrhdaytonabeach.com.

About Hard Rock International

With venues in 75 countries, including 183 cafes, 27 hotels and 12 casinos, Hard Rock International (HRI) is one of the most globally recognized companies. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world’s most valuable collection of music memorabilia, which is displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock is also known for its collectible fashion and music-related merchandise and Hard Rock Live performance venues. HRI owns the global trademark for all Hard Rock brands. The company owns, operates and franchises Cafes in iconic cities including London, New York, San Francisco, Sydney and Dubai. HRI also owns, licenses and/or manages hotel/casino properties worldwide. Destinations include the company’s two most successful Hotel and Casino properties in Tampa and Hollywood, FL., both owned and operated by HRI parent entity The Seminole Tribe of Florida, as well as other exciting locations including Atlantic City, Bali, Cancun, Daytona Beach, Ibiza, Orlando, Shenzhen and San Diego. Upcoming new Hard Rock Cafe locations include, Maldives, Manila, Malaga, Georgetown, Fortaleza, Rosario and Chengdu. New Hard Rock Hotel, Casino or Hotel & Casino projects include Berlin, Budapest, Dublin, London, Los Cabos, Madrid, Maldives, New York City, Ottawa, Sacramento, Dalian and Haikou in China. In 2018, Hard Rock International was recognized as a Forbes Magazine Top Employer for Women and Land Operator of the Year at the Global Gaming Awards. For more information on Hard Rock International visit www.hardrock.com.

About Flip.to

Flip.to, the advocacy platform for hotels—Reach, inspire and convert an entirely new global audience of travelers every day with Flip.to.
Flip.to lets your guests introduce your hotel to the world, combining trust with massive reach and introducing your hotel to travelers just one degree away—warm leads who are the perfect fit.  Start building your ever-growing team of advocates who turn meaningful moments into measurable ROI, and instantly see the unmatched impact when you switch on this entirely new channel. http://flip.to

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Caribbean travelers-turned-storytellers inspire growth for a region

In a few short weeks we will be “wheels up” for Montego Bay, Jamaica to attend the annual Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association’s Caribbean Travel Marketplace.

CHTA has paired up with Flip.to to raise awareness for the entire region as part of ‘Rhythms of the Caribbean’ storyteller campaign, and the  impact has been remarkable, so far.

Not only that, but we’re working with properties of all shapes and sizes across the Caribbean, working together to make an impact from the regional level all the way down to the hotel.

To celebrate, we’re sharing some of our favorite storytellers from these outstanding travel brands throughout the islands to show how everyone from a locals to travelers are reaching and growing new audiences, netting incredible results each and every day.

Jamaica Inn – Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Jamaica Inn Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Matt joined his fellow travelers to help reach an audience of 55 thousand in just 3 months. These storytellers helped drive impact for Jamaica Inn, converting 3.2x higher than the average paid search campaign, a testament to the receptive warmth of the audience and quality demographic.

Pure Granada – Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique

Pure Granada — Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique

Destination marketers Pure Granada are winning over new travelers for Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique by switching on advocacy. In just the first 2 months, their storytellers have reached an audience of more than 200 thousand travelers worldwide, driving thousands of site visitors and warm leads for the destination.

El San Juan Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton – San Juan, Puerto Rico

El San Juan Hotel, Curio Collection by HiltonSan Juan, Puerto Rico

Lesley visited El San Juan Hotel for rejuvenation and relaxation. She and her fellow travelers placed the hotel at the center of their rich, authentic stories shared. Together, they introduced the hotel worldwide, helping earn over 600 warm leads in just 15 weeks—each who are being delivered authentic, personal conversations and nurtured for a future visit to this picturesque property.

The Crane – St. Philip, Barbados

The Crane – St. Philip, Barbados

The Crane is no stranger to success. They proved to be the perfect fit for George and his family, and memories like those shared have a lasting impact for their resort.

In only 15 weeks, travelers reached an audience of over 200 thousand, proven to be the warmest, most receptive audience for their resort by converting leads at over 3x the industry benchmark.

Thatch Caye Island Resort – Dangriga, Belize

Thatch Caye Island Resort – Dangriga, Belize

A peaceful moment captured during Steven’s stay at Thatch Caye Island Resort speaks volumes to the natural beauty that surrounds the property. He brought over 100 visitors back to the hotel’s site all on his own一tapping into new audiences previously out of reach. And he’s joining fellow travelers each and every day to reach new audiences for Thatch Caye.

Ladera Resort – Soufriere, Saint Lucia

Ladera Resort – Soufriere, Saint Lucia

Hana was awestruck by the beauty at Ladera Resort. Her favorite travel memory was shared to over 400 friends & relatives一fellow travelers with similar interests and buying habits, and the perfect demographic for their resort.

Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort – La Baie de Silence, Saint Lucia

Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort – La Baie de Silence, Saint Lucia

Sugar Beach’s staff made an incredible impression for Grant and his wife, going above and beyond for their stay.

So much so, it was an experience Grant was excited to share on to friends & family, and helped track impact for their hotel on top of it. Sugar Beach was introduced to thousands of his friends, with over 200 site visitors coming back to learn about the St. Lucia property, and 131 warm leads to friends just one degree away from Grant and showed interest in a future stay.

Copal Tree Lodge – Punta Gorda, Belize

Copal Tree Lodge – Punta Gorda, Belize

Cale joined other travelers-turned-storytellers when he shared his wonderfully exceeded expectations of Copal Tree Lodge. In just 3 months, over 36 thousand friends & relatives were personally introduced by someone they know and trust, resulting in hundreds of warm leads for this unique Belize property.

Santa Barbara Beach and Golf Resort Curaçao – Newport, Curaçao

Santa Barbara Beach and Golf Resort Curaçao – Newport, Curaçao

Suzanne captured a timeless memory to share for years to come with Santa Barbara Resort Curacao at the center of her experience. This compelling story matters the most to her friends & family and they drove impact for the property一over 1,500 site visits and 164 warm leads to Santa Barbara Resort Curacao一in the most authentic way possible.

Bay Gardens Resorts – Gros-Islet, Saint Lucia

Bay Gardens Resorts – Gros-Islet, Saint Lucia

Bay Gardens attentive hospitality inspired Kennedy to join other traveler-turned-storytellers in sharing their experiences at the resort. Together, they’re warmly introducing these exceptional properties to new audiences, in the most trusted way possible—all while getting more for every dollar they invest into marketing.

Couples Resorts Jamaica – Ocho Rios and Negril, Jamaica

Couples Resorts Jamaica – Ocho Rios and Negril, Jamaica

Susan has been making memories at Couples Resorts in Jamaica for over 10 years. She introduced her friends and family to their beachfront properties, leading to 32 warm introductions to like-minded travelers who showed interest in a romantic getaway of their own.

Casa de Campo Resort and Villas – La Romana, Dominican Republic

Casa de Campo Resort and Villas – La Romana, Dominican Republic

For Gordon and his family, time spent at Casa de Campo was one for the books. Along with other storytellers, they reached over 100 thousand new demographic一all just one degree away.


These are just a few of the storytellers helping net new audiences of travelers through Flip.to, each and every day.

Just can’t get enough? See more stories here, and if you’re heading to Jamaica—get in touch with us here!