The multimillion-dollar contract will create a bank of more than 100,000 still images and virtual tours. PhotoWeb says it is "the most ambitious global photographic assignment ever undertaken within the hotel industry."
The 18-month project will be completed by the end of 2010 and includes InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites and Candlewood Suites.
With hotel research and booking now done almost entirely on the Web, the impetus for this unprecedented investment came from research carried out by IHG which showed that high-quality photography had a strong positive impact on booking levels.
"Our research has shown that professional, high quality images improve our brand perception and online sales, especially if the images are consistent across all of the properties" said Steve Sickel, IHG senior vice president of distribution and relationship marketing.
"People expect to be able to make informed comparisons and decisions online, so the most important thing for our potential guests is to be able to see accurate, realistic and high-quality photographs of our rooms and facilities, including virtual tours," Sickel adds.
Each of the participating IHG hotels will receive a package of 33 images, including both still photos, and 360-degree virtual tours images which rotate slowly on their own, together with a zoom facility.--Tanya Irwin