FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 22, 1996
INFOTRAVEL, BELL ATLANTIC'S INTERACTIVE VIDEO GUIDE SERVICE
FOR HOTEL GUESTS, TAKES OFF IN CHICAGO
Carson's Restaurant, Backroom for Jazz, Sears Tower and Wally Findlay
Galleries Among the First Businesses to Sign-up
CHICAGO - Twenty-five Chicago businesses, ranging from
Restaurant and the Backroom for Jazz to the Sears Tower and Wally
Findlay Galleries, have contracted to be part of the Bell Atlantic®
InfoTravel® service. InfoTravel, a TV-based interactive video guide
service that reaches hotel guests in their rooms, will be operational
January 1997 in 10 Chicago hotels, totaling 6,850 guest rooms.
"The niche travel market has been extremely hard to target with
traditional forms of media," said Jan Berghoff, of the Berghoff
Restaurant, located in downtown Chicago. "InfoTravel is a virtual TV
ad that is available 24-hours a day, in each guest's hotel room. What
could be better?"
InfoTravel, also available in Washington, D.C., since mid-1995, is
advertiser supported and is free to the user and the hotel. Using
their hotel room TV and remote control, hotel guests can choose
restaurants, check out entertainment options, locate the nearest
shopping area, and connect to advertisers via their hotel room phone.
The system also supports customized maps and coupons that can be
printed for pick up at the hotel's front desk.
"We are very excited about the reception we are receiving in
Chicago," said Dana Able, market manager, Bell Atlantic Electronic
Publishing. "In fact, we are currently working with approximately 50
other advertisers who are in the decision making process."
sales began in June after the service was officially announced at a
news conference at the Wrigley Building.
InfoTravel integrates digital text, audio, and graphics and enables
the user to interact with the system at their own pace. InfoTravel's
main categories include Things to See and Do, Places to Eat, Shopping
and Services and Getting Around.
"Usage statistics from D.C. prove that hotel guests are using
InfoTravel to discover area businesses. We expect the same success in
Chicago," said Richard Sloop, sales and marketing manager, Bell
Atlantic Electronic Publishing. During its first year of operation,
guests at the participating D.C. area hotels viewed a total of 1.3
million advertisements. On average, each user viewed approximately
nine ads per session and spent 27 seconds on each of the 30 second
InfoTravel is currently being offered in 15, 30 and 45-second time
slots. Advertisers receive quarterly usage reports that track times
and dates ads are viewed, frequency that maps and coupons are printed
and the number of direct telephone connections made to their place of
InfoTravel operates on the On Command Video hotel-based TV service.
On Command Video Corp. is based in Santa Clara, Calif., and its
parent, ASCENT Entertainment Group, Inc., (NASDAQ:GOAL) headquartered
InfoTravel is offered by Bell Atlantic Electronic Publishing Inc.,
part of the directory services group of the Bell Atlantic Corporation.
Bell Atlantic Electronic Publishing and Bell Atlantic Directory
Services are headquartered in Bethesda, Md.
Bell Atlantic Corporation
(NYSE:BEL) is at the forefront of the
new communications, entertainment and information industry. In the
mid-Atlantic region, the company is the premier provider of local
telecommunications and advanced services. Globally, it is one of the
largest investors in the high-growth wireless communication
marketplace. Bell Atlantic also owns a substantial interest in
Telecom Corporation in New Zealand and is actively developing
high-growth national and international business opportunities in all
phases of the industry.
- Stephanie Hobbs (301) 493-3134