FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 4, 1996
New Usage Figures Show One Million Mark Reached
WASHINGTON- Bell Atlantic today is celebrating a successful first year of InfoTravel(tm), the interactive TV-based travel guide service now available in 5,100 hotel rooms in Washington, D.C., with an additional 1,000 rooms coming online in July.
Robert A. Graham, president of Bell Atlantic Directory Services, and James Earl Jones, actor and Bell Atlantic spokesperson, will honor InfoTravel advertisers and participating hotel representatives in a reception this evening at The Library of Congress.
"The impressive usage statistics, the increased advertiser content and the addition of participating hotels in the last year are a strong testimonial to the success of the service in Washington, D.C.," said Graham. "Based on this success, Bell Atlantic will expand InfoTravel to Chicago later this year."
Guests in the participating hotels used InfoTravel 112,801 times to view 1,028,039 advertisements during the first 10 months of the service. "Nightlife" and "Things to See and Do" continue to be the most popular categories with 29 percent and 27 percent of all advertisements viewed, respectively. On April 21, 1996, InfoTravel eclipsed the one million mark for total views. The usage figures were compiled by MarketWyse, an independent market research firm located in Cleveland, Ohio.
Since its Washington debut last June, InfoTravel has realized a 37 percent increase in advertisers and a 65 percent renewal rate from existing advertisers. The number of participating hotels has grown from seven to 13.
"The market has defined the product," said Brent Grimes, marketmanager for Bell Atlantic Electronic Publishing. "System enhancements, the sign-up of national advertisers like Saks Fifth Avenue and Cartier, and the expansion to Chicago has helped to develop InfoTravel into a viable, commercial reality."
InfoTravel, which is advertiser supported and free to the user and the hotel, is a multimedia guide for business and leisure travelers that operates in conjunction with the On Command Video hotel-based TV service. InfoTravel's directory menu includes Places To Eat, Things to See and Do, Services & Getting Around, Nightlife and Shopping. Hotel guests can use the service to call advertisers, print maps and coupons, and obtain community and theater information through features like the Sports and Entertainment Calendar of Events.
The expansion of InfoTravel to Chicago was announced at a news conference on June 3. Nine Chicago-based hotels already have agreed to carry InfoTravel beginning in late 1996.
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.
Young & Associates, at 301-309-9404, can provide a complete list of InfoTravel hotels, advertisers and usage figures.
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 of New Zealand and is actively developing high-growth national and international business opportunities in all phases of the industry.