Waikiki, Honolulu, Hawaii—The Sheraton Waikiki and Sheraton Princess Kaiulani are the first two Starwood hotels in Hawaii to feature “responsive” web designs in the Japanese language. PRTech launched the responsive websites, along with mobile, multilingual reservations booking systems, in August and September of 2013, respectively.
Responsive web design is structured to optimize website viewing regardless of the device—mobile, tablet, or desktop—to fit the width and height so they are user friendly and easy to navigate.
The websites were redesigned to meet the demand of a dramatic increase in Asian International Travelers using mobile devices to search online for travel information. Research shows that mobile traffic in 2013 doubled compared to 2012.
“Starwood is catering to these mobile users now,” said Yuko Akiba, Client Services Manager/Web Developer.
The hotels’ Chinese (simplified) websites also will be responsive when completed later this year. In addition, PRTech will launch a responsive version of MyRez, its multilingual, online reservations booking engine that is customized for hotels and integrated with their Asian language websites. Currently, there are mobile and PC versions of MyRez.
“The beauty of using responsive design is not only that it shows better across platforms, but that content only has to be updated once, rather than on a mobile and PC version,” said Akiba.
While both responsive and non-responsive designs include the exact same content, the layouts are different. The PC website interface allows expansive views of the property, showcasing beaches, rooms, and dining facilities, while the mobile version, in vertical format, displays less imagery, yet all the same copy, booking widgets, banners and other content.
“All of our Asian language websites will be responsive in the future, especially for the Asian International Traveler market, where there is more reliance on using mobile devices while on trains and subways,” said Akiba.