Groople Upgrades Online Group-Booking Service

Denver -- Groople has upgraded its online service for group hotel reservations with a handful of new features, including group bookings for vacation rental properties.

The vacation property rental service, announced today, can especially help meeting planners who are looking for incentive venues.

"Vacation rentals are a perfect fit with group travel," said Groople chief executive Mike Stacy. "The lodgings provide a completely different experience than a typical hotel and offer multi-bedroom configurations that are a tremendous value for groups."

The service, through a partnership with LeisureLink, allows planners to search online for some 600 condominium developments and timeshare resorts combined located throughout North America, including Mexico and the Caribbean, according to Steve Reich, LeisureLink's senior vice president of sales and marketing. Reich said the properties are generally geared for groups of up to 200 people.

Groople has also added a social networking service, by which meeting participants can discuss travel and lodging arrangements on a dedicated website prior to any final decision.

In addition, the company has added a new feature that allows planners to specify the amenities of hotels that are listed in search results. The 30 amenities from which planners can choose vary widely, ranging from Internet access to fitness centers to golf and even whether pets are allowed.

Groople said its booking engine, at www.groople.com, provides group-booking capability for more than 60,000 hotels globally.