News and press

Bookassist and virtual-zoom join forces to launch customer database management suite

By Editor | On Mon, July 04, 2016

​Bookassist and virtual-zoom Forge Deeper Links To Benefit Joint Customers

Marek Brabec, CEO of virtual-zoom and Jaromir Pazout, Operations Manager CZ for Bookassist
Marek Brabec, CEO of virtual-zoom and Jaromír Pažout, Country Manager Czech and Slovak Republics for Bookassist


July 4, Dublin and Prague

Dublin-based leading hotel digital strategy company Bookassist (bookassist.com) and Prague-based online services firm virtual-zoom (virtual-zoom.cz) have announced a strategic alliance in the area of customer database and newsletter management to bring an enhanced and tailored version of virtual-zoom’s “zoom-letter” customer relationship management suite to the market.

The new product allows hotels to tap into their entire property management system (PMS) database of customers for automation and optimisation of pre-/post-stay communication and upselling opportunities as well as ongoing newsletter and targeted communication. Online check-in and customer abandonment profiling are just some of the advanced features available.

Available in Standard , Business and Professional levels at just €99, €149 and €299 per month, the product is available from today beginning in the Czech and Slovak markets and will be rolled out to all Bookassist markets in the coming months.

“Consistently good customer communication is a critical task that many hotels need real help with. To work well, it requires automation and analysis, and this is exactly what zoom-letter brings”, said Dr Des O’Mahony, CEO and co-founder at Bookassist. “We have an exciting roadmap for the joint product and expect to see continual enhancement of technology integration and features throughout 2016 and 2017.”

Bookassist and virtual-zoom are building on their strong relationship as long-term collaborators in the Czech market. “Over 60 hotels are already joint customers of both companies’ services with virtual-zoom’s web design and Bookassist’s direct booking technology”, according to Ing. Marek Brabec, CEO at virtual-zoom. “We both understand our customers’ needs well and this product is a natural extension of our partnership.”

zoom-letter

Untapped Potential

According to Ing. Jaromír Pažout, Country Manager at Bookassist for Czech and Slovak Republics, “there is so much untapped potential in optimised customer communication that hotels are missing out on. This joint venture will really help our customers convert more of that potential to real profit”.

With zoom-letter, Bookassist and virtual-zoom are developing more technology integrations to specifically bring ease of use to hotels using Bookassist’s Booking Engine. The software features highly-customisable email templates with drag-and-drop dynamic links to the hotel’s Bookassist Booking Engine packages.

Available now as a software-as-a-service platform, Bookassist will also shortly be offering a fully-managed service enhancement to the Business and Professional levels for hotels who do not have the in-house resources to manage, track and optimise their communications.

For further information on zoom-letter, see zoom-letter.com or contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

zoom-letter is just one service that Bookassist is co-developing to extend its core suite of Booking Engine, Digital Marketing, Web Design and Distribution Management. The company has also recently launched a rate management solution under co-development with RateWise.

Bookassist Core Suite

About Bookassist

Bookassist® develops and manages award-winning digital strategies for hotels to help them drive direct bookings and improve their profitability while reducing dependence on third parties. With over 100 staff at offices in Dublin, Paris, Madrid, Rome, Vienna, Munich and Prague, the company is a three-times winner of the World’s Leading Booking Engine Technology award.

About virtual-zoom

virtual-zoom ® is a web developer focused on the hotel market delivering internet services and e-commerce capabilities. The company develops new web presence and e-commerce solutions for a large number of hotels especially in Prague and other parts of the Czech Republic, as well as in Slovakia and Austria.


Bookassist And RateWise Form Strategic Alliance On Revenue Management To Help Hotels Win Back Profit

By Editor | On Wed, June 08, 2016

June 8, Dublin

Dublin-based leading hotel digital strategy company Bookassist (bookassist.com) has announced a strategic alliance with Dublin-based rate management technology company RateWise (rate-wise.com) to combine both companies’ rate management and smart distribution management technologies for hotels under a shared vision of giving hotels the best tools in the market to maximise profit per room.

The newly-enhanced RateWise Rate Management System (RMS) directly controls rate feeds to both the Bookassist Booking Engine and Bookassist Distribution Manager to allow for dynamic rate changes in a hotel’s distribution based on changes in availability, lead time, length of stay, distribution channel and other criteria. Bookassist and RateWise will now jointly bring the service to all existing Bookassist markets.

“Managing rate in such a dynamic marketplace has become increasingly difficult”, said Dr Des O’Mahony, CEO and co-founder at Bookassist. “Hotels are losing profit opportunity every day by not being able to continually optimise the rate they sell at across all their distribution channels. With this strategic alliance, combining our technology vision, we intend to solve that problem.”

“With RateWise, a hotel can dramatically reduce staff time and effort in the process of rate management”, according to Niall O’Meara, CEO at RateWise. “The rate strategy provided by RateWise is fully customised to each hotel based on current and historical sales patterns from the hotel’s property management system. With Bookassist integration we can now also dynamically push those rate strategies online to manage rate 24/7/365.”

RateWise RMS is a cloud-based Rate Management System for hotels that calculates optimised room rates to ensure higher room sales at the best achievable rates. Every recommended rate is realistic and instantly traceable back to the property’s own rate rules and overrides.

Through full integration with Bookassist systems, RateWise will help hotels optimise their rate not just for the short lead-in times that hotels typically concentrate on, but also for the increasingly problematic long lead-in times.

The rate strategy developed is of course equally applicable offline and brings profit improvement across all of a hotel’s room sales.


Having better control of rate has become a key topic for independent hotels, especially as online travel agents increasingly push for more and more inventory to sell for future dates, dates that hotels may not have the time to properly optimize. Bookassist has long focused on helping hotels maximize their profit, and has published two recent articles highlighting the dangers for hotels in not acting: “Why you need smarter rate/profit management” (http://bookassist.org/blog/post/you-need-smarter-rate-profit-management/en/) and “Hotels must act to avoid profit erosion” (http://bookassist.org/blog/post/hotels-must-act-to-avoid-profit-erosion/en/)

For further details, see Bookassist RateWise Rate Manager

Bookassist® develops and manages award-winning digital strategies for hotels to help them drive direct bookings and improve their profitability while reducing dependence on third parties. With over 100 staff at offices in Dublin, Paris, Madrid, Rome, Vienna, Munich and Prague, the company is a three-times winner of the World’s Leading Booking Engine Technology award.

RateWise provides systems and consultancy to hotels with particular focus on the area of yield management, driving increased ADR and occupancy while minimising the hands-on time needed by a hotel to manage their rates. Formed in 2007, with offices in Ireland, Australia, Moldova and The Philippines, RateWise has a client base throughout Europe, Asia and Australia.

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Arcotel Hotels launches new Bookassist-developed website to drive more direct booking

By Editor | On Wed, May 18, 2016

Arcotel Hotels, the Vienna-based hotel group with hotels in Austria, Germany and Croatia, has launched their comprehensive new website today at http://www.arcotelhotels.com/.

The website has been developed with Arcotel Hotels’ longtime online strategy partner Bookassist. The Bookassist web design team has worked with Arcotel Hotels over the recent months to produce a tailored web structure with over 2300 pages of information in 3 languages, easily managed via a customised content management system.

Apart from bringing a fresh and modern responsive design, special emphasis was placed on imagery with a photo slideshow highlighting the individuality of each Arcotel Hotel. The website is the key focus of the hotel company’s drive to build an even stronger direct-booking business online.


Google Ad overhaul showing no real CPC change

By Des O'Mahony | On Thu, March 24, 2016

Google changed its search engine results page (SERP) display in February, opting to remove the advert strip that used to appear on the right hand side of the SERP in favour of top-down adverts only. The change immediately resulted in less ad impressions per result page, but the concern was that with less positions, biddings would rise and click throughs would fall. It now appears those concerns were unfounded.

At Bookassist the Digital Marketing team have been monitoring this on behalf of Bookassist client hotels and have seen no appreciable change in advertising cost (Cost Per Click). In fact, Search Engine Land reports the same findings, and also reports that click-through rates have actually improved for the same traffic.

For more details on this, see Search Engine Land http://searchengineland.com/googles-right-side-adpocalypse-really-happened-data-245011


Bookassist CEO to talk at ITB 2016

By Editor | On Thu, February 04, 2016

Bookassist CEO, Dr Des O’Mahony has been invited to speak at ITB 2016.

ITB, the world’s largest tourism trade fair takes place in Berlin from March 9th to 13th.

Dr O’Mahony will advise hotels on the growth in online opportunity and show them how to grow their margin per booking by positioning themselves online to reach their customer directly. He will demonstrate how failure to manage the balance between direct-won business and online-travel- agent (OTA) distribution is a major threat to profitability.

You can attend his talk “What the changing distribution landscape means for hotels” on March 11th at 3.30pm, in Hall 6.1

As the European leader in hotel direct booking strategy and triple-winner of the World’s Leading Booking Engine Technology award, we are sharply focused on the direct booking space. It is an honour to take the stage at ITB to share our knowledge with hotels.

Des O’Mahony, CEO, Bookassist

The Bookassist team from our offices in Dublin, Madrid, Rome, Prague, Paris, Prague, Vienna and Munich will be on hand to meet with you at our Stand in hall 8.1.

Contact us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to arrange an appointment to discuss how Bookassist can help you to drive more direct bookings.


Sink Or Swim event urges hotels to invest

By Editor | On Thu, January 21, 2016

There is a sea of opportunity out there for hotels to increase profit according to Bookassist, triple-winner of the World’s Leading Booking Engine Technology award. The company hosted the aptly-named “Sink or Swim” conference on Distribution and Revenue Management at Dublin’s Intercontinental Hotel on Tuesday January 19th

Leading international experts on hospitality distribution and revenue management took to the stage to advise Irish hotels of the growth in online opportunity while warning of the major threat of erosion of profit if they don’t take action to redress the balance between their direct-won business and online-travel-agent (OTA) distribution.

Complacency

Changes in rate parity laws, the evolution of metasearch and the availability of price comparison widgets have all enabled hotels to improve direct customer conversion and reduce dependence on third party OTAs. As a counter-measure, some OTAs are increasingly taking their fight to the direct space by offering web, revenue management and booking platform solutions for hotels’ own websites.

Despite the rapid changes taking place, Dr Peter O’Connor, professor of information systems at Essec Business School France pointed out that Irish hotels are spending “probably one twentieth of what they should be spending” on marketing and web presence in order to take control of their own customers and customer data. The complacency could be fatal as profit increasingly shifts to OTAs.

New Mindset Needed

The challenge for hotels, said Bookassist CEO, Dr Des O’Mahony, is one of changing mindset. Financial controllers in hospitality need to change the way they look at their budget processes and consider spend on a cost per acquisition versus return basis as opposed to a pre-defined budgetary expense.

Over one hundred and twenty Irish hotel professionals packed the venue at the Intercontinental Hotel Dublin, evidence of the increased desire for real guidance in navigating the seas of complex change.

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Bookassist® partners with hotels to build their brand online, drive direct business to their branded website, capture bookings with world class booking technology, help them optimise their online distribution and ensure they grow their profit per booking.

Headquartered in Dublin, the company was founded in 1999 and has offices in Paris, Madrid, Rome, Vienna, Prague and Munich, with partners in USA and the Middle East.


Sink Or Swim! Bookassist Distribution and Revenue Management Seminar

By Editor | On Fri, January 08, 2016


Bookassist hosts its annual seminar and get together for Ireland at the Intercontinental Hotel Dublin on Tuesday January 19th next at 1pm. The seminar speakers will review the fast-paced developments of 2015 in the travel space and point out the areas that need strong focus for 2016, helping attendees understand how to optimise hotel results in a sea of technological change and complexity.

Speakers include Bookassist’s Des O’Mahony and Yahya Fetchati, as well as Brendan May of Snapshot and Peter O’Connor of Essec Business School France, a well known author and speaker on hotel distribution issues.

For more info, see: http://bookassist.org/events/event/distribution-revenue-management-seminar-dublin/en/


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