News and press

Customer Acquisition Online at Evolve2016 Direct Booking Conference

By Editor | On Mon, November 21, 2016

​Bookassist CEO Des O’Mahony discusses aspects of Customer Acquisition Online for independent hotels at the Evolve2016 Direct Booking Conference organised by Failte Ireland at the Croke Park Conference Centre in early November.


Bookassist-Google Summit Highlights Opportunity For Direct Booking Growth

By Des O'Mahony | On Wed, November 16, 2016


Bookassist and Google held their first joint Digital Summit for hoteliers on November 15 to address the issue of optimising digital presence for hotels in the drive to improve retained profit from online business. The Summit was held at Google HQ in central Dublin with over 80 hoteliers and industry professionals in attendance from Ireland, Italy, France, Spain, Czech Republic and Iceland.

According to Philip Coyle, Agency Strategy Lead in Ireland for Google, “We have an excellent relationship with Bookassist here on Team Ireland and have seen some great progress in 2016. It is clear they are held in the highest regard by their customers, the turnout and engagement for the first summit was excellent.”

“There is a real need for hotels to change their mindset in today’s digital world. It’s moving so quickly that hotels really need strong agency help to navigate the complexity. Our partnership with Google is bringing the best help there is to optimise online spend and attract qualified customers”, said Des O’Mahony, CEO at Bookassist.


The Summit (Twitter hashtag #BookassistSummit) tackled online strategy, cost of acquisition optimisation, and practical help in what to do to tap into the modern customer journey - from advertising right through to website conversion. A key point that hoteliers have clearly realised is that there is a need to focus their spend more on their own brand-based digital advertising, while reducing their overall acquisition cost by diverting business from high-commission third party channels to their own high-profit website/mobile channel.

A series of presentations by Bookassist and Google teased out a number of strategic steps that hotels need to take. Live surveys of the hoteliers present indicated strong acceptance of the message that they need to take stronger control of their digital presence through increased spending on digital marketing:


Hoteliers also clearly indicated their preference to shift the balance away from, in particular, online travel agents (OTAs) and towards the direct-to-website channel where overall acquisition cost remains lower:


The Summit concluded with an insightful panel discussion on the practical changes that hoteliers have made in their business this year in order to redress the balance between direct and third party business. In a high-occupancy market, revenue is proving not to be an issue but retained profit is problematic unless hotels can shift business away from high-cost third parties and back to their higher profit direct channel. The Summit addressed the practical steps needed to achieve that, and the hoteliers present clearly valued the advice from the Bookassist-Google partnership by rating the overall event very highly.



See related discussion by Bookassist:

Bookassist is a Certified Google Partner.


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, 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.


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