News and press

Bookassist-Google Summit Shares Vision of Excellence

By Claire Sawier | On Tue, April 04, 2017

Bookassist and Google are once again joining forces to host a Digital Summit for hoteliers. The summit follows a hugely successful first summit in November of 2016 which attracted over 80 hoteliers from Ireland, Italy, France, Spain, Czech Republic and Iceland.

Hoteliers from across Europe are invited to Google HQ in Dublin on April 24th where Bookassist and Google will share their vision of excellence.

The Summit (#BookassistSummit) will provide an insight into what excellence looks like from a digital point of view, with experts from Bookassist and Google advising hotels on the things they need to consider and the steps they need to take to on their journey towards excellence.

“Our partnership with Google is bringing the best help there is to assist hotels on their journey to excellence and we know from our first summit that hotels value the advice from the Bookassist-Google partnership ” said Des O’Mahony, CEO at Bookassist.

Bookassist will showcase their Direct Booking Health Clinic strategy tool allowing hotels to benchmark their hotel’s online strategy against hotels with proven success at driving direct business.

Hotels that register before April 14th will receive their personalised Direct Booking Health Score™ at the start of the event. The personalised score will address the unique and individual challenges they face in building their direct business. The event will then focus on some key actions they can implement to improve their score.

A panel of hoteliers, each at a different stage of their journey to excellence will share their own experiences, challenges and rewards along the way.

Google will also address Bookassist client hotels at conferences in Prague and Madrid later in May.

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

Reach your full potential online and capitalise on extra profit!


Bookassist Presents at Hospitality and Tourism Forums in France

By Editor | On Wed, March 22, 2017

The Direct Booking Expert Bookassist was invited by Enterprise Ireland to speak at Hospitality and Tourism Knowledge Forums in Nice and Cannes on March 16th and 17th.

Bookassist was joined by Irish companies Fexco, B-Sm@rk and Castlebrook for a high level international discussion with local hospitality and tourism professionals.

Addressing delegates at the Cannes forum, Minister Leo Varadkar spoke of the position Ireland holds as a leading innovator for technologies in the travel Industry. He also referred to the opportunities that exist between Irish companies and local companies, encouraging mutually beneficial exchange and collaboration.

A business lunch hosted by Cannes in the presence of Minister Leo Varadkar and Her Excellency Ambassador Ms Geraldine Byrne Nason concluded the high profile event.

Commenting on the event Des O’Mahony, CEO Bookassist said, “Our strong relationship with Enterprise Ireland and presence at key industry events demonstrates the position Bookassist holds as a leader in the travel industry. We will continue to strengthen our ties in the French market by building on relationships, focusing on innovation and investing in our people.”

Enterprise Ireland France (second from left) with Nawfel Koundi (far right) and others at the Hospitality and Travel Industry Knowledge Forum in France
Alix Derigny, Enterprise Ireland France (second from left) with Nawfel Koundi, Bookassist (far right) and others
at the Hospitality and Travel Industry Knowledge Forum in France

Bookassist Launches Price Calendar For Booking Engine At ITB Berlin

By Editor | On Wed, March 08, 2017

Berlin, March 8

The Direct Booking Expert™ Bookassist® (bookassist.com) has today launched an entirely new approach to online booking for hotel websites at the ITB travel and technology exhibition in Berlin.

Following a significant technology upgrade to the company’s Booking Engine software platform in early January this year, this latest addition provides a hotel’s online customers with a new interactive and highly dynamic view of room types and rates for up to 24 months in the future. The new dynamic Price Calendar functionality presents an alternative interface for customers who wish to quickly browse rates and special offers and locate the best deals.

Price grid is a highly dynamic user interface optimised for touch
Price Calendar is a highly dynamic user interface, highly optimised for touch interfaces


“Price Calendar is a highly interactive user experience, and fun to use”, according to Bookassist CEO and Founder, Des O’Mahony. “It provides a real alternative view for users who are flexible with their dates, or who find that there is no availability for their chosen dates.”

That alternative view gives hotels an additional opportunity to convert online lookers to bookers, or to encourage up-selling to potentially higher-value packages and specials. Price Calendar has also been shown to keep potential customers browsing on-site for far longer than the typical booking process, improving conversion and allowing hotels more time to “message” potential guests regarding special offers.

Unlike competitor approaches that struggle with loading and reloading data and frustrate the user with delays, Bookassist’s Price Calendar is built with the latest dynamic user-interface technologies, allowing up to 2 years of dates to be instantly and effortlessly shown for each and every room type without further data loading. The interface is fully touch-aware, with the flick of a finger navigating smoothly across months of prices, with clear highlighting of the best value offers. A few simple clicks or taps converts a choice into a booking.

Price Calendar begins roll out this month to existing Bookassist Booking Engine clients. It will be offered as an additional parallel view to the standard booking process for bookers who have flexibility on dates. Price Calendar will also be offered as an automatic alternative when the booker’s originally chosen dates in the standard booking process result in no availability.

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Bookassist® is The Direct Booking Expert™. The company 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.


Direct Booking Health Score brings industry benchmarking to your hotel’s direct business

By Editor | On Wed, March 01, 2017

​Bookassist is on a quest to shake and wake hoteliers up to the dormant profit potential that awaits them if they realise their full online direct potential.

Bookassist’s new Direct Booking Health Clinic, launching at ITB Berlin on March 8th, allows hotels to benchmark their hotel’s online strategy against the highest industry standards. The full series of checks results in an overall personalised Direct Booking Health Score™ for each hotel that addresses the unique and individual challenges they face in building their direct business and driving stronger profit.


The Direct Booking Health Clinic was born out of countless meetings with hotels across Europe over the last number of months to analyse the complex issues hotels are facing online today. What is clear is that hotels have to attend to many things in order to optimise their direct route, but it’s also clear that they risk wasting time and money if these tasks are not actioned properly and given proper priority.

Bookassist has constructed the Direct Booking Health Score™ to address those issues and help hotels fine tune their approach to direct business to ensure optimum results. Hotels already know that they should focus on direct and have seen the chains fight back against OTA dominance to woo the customer directly. But understanding where to start and what should be given priority can be difficult. What happens if you optimise certain things but not others? Will it be worth your while putting the effort in? How does it impact on your revenue and profitability? These are the questions Bookassist’s Direct Booking Health Clinic answers for you, practically and in detail.

Bookassist’s Google Premium Partner-qualified expert conversion team conduct critical tests to provide hotels with their overall Direct Booking Health Score™. They scientifically assess a hotel’s digital marketing strategy, search engine positioning, web and mobile design standards, on-site conversion potential and booking engine optimisation and compare with industry best practice.

The clinic analysis presents the issues, good and bad, in such a way that the hotel can immediately “see” the state of their online Direct Booking Health, and can appreciate the things that need their attention and the things that need priority. Bookassist’s conversion experts advise on ways in which hotels can measurably improve and present practical steps that hotels can take to better their own unique situation.

Hotels can gain inspiration from some real-life examples of their peers who are reaping the rewards of having higher scores.

Bookassist will be showcasing the strategy tool at an upcoming event in Google HQ in Dublin and will be running regular clinics throughout the year to help hotels make a real difference to their direct business.

You can book an appointment for a Direct Booking Health Clinic session to get your hotel’s personalised Direct Booking Health Score™


Bookassist at ITB Berlin 2017 showcasing Direct Booking Clinic and Product Launch

By Editor | On Mon, February 06, 2017

Visit Bookassist in Hall 8.1


Bookassist will again be exhibiting, for the seventh year, at this year’s ITB travel show in Berlin. The “World’s Leading Travel Trade Show” takes place from Wednesday March 8 to Sunday March 12 at Berlin’s Messe exhibition centre.


Bookassist is located in the main technology section at hall 8, section 8.1, stand 108. Bookassist staff representing Ireland, France, Spain, Italy, Austria, Germany and Czech Republic will be on hand for demonstrations and queries.

Book an ITB appointment with Bookassist

Reserve Your Direct Booking Clinic Session

How well is your hotel positioned for direct business? Bookassist’s Direct Booking Clinic sessions will operate for the duration of the trade show, allowing hotels to benchmark their online strategy against the highest industry standards. Our expert conversion team will conduct some critical tests to provide you with an overall Direct Booking Health Score™. They will fully assess your hotel’s digital marketing strategy, search engine positioning, web design standards, website conversion potential and booking engine optimisation, as well as providing best practice examples.


“We believe that our Direct Booking Clinic will prove invaluable in showing hotels the practical steps to significantly improving their online conversion. And that means better profit generation”, said Claire Sawier, Head of Marketing at Bookassist.

Book your ITB Clinic Session

Booking Engine Technology Launch

Following on from the recent launch of the new Booking Engine 2017 platform, Bookassist will be making an exciting additional Booking Engine technology announcement at ITB, showcasing an innovative new approach to booking online.

Details will be announced at the show on March 8th. Stay tuned!


Bookassist Paris Seminar Highlights Acquisition Opportunities

By Editor | On Mon, January 30, 2017

​Paris, January 26

Bookassist held its annual seminar for the French market at the Irish Embassy on Avenue Foch on January 26th followed by a client reception. The seminar was introduced by Her Excellency Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason and featured presenters from Bookassist and from Google.

France has seen tumultuous times recently, with 2015 and 2016 very challenging years for the accommodation sector. In recent months there are signs that visitor numbers are returning, though average daily rate (ADR) remains low and will take some time to recover. Against this backdrop, Bookassist focused on showing hotels how to make the most of traffic generation and conversion on their own websites and mobile platforms, so that direct bookings could generate higher profit and release much needed capital.

“Customers that do arrive on a hotel’s website need to be treated like gold dust”, said Dr Des O’Mahony, CEO & Founder at Bookassist. “Hotels must do absolutely everything in their power to ensure that those hard-won visitors to their sites convert at as high a rate as possible. Websites are not a hobby, and need far more attention from hotels.”

The seminar outlined the steps in successful customer acquisition, starting with rate and availability strategy, following on with practical examples in on-site conversion strategy and finishing with traffic capture strategies.

Bookassist also showcased its new booking engine technology designed to convert at higher rates.

A significant debate between hoteliers focused on the growing threat from online travel agents and the need for hotels to educate the traveling public that booking direct with hotels was really in the traveler’s best interest.

According to Dr O’Mahony, “Clearly there’s nothing wrong with the hotel product itself, people really want to stay. The issue for hotels is how those guests are purchasing the product, and why it happens through online travel agents rather than directly. The message that hotels send the public needs to be upped significantly in this regard.”

Bookassist's Stefan Pinheiro With presents on search optimisation
Bookassist’s Stefan Pinheiro With presents on search optimisation

Google's Cedric Kachanar talks search path optimisation
Bookassist Operations Manager for France, Carlos Rentero, discusses revenue management

Google's Cedric Kachanar talks search path optimisation
Google’s Cedric Kachanar talks search path optimisation

Bookassist Announces New Hotel Booking Engine Architecture For 2017

By Editor | On Mon, January 09, 2017

​Dublin, January 9

Bookassist has today announced a major upgrade to its world-leading Booking Engine technology, the first phase in a series of changes due in 2017.

Following consultation with online customers and with hotel clients, the upgrade has focused on key usability areas for online customers, allowing people to absorb information more quickly and therefore improve potential conversion. Filtering of information, by being able to set the number of rooms required for example, allows online customers to focus more quickly on what matters to them. Stronger flexibility in visual layout has also been introduced to allow the Booking Engine to fit more seamlessly into any hotel website, bringing more clarity and more confidence for the booker.

“The first steps are the time-consuming ones, since you have to ensure backwards compatibility for thousands of clients and we spent a lot of 2016 on behind-the-scenes work”, said Dr Des O’Mahony, CEO and Founder at Bookassist.

“This release is very much Phase 1 of the new architecture, but there is a lot more to come. New features and alternative routes to booking will be introduced quickly on this platform to allow hotels have much more flexibility in the way their customers interact with their product offerings as well as allowing completely different ways of purchasing. We will soon release a best-of-breed interactive pricing grid for example, to give cutting-edge user experience when browsing resort and leisure properties”.

Booking Engine selection page with features as below

The Bookassist Booking Engine continues to prioritise conversion in order to drive hotels’ profitability with improved direct bookings, with customer-focused features including:

  1. Over 20 currency and over 20 language options, including right-to-left languages;
  2. Option to allow selection of number of rooms, as well as occupants, to focus results;
  3. Voucher and promo code entry;
  4. Dynamic discounts based on arrival and length of stay;
  5. Larger image thumbnails and full image gallery per room;
  6. Dynamic room pricing based on occupancy, child age and date;
  7. Customer can choose from multiple room variations, payment options;
  8. Configurable special offers bar to focus customers on specific offers.
Room configuration with dynamic pricing based on mealplans, child ages

Room configuration with dynamic pricing reflecting adult/children occupancy, as well as dynamically priced mealplans (as shown), are also a feature that online customers rate highly.

While fully functional as a stand-alone product embedded in any hotel website, Bookassist’s Booking Engine gains even more advanced features when combined with the company’s Smart CMS web design product, allowing Booking Engine information to be used dynamically throughout a hotel’s Smart CMS website.

The Booking Engine 2017 upgrade will be rolled out on a phased basis to Bookassist clients in all countries starting January 16th.

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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.


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