News and press

17 years ago today, Bookassist received its first booking

By Des O'Mahony | On Fri, August 11, 2017

Celebration

​ Time moves fast, and so relentlessly.

In late 1999, a small group of us set about building an online booking system for hotels. Our vision was to allow hotels to directly reach their guests online. We knew the guests were there, willing and able. But we also knew hotels back then had a pitiful online presence and little understanding of the potential and how to seize it.

By mid 2000, we had built a solid V1.0 of our booking platform. And in the meantime we had even signed a handful of hotels to this new concept of what they could do online. On August 8, 2000, we went “live” and we waited for the bookings to flow in.

And waited.

We began to think the system wasn’t working. Or that our predictions of online business were wrong.

Then the ping of email on August 11 was cause for celebration, and relief. The newly-live Bookassist booking system had received its first ever hotel booking. Our first guest, let’s call him “Dr D”, booked a Dublin hotel online, to arrive on August 19 for two nights. (Certain details are now removed due to GDPR!)

August 11, 2000

guest Dr D Sxxxxxxx, Sxxxxxxx_00-8-19_9, booked: Aug 11, 2000. 23:30,

arrives 19-8-2000 departs 21-8-2000

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We’ve come a long way since Reservation #1. Surpassing one million reservations for Irish hotels alone just a short few years later, and soon even more in UK, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria, Germany Czech Republic, the Gulf States, USA and further afield.

Helping hotels reach and capture those online customers continuously for 17 years now.

But still we celebrate “Dr D Day” in the company across all offices on August 11 every year and raise a glass to Reservation #1.

My sincere thanks to the thousands of hotels and millions of guests, and of course all the hard working Bookassisters who have made Bookassist the most rewarding experience of my life.


The 5-Star Gran Hotel Son Net Goes Live with Bookassist

By Editor | On Fri, June 09, 2017

Gran Hotel Son Net (http://www.sonnet.es/), the prestigious five-star Mallorca hotel, has gone live with their new custom-made website from Bookassist. The hotel has also opted for Bookassist’s digital marketing services as well as booking technology.

Gran Hotel Son Net is a luxury boutique hotel located in a 17th century estate in the Sierra de Tramuntana representing truly unique accommodation on the island of Mallorca. The hotel is the 101st five-star hotel in Bookassist’s European portfolio, with Bookassist representing more five-star properties in Europe than any other independent digital strategy provider.

Son Net


Prague Bookassist Summit with Google Urges Hotels To Act

By Editor | On Thu, June 01, 2017

The Direct Booking Expert™ hosted “A Vision of Excellence” for Czech and Slovak hoteliers at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Prague on May 23rd, attended by over 100 delegates.

The all-day seminar featured strategic presentations and highly entertaining and interactive workshops by Google speakers Agency Development Manager Juraj Felix and Business Development Manager Martin Svoboda (pictured below with Jaromír Pažout, Bookassist’s Head of Operations for the Czech and Slovak Republics). The opening scene-setting keynote was given by Bookassist CEO Des O’Mahony, and Bookassist partner Triptease, represented by Emily Assender, completed the day’s focus on direct booking strategies for independent hoteliers (both pictured below).

“The Czech and Slovak markets, and Prague in particular, continue to face challenges from OTA dominance”, according to Jaromír Pažout, Bookassist’s Head of Operations for the Czech and Slovak Republics. “In presenting our Vision of Excellence with Google, we are showing hotels how to take more control of their direct business and giving them the real metrics of how to measure and improve direct business.”

According to Des O’Mahony, CEO & Founder at Bookassist, “Independent hotels can choose to reduce OTA dependence, if they have a solid plan for how to build their direct business. It’s not rocket science, but it does require hotels to make the effort and to believe that they can do it. Our Vision of Excellence series, with Google, is proving to hotels that they can successfully take that step towards growing direct business and regaining control, and of course growing profit.”

The Vision of Excellence seminar series with Google will continue in other destinations in the Autumn of 2017.

Bookassist CEO Des O’Mahony
Seminar delegates
Google’s Juraj Felix and Martin Svoboda with Bookassist’s Jaromír Pažout (center)
Triptease’s Emily Assender
Bookassist's Prague-based team
Bookassist’s Prague-based team

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Bookassist® is The Direct Booking Expert™. The company develops and manages award-winning digital strategies for hotels to help them build brand online, drive direct bookings, enhance ancillary revenue 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.


Italy’s largest hotel group UNA Hotels and AtaHotels choose Bookassist

By Editor | On Mon, May 08, 2017

Bookassist is pleased to announce that the combined Italian hotel groups UNA Hotels & Resorts and AtaHotels (http://www.atahotels.it/en/about-us/) have chosen Bookassist’s award-winning direct booking technology across their entire property portfolio of 43 hotels.


Together, Atahotels and UNA Hotels & Resorts with a portfolio of almost 5500 rooms cover 11 Italian regions and 25 destinations, making them the largest indigenous Italian hotel group.

“We have worked successfully with AtaHotels for over a year now, and we’re delighted to add Una Hotels & Resorts to the portfolio”, said Yahya Fetchati, COO at Bookassist. “We are confident that Bookassist technology, integration and direct booking expertise will drive transformational growth online at UNA and AtaHotels in their push for direct business growth.”

The combined group portfolio include three, four and five-star hotels, resorts (including the prestigious Villa Le Maschere), aparthotels and five unique UNAWAY hotel concept properties.

The hotels will progressively be moved to the Bookassist cloud platform throughout the month of May.

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Bookassist® is The Direct Booking Expert™. The company develops and manages award-winning digital strategies for hotels to help them build brand online, drive direct bookings, enhance ancillary revenue 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.


Welcome to our 100th and 101st Five-Star Hotel Clients!

By Editor | On Thu, April 27, 2017

Bookassist, The Direct Booking Expert™, has reached a significant milestone this month in welcoming the 100th and 101st five-star properties to the company’s portfolio.

The InterContinental London Park Lane Hotel (http://parklane.intercontinental.com/), London’s largest 5 star hotel and the flagship of the InterContinental Hotel group (IHG), and Gran Hotel Son Net (http://www.sonnet.es/), the prestigious 5 star Mallorca hotel, have both chosen bespoke web design and digital marketing services from Bookassist with Gran Hotel Son Net additional using Bookassist’s Booking Engine services.


The addition of the InterContinental London Park Lane and Gran Hotel Son Net to the portfolio underscores Bookassist’s leading position in the luxury hotel market segment and the trust placed in Bookassist to operate at the highest standards required.

According to Bookassist CEO Dr Des O’Mahony, “We understand the exacting needs of hoteliers and are confident that our expert online strategy advice and digital solutions ensure our clients achieve real transformational growth. It’s a great compliment to our team to secure such prestigious five-star clients, and through our commitment to strong customer relationships we expect to continue to grow our portfolio of top-end signature hotels.”

We’re delighted with our new website. The Bookassist team have shown real depth of knowledge and experience, and it’s a pleasure to work with them.
Stephen Moran, Marketing Manager, InterContinental London Park Lane

Bookassist currently offers expert online strategy advice in addition to providing booking technology, web design and digital marketing solutions to over 1200 hotels across Europe and the Middle East.

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Bookassist® is The Direct Booking Expert™. The company develops and manages award-winning digital strategies for hotels to help them build brand online, drive direct bookings, enhance ancillary revenue 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.


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!

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Bookassist® is The Direct Booking Expert™. The company develops and manages award-winning digital strategies for hotels to help them build brand online, drive direct bookings, enhance ancillary revenue 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.


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

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