It’s hard to believe that we’ve reached 21 years since the very first booking recorded on Bookassist Booking Engine technology. After going live with our first hotel on August 8, 2000, we received the first booking late on the evening of August 11, 2000 – after 3 days of wondering nervously if there was indeed anyone out there on the internet looking for a hotel to book!
How times have changed as that new-born baby eventually grew to adulthood. And I couldn’t be more proud.
We always take the time every year to celebrate our “Szebesta Day” on August 11 as the real birthday of Bookassist, and my thanks to Dr Szebesta for continuing to graciously lend his name to the event! Milestones, birthdays, they are times for celebration. But also for reflection.
After the last 18 months of unprecedented turbulence that we’ve all just lived through, I want to use this landmark event as an opportunity to firstly pay tribute to the wonderful staff at Bookassist, an incredibly dedicated and professional team and really great people, for continuing to stick with the dream and for staying focused on what we can bring to our hotel partners as the hospitality industry begins the road to recovery.
I also want to personally express my gratitude to each and every one of our clients, many of whom have been through the toughest period of their professional lives, for sticking with us and for continuing to put their faith in the Bookassist team and their skills. We intend to be with you every step of the way toward recovery and future growth, and we promise we will keep delivering.
Twenty one years ago there were few, if any, innovating in the direct booking space as Bookassist was. Twenty one years ago many hotels had no idea of the potential for direct booking and that they could be fully in control of their own online presence. Since that time we have continued to innovate with award-winning services, with web design accompanying our booking engine launch, followed by digital marketing services as old as Adwords itself, a first mover into mobile booking in 2010, GDS distribution, a pioneer in metasearch, and more recently our advanced Bookassist Intelligence platform. All focused on making bookings more profitable for hotels.
At Bookassist we had from day one a singular belief that hotels would ultimately embrace direct booking and would eventually put it at the core of their business strategy. We believed we could make a difference. We believed that if we did our job well, and above all were always honest with our clients, we would survive and we would prosper. We still believe all those things, and indeed we are still here and stronger than ever.
We are very proud to have played a part over the last two decades in pushing the hotel sector forward towards less dependence on intermediaries and stronger direct business.
Here’s to the next 21.
Dr Des O’Mahony is Co-founder and CEO of Bookassist