News and press

Bookassist CEO to address Czech Association of Hotels and Restaurants

By Editor | On Tue, September 12, 2017

Bookassist CEO Des O’Mahony has been invited to address the annual meeting of the Czech Association of Hotels and Restaurants (AHR) held at the NH Hotel Olomouc on 1 December, 2017. The topic of the presentation will be “A Vision Of Excellence For Hotels Online” and will be a wide-ranging discussion of best practice and what can be achieved when you aim for excellence in online business for hotels.

For more information, see the Conference Program.

Bookassist AHR 2017


Price Calendar for Flexible Dates improves conversion opportunity

By Des O'Mahony | On Wed, September 06, 2017

We analysed flexible dates usage on hundreds of Bookassist hotels, here’s what we found

At ITB Berlin in March this year, Bookassist launched Price Calendar for Flexible Dates, a powerful dynamic interface for browsing hotel rates quickly and effortlessly for up to two years in advance. We recently analysed usage of Price Calendar on hundreds of Bookassist hotels during the summer months and first usage data show that there is a clear uplift in conversion opportunity for Bookassist hotels.

Overall, 21% of visitors who were rejected due to unavailable dates in the “normal” booking process opted to switch to Price Calendar’s flexible dates view to continue their booking. Previously these customers would likely have left the process and been a lost opportunity. Now, they are re-engaging.

Re-engagement of 21% with the booking process

This re-engagement behaviour is particularly strong in resort hotels. For example, for Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa in Cork, Ireland during our analysis period, 46% of date selection rejections opted to continue booking via Price Calendar’s flexible dates display. For Aquapalace Hotel in Prague, Czech Republic, 40% of potential bookers did so. These are very significant recovered booking opportunities.

In contrast, airport hotels showed the lowest engagement with flexible dates with typically 10% to 15% of visitors who were rejected in the “normal” booking process opting to switch to Price Calendar to continue their booking. City hotels typically sat somewhat in the middle between resorts and airport hotels with engagement of rejected bookers in the 20-25% range, still a very significant opportunity recovery.

This profile of usage is perhaps not surprising, with airport hotel customers typically having no flexibility on dates, while resort customers are far less date sensitive and typically browse around more for good value packages before committing to booking.

Bottom line is that Price Calendar is significantly raising re-engagement with hotel customers online, and is growing direct booking opportunity and conversion.

It pays to be flexible.



Flexible dates has proven to be enormously popular with online customers since its launch and is improving conversion for Bookassist client hotels.


Parknasilla launches new Bookassist-designed website

By Editor | On Wed, August 30, 2017

​The stunning Parknasilla Luxury Hotel and Spa, overlooking Kenmare Bay on the Ring of Kerry and Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, has launched its gorgeous new website.

The website was designed and implemented on Bookassist’s content management system (CMS) and gives the hotel full control of menus, content and imagery. The site is optimised for displaying dynamic data straight from the Bookassist booking engine and brings state-of-the-art digital marketing features and tracking. Dynamic special offers and voucher purchase are also featured in addition to room and suite booking. The site features Bookassist’s latest powerful Flexible Dates booking option.

Check it out yourself here: http://www.parknasillaresort.com/

Parknasilla Resort Website
Parknasilla Resort Website

Booking Engine 2017 overview - latest release for hotels

By Editor | On Thu, August 24, 2017

Here’s a summary of what Booking Engine 2017 has already delivered for your hotel this year, and there’s much more to come…

Booking Engine 2017

Booking Engine 2017 was launched in January 2017 and was rolled out to all hotels over the coming months. It was further updated with Price Calendar in March 2017 and again with security and customisation features in August 2017. These releases of the Booking Engine focused on user usability and experience and were designed after extensive customer analysis and discussions with our hotel clients.

The focus of Bookassist’s Booking Engine is, first and foremost, conversion. It’s critical to ensure that the online customer can find the relevant information quickly, that the information is clear and unambiguous, and that the path to booking does not introduce barriers.

Booking Engine features, among others:

  • the fastest load times in the industry, critical in today’s online world
  • highly customisable layout to fit exactly with your hotel website’s design
  • more filtering with the option to select number of rooms as part of the search
  • promo and voucher codes for offering reductions and incentives
  • improved image galleries to showcase your rooms
  • built-in meal plan configuration per room
  • built-in room occupancy / child age configuration
  • price calendar viewing option for “flexible dates”
  • integrated pricing “widgets” from many suppliers such as TripTease, The Hotels Network
  • direct display of special offers linking to customised Booking Engine display of the offer
  • multiple room booking
  • add-ons for upselling
  • fully PCI-DSS-compliant payment pages and security compliance
  • customisable payment and confirmation pages
  • dynamic currency conversion
Booking Engine Layout

Industry-Leading Flexible Dates

Bookassist’s new Flexible Dates approach is unique in the industry in the speed and ease of operation, and in the sheer extent of the data in can present. Often, customers are happy to choose your hotel based on the value of the package and are less concerned about the dates of travel . The standard booking engine approach of searching by date is not for them. That’s why you can switch between standard and flexible dates in the Bookassist Booing Engine.

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.



Flexible dates has proven to be enormously popular with online customers since its launch and is improving conversion for Bookassist client hotels.

Enhanced Security and Customer-Friendly Payment Options

Bookassist has completely upgraded its entire security infrastructure to bring you the most secure payment processes. Bookassist is fully PCI-DSS compliant and invests heavily in security for customers and for client hotels. Improvements in payment approaches introduced recently to Booking Engine 2017 include the option for dynamic currency conversion in the checkout page on desktop and on mobile (if your hotel is using its own merchant account with Bookassist). Your hotel can also customise the payment page with your hotel logo and colouring to improve the feeling of security for your online customer.

Payment Page


Dynamic currency conversion has proven to be immensely popular with online guests, who opt to pay in the own currency almost 90% of the time.

Mobile First

The next phase of Booking Engine development will be a complete relaunch of our mobile booking technology, scheduled for the end of 2017. Stay tuned for more information on that!

Contact Us!

If your hotel needs further information on Booking Engine 2017 features or on Price Calendar, please contact us!


Bookassist to launch all-new Mobile Booking Experience

By Des O'Mahony | On Wed, August 23, 2017

​Bookassist will launch the new V10 booking engine in late 2017, and it’s coming first on mobile.

It’s abundantly clear that consumers are moving fast to mobile and the opportunity is growing significantly (See Mobile Marches Forward). Bookassist’s award-winning mobile implementation is currently the fastest mobile booking experience in the market. We aim to continue delivering that speed advantage for customers and for our hotel clients, while rolling in new customer choice features such as room configuration, selection of meal plans, and attractive add-ons and upgrades. Right in the booking process.

Here’s a sneak peek of what’s coming in V10 mobile very soon.

V10 Mobile IBE date selection

V10 Mobile IBE room configuration

V10 Mobile IBE checkout

Are Irish consumers more avid users of mobile?

By Des O'Mahony | On Wed, August 23, 2017

The data here are an addendum to the blog article “Mobile Marches Forward

Specifics on the Island of Ireland

For visitor sessions and bookings data for hotel websites in Dublin and outside Dublin in the first half of 2017, there are clear differences in the origin of the traffic. For hotels outside Dublin, well in excess of 50% of inbound sessions and bookings in that period comes from Ireland itself. In our figures for this year, the USA is the next largest contributor for hotels outside Dublin, delivering 15 to 20% of sessions and bookings, followed by Great Britain hovering around 10%-12% this year (down significantly from last year, but that’s another story).

By contrast, for the Dublin hotels that we analysed in the period, the inbound visitor sessions and bookings contribution from Ireland is in the 30-35% region, with the USA at about 25% and the UK just below 20% in round figure terms.

When we look at sessions and revenue generation for these two categories of Bookassist client hotels in Ireland (see figure 1), we see quite a disparity. For hotels outside Dublin, mobile sessions are almost a quarter higher compared to hotels in Dublin, and revenue generation is about 50% higher. Hotels outside Dublin are strongest on mobile in sessions and revenue terms, and in fact are the strongest we see anywhere in general.

Given the customer origin data for these two categories of hotel, it could indicate that Irish people are more avid users of mobile overall at least when it comes to travel, and are more likely to purchase hotel products on mobile than US, GB and other customers.

Figure 3: Traffic and revenue comparison by platform for hotels in Dublin and outside Dublin
Figure 1: Traffic and revenue comparison by platform for hotels in Dublin and outside Dublin on the island of Ireland from January to June 2017. In Bookassist’s sample, Ireland’s hotels perform significantly stronger in traffic and revenue terms than other European countries.

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

———-

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.


« Previous page      Next page »
bookassist - technology & online strategy for hotels

Address: 1st Floor South Block, Rockfield Central, Dublin D16 R6V0, Ireland
Phone: +353 1 676 2913 Fax: +353 1 676 2916
Email:
Web: https://bookassist.org/en