US hotel marketer Magnuson Hotels is launching in the UK next month to give independent hoteliers this side of the Atlantic the chance to compete against large hotel chains.
Founded and run by husband and wife team Tom and Melissa Magnuson, the company offers its members full online marketing support and the chance for their hotels to be booked online, while leaving owners free to run their business.
“What unites all these properties is that they are run by passionate, entrepreneurial people who have built up their businesses over many years, and not surprisingly they’re eager to maintain their independence. Many of these businesses will be at risk this year, mainly due to a fatal combination of declining sales, downward pressure on room rates and increased competition from their better-marketed large chain rivals," said Tom.
According to figures obtained by Magnuson, 63 per cent of UK hotels are not bookable online, meaning many independent operators are missing out on reservations made in this way, particularly from guests booking from abroad.
“This is where we come in,” said Tom “Within just three weeks we can take a local hotel and make it global. Our mantra is simple: Hotels do not need a franchise brand to increase occupancy and rate.”
Magnuson says it does not charge a membership fee and only takes 15 per cent commission from the room rate agreed at reservation. If a guest doesn't turn up, it will not charge a fee.
"We are only paid on those stays, so if someone reserves a room for four nights, but only stays for two of them, we only take commission on the two nights," said Melissa.
The couple, who will be moving to the UK this month to set the business up here, claim their service puts hotels in front of 650,000 travel agents worldwide, and on more than 2,000 internet booking channels such as Travelocity and Expedia.
Magnuson will officially launch in the UK on April 5 and is looking to represent hotels with 20 bedrooms or more. For more information visit www.magnusonhotels.com
For more about marketing your hotel, restaurant or pub online make sure you see our week-long online marketing feature from 29 March to 2 April