Marketing agency Umi Digital, founded by hotelier Steve Lowy, has developed a web package with responsive online booking software designed for independent hoteliers which claims to help drive direct traffic to their hotels' websites and maximise profit on hotel room sales.
Responsive web design works by making websites instantly compatible with a range of devices - from smartphones, to laptops and tablets - enabling visitors to a website the chance to read the site in the way that its owner intended. This has been built into Umi Digital's package for small to medium hotels, which includes the company's in-house developed Firedrop content management system (CMS), a system that can be custom-made for each hotel and Book It With multi-language and currency-friendly room booking software, a booking system that can be part of a website or standalone booking engine and which claims to drive direct business and save hotels from losing money to third party commissions.
Statistics from TRI Hospitality, revealed earlier this year, showed that in the last nine years, London hotels have seen a 49 per cent increase in their average room rate (ARR), but during the same period, online travel agency (OTA) commissions had risen by 151 per cent, showing that there is a need for smaller hotels to have a greater online presence to drive direct traffic and thus increase profits, so it is imperative the site is usable and doesn't direct users elsewhere.
All packages will be priced on a case-by-case basis. There is a monthly fee for small hotels seeking a basic package with the price increasing for larger hotels who need more features.
Interested hotels should contact Marc Crouch by emailing him at email@example.com, or calling 0207 631 2087.
Why you should buy it:
For independent hoteliers, it can be hard to compete with third party websites who have the latest technology, but if you want to increase the number of direct bookings through your own website, this product is one option. "We want to offer the independent side of the market an affordable way of getting online and lower their cost of sales without having major headaches and multiple agencies to work with," said Lowy. "Starting out as a hotel manager myself, I know there are never enough hours in the day to concentrate on increasing direct business. We take the pain out of executing the full digital strategy that the average independent hotel needs these days and we implement it for them.”