I am glad to announce that we have entered into an agreement with WebHotelier, the leading Booking Engine vendor, to interconnect our systems and co-operate commercially.
We have already made the necessary background work for the interconnection and we have published new prices to include their offering.
Below is a detailed description of the why’s and how’s.
You might be wondering why we entered into an agreement with a Booking Engine vendor while we have our own booking engine (Webbookings). The answer is simple: one cannot excel in everything. Our decision is to focus and enhance our basis, the PMS, and interoperate with the best of breed applications out there.
Our PMS started as a simple reservations management application, and this is what it remains for the mobile devices. But, in the web app, it has evolved into a full blown PMS for small lodges, with functionalities such as client management, billing, housekeeping and connectors to third party systems.
One of the first additions to our app was our booking engine, Webbookings, which was meant to be a simple, easy to use and elegant booking engine. We are happy with what ground Webbookings has covered so far, but, moving forward, our clients made us realise that there were many thing that they would like to see added in a booking engine.
WebHotelier, apart from being a fast and reliable booking engine, with an extensive user base, has four unique features that made us take the decision to work with them instead of expanding Webbookings:
- Rate intelligence
- Loyalty functionality
Within webhotelier, you can find thousands of travel agents and tour operators that you can decide to cooperate with. Once you select some, your availability become open to them and they can make a booking directly and real time from the booking engine. This opens up your opportunities significantly, allowing you to penetrate new markets and drive revenue increase.
If you want to list your lodge in sites like TripAdvisor, or Trivago, or advertise with Google Hotel Ads, Webhotelier has you covered. To get direct booking from these media, you need to have a booking engine that complies with their requirements. Since metasearch tends to be cheaper than listing in OTA’s, you can improve your direct bookings ratio and profitability.
Rate intelligence (Parity shopping)
The Hospitality industry is a very competitive. Knowing what your competitors do and being able to respond accordingly is of huge importance in order to increase your website visitor conversion to clients.
Smart Guest (Loyalty system)
Once you have repeaters, you need also to have the means to keep them happy and reward them for their loyalty. Smart Guest allows you to do just this: create a space your loyal clients, give them specific offers and more.
On top of the above, making a connection to WebHotelier means also that you can interconnect with third parties through their preferred Channel Manager (Primal Res) which is tightly integrated in their product. This means that if you want to connect, say, with Booking.com, the reservations from booking.com will flow to the Channel Manager and then to WebHotelier and then to Discoveroom, seamlessly.
Working with WebHotelier commercially, meant that we needed to align our pricing policies and business practices. For this reason, we have made quite a few changes to the old pricing plans.
- Basic plan : nothing new here, price and functionality is what is used to be. Basic contains only the Reservation Management part of the PMS.
- Plus plan: The Plus plan, along with Webbookings, now includes Website Builder too and it is the main pricing point for the full PMS functionality. There is a price increase here, because of the new bundling. The new price will be 25 Euros per month or 250 Euros per year.
- Pro plan: The Pro plan, has all that is in the Plus plan and, on top, includes connectivity to the Octorate Channel Manager.
- Premium plan: The Premium plan is the one that gives you access to the WebHotelier booking engine and channel manager. Since WebHotelier does not have monthly plans or trial period, we have to sync our offering with them. There is also a setup fee for WebHotelier. Since there is no trial, you can book a demo with one of their support agents to understand their system better and make the decision. In our website there is an indicative pricing, but to get actual pricing, you need to ask for a quotation. The actual price depends on the specific implementation, the type of lodge and the number of channels you will want to connect with.
For the Plus and Pro plans we will remove the monthly billing cycle as of next year. If one wants to use the website builder or a channel manager, it makes no sense to stop and restart within the year. But even for the PMS, things gradually become costlier with the month to month plans: a lot of transaction fees from the banks and payment providers, higher transaction processing costs etc. This would inevitably lead to price increases year to year. Instead of going down this path, we prefer to keep prices to an acceptable level and drop the monthly plans instead.
If you are in one of the old plans, you can continue paying the same billing cycle and price for the same services, that you already enjoy. We will not force you to migrate or pay more.
If you enroll into the new Plus and Pro plans, till the end of this year, you will be able to keep the monthly billing option for these plans, as long as you keep your subscription alive.
If you want to move to one of the newer plans, you will have to go with the new price list.
Finally, we want to let you know that we plan to introduce a lot of new features for the PMS within the next six months, that will come at no additional cost.
We hope you will find our new offering to your liking and we look forward to working with you for our common goal: increase operational efficiency for your lodge.