GuestCentric has launched an online marketing and distribution tool for independent hoteliers, identifying the UK and Spain as the most important markets other than its core US business.
Chief executive Pedro Colaco explained that the UK is UK was ‘advanced in terms of online’ while Spain’s continued growth as a tourist destination meant there was an innate pressure on hotels from other distributors.
The software as a service business claims that its new platform will give independent hotels the chance to launch a cost-effective property-level web site to pick up supplier direct bookings.
However, the site does not preclude the hotel using thirds party channels. “We encourage them to work with two or three distributors to get as much visibility as possible, but to make sure that any customers landing on the property site feels confident enough to book,” Colaco said.
Additional features include managing a hotel’s Adwords budget and campaign. Sophisticated customer relationship tools will be launched over the next year.
Rich media is also a key part of GuestCentric;s thinking. As well as standard weather and map feeds, there is also a tool which sees any reviews about a property which appear on tripadvisor also end up on the property site. It is also looking to be able to pickup related content from YouTube and Flickr.
Colaco referred to recent Forrester Research which said that consumers who use rich media during the research stage are the highest spenders when it comes to booking.