Quintessential authentic English hotels embrace cloud-based technology and save over £20,000

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The Hatton Collection

Quintessential authentic English hotels are what surmise the Hatton Collection. Three of these boutique and charming inns – Hatton Court, the Snooty Fox and the 16th Century White Hart Inn – are nestled in the romantic hills and dales of the Cotswolds, while the Corner House Hotel sits at the centre of Taunton the County Town of Somerset in south-west England and the beautiful Channel Island of Jersey plays host to the English-French fusion of the Chateau La Chaire. SiteMinder connects all five properties to major international booking sites via its robust and reliable Channel Manager while TheBookingButton – SiteMinder’s commission-free booking engine – generates direct bookings from the hotels’ own websites.

Bookings up 41% costs down by £20,500

Their classic British inns may embrace the charm of yesteryear but as partners with SiteMinder, the Hatton Collection successfully employs a very modern, 21st Century distribution strategy, with one third of all its bookings now coming from the internet. To maximise online market growth and with its focus very much on the future, Hatton has used SiteMinder’s cloud based products, the Channel Manager and TheBookingButton, as a dynamic partnership to widen its footprint on the web, achieving impressive revenue rises and cost cutting in the process.

Head of Finance for The Hatton Collection, Peter Gilbert, said SiteMinder’s Channel Manager had helped increase bookings from online travel agents by a very impressive 41 per cent in the March-June quarter of 2012, compared to 2011, while the group also saved a substantial £10,500 in costs in the 12 months from September, 2011, to August, 2012. This increase in bookings and cost reduction is driven by the Channel Manager’s unique ‘Pooled Inventory’ model – meaning the collection optimise online revenue whilst reducing effort.

Mr Gilbert said that by adding SiteMinder’s direct-booking engine, TheBookingButton, to each of its five hotel websites, direct bookings had risen 10 per cent in the March-June quarter of 2012 over the previous year and another £10,000 had been saved, due to the fact that the hotels no longer pay for bookings taken from their own websites as TheBookingButton is 100 per cent commission free.

The Hatton Collection introduced SiteMinder’s customisable BookingButton to replace another company’s booking engine that Mr Gilbert said was cumbersome and financially prohibitive, with a hefty 5% commission on all direct bookings.

“We liked SiteMinder’s honest and practical approach to the needs of hotels.”

HEAD OF FINANCE FOR THE HATTON COLLECTION, MR PETER GILBERT

“We heard about SiteMinder at an Eye for Travel trade show in London soon after SiteMinder opened its UK office in 2010. We liked that their products provide substantial cost savings, enhanced functionality, lack of contract and the honest and practical approach they had to the needs of hotels,” Mr Gilbert said.

“We are able to adjust availability and prices whenever we want and maintain rate parity at a click of a button. Doing all that manually would be impossible.”

“We are now connected to more channels around the globe than ever before, giving us more exposure to a greater booking audience, which in turn has increased our bookings and revenue. Uploading our rates and availability through SiteMinder has considerably reduced manual man hours compared to updating individual sites ourselves. SiteMinder’s Channel Manager is easy and quick to use and the pooled inventory feature allows us to increase the number of channels we list on and manage them with ease. When a booking is made online the Channel Manager automatically adjusts all the booking sites saving us hours and reducing the risk of over bookings. Bulk updating is also very efficient and saves us a lot of time, it’s a function that we previously didn’t have. We are able to adjust availability and prices whenever we want and maintain rate parity at a click of a button. Doing all that manually would be impossible.”

Driving direct business with TheBookingButton

Mr Gilbert said that while it had been important for Hatton’s properties to feature on an expanding number of third party booking sites, the group also wanted to drive as much online business directly to its own websites as well, free of commissions. He said TheBookingButton had enabled Hatton the flexibility and agility to offer more packages and sell additional extras online ahead of arrivals generating additional revenue and to offer promotion codes encouraging guests to book direct.

“TheBookingButton has a clean, fresh look that can be changed to fit your brand and is simple and easy for our guests and staff to use. Being able to deactivate a package rather than deleting it altogether is a real time saver. For example, the details of our Christmas and seasonal packages can be amended each year rather than having to set up a new package every time.”

“SiteMinder has helped give our hotels and inns a hi-tech edge.”

“We are a small hotel group in an accommodation market that is crowded and more competitive than ever but SiteMinder has helped give our portfolio a hi-tech edge, stretching our reach in lucrative online markets and putting more heads in our beds.

“We look forward to a long and prospering relationship with SiteMinder.”

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