The Observatory is a 4.5-star hotel with a difference. With Port Macquarie’s Town Beach on its doorstep and exceptional guest facilities, it holds the title of the most awarded hotel in the north coast of New South Wales, Australia, and is one of the first and few hotels in the country to be entirely carbon neutral, meaning every guest’s stay is emission-free.

Objectives

Prior to adopting SiteMinder’s distribution platform in 2008, The Observatory manually managed connections with more than 10 OTAs – a process that was incredibly time-consuming, leaving the hotel open to human errors in capturing reservations.

Kylie King, Marketing Manager for The Observatory, expressed the need for critical product features from their online distribution partner:

“We were looking for a channel manager that could give us the ability to quickly and easily update room availabilities and rates across our multiple OTA channels. In addition, we wanted an Internet Booking Engine for our website that could give our guests a far more modern and user-friendly interface.”

Results

After careful consideration, The Observatory selected SiteMinder’s Channel Manager and integrated booking engine, TheBookingButton, to help power automated inventory and rate management, create a seamless booking experience for their guests, and fundamentally increase their online revenue.

Benefits that The Observatory continue to experience include:

Increased revenue

Since implementing TheBookingButton to attract direct bookings, the annual revenue generated from the hotel’s own website has increased by almost 300%. In particular, 2014 saw The Observatory achieve significant gains, including:

  • Circa 10,000 reservations, 27% of which were received directly via TheBookingButton
  • More than 27,000 room nights booked.

More powerful decisions

From the initial adoption of SiteMinder’s Channel Manager, The Observatory has seen an exponential increase in bookings, month-on-month and year-on-year. The platform has empowered the hotel to make more informed decisions when it comes to developing an effective online distribution strategy.

As a business, the hotel has particularly benefited from:

  • The ability to analyse and update rates and inventory across multiple online channels
  • More time to evaluate and improve their sales and marketing strategy based on trends and patterns across integrated booking channels
  • Reporting tools such as the channel yield and analysis features, which provide up-to-date metrics on the performance of all the hotel’s channels, including booking volume, average lead times, booking values and the trends across those metrics
  • Pooled inventory, allowing improved promotion and reallocation of rooms to convey available inventory in real-time.

Kylie also says:

“When we selected SiteMinder, everyone was impressed with how their technology was really intuitive and seamlessly integrated with our channels. It’s enabled us to predict future booking volume and analyse the impact of our campaigns with OTAs, which is a major competitive advantage in today’s dynamic online market.”

Best-of-breed technology

As one of SiteMinder’s first customers, The Observatory has contributed to SiteMinder’s product development. On this, Kylie says:

“SiteMinder is very customer-centric in their approach. They often seek customer input to improve functionality and ensure hotels receive the greatest number of bookings.”

Access to SiteMinder’s best-of-breed technology has allowed The Observatory to take advantage of revenue streams that were previously untapped. Kylie concludes:

“TheBookingButton’s multi-lingual capability has enabled us to integrate the booking engine with our dedicated Mandarin website. This has allowed our growing number of Chinese guests to booking directly on our website via TheBookingButton, and in their native language, which is crucial for the internationalisation of our hotel.”
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