Newmark Hotels is a rapidly-growing South African hotel portfolio comprising ﬁve boutique hotels in Cape Town that offer between six and ninety-six rooms. Each of the ﬁve hotels has connected to SiteMinder’s two-way The Channel Manager and TheBookingButton – SiteMinder’s express, commission-free booking engine which allows guests to book rooms direct with any of Newmark Hotels’ ﬁve properties quickly and easily from their own website.
Channelling a growth market
South Africa’s online market is growing at a rapid pace and Newmark Hotels is one Cape Town hotel group that is ﬁrmly embracing the online world. Newmark Hotels has seen revenue growth of up to 50% since deploying SiteMinder’s award-winning The Channel Manager and its commission-free booking engine, TheBookingButton, to maximise and increase its presence on the web.
Newmark Hotels’ Group Revenue Manager, Carike Ligthelm, said that until late 2010, Newmark did not use any channel manager, manually managing its online inventory instead for just two online travel agencies.
“Our staff used to update these two sites once or twice a week but it took many hours and caused us issues, especially with rate parity as the commission percentage had to be calculated for each room type for each booking site. It was a monumental task,” Ms Ligthelm explains.
“But we saw how important online sales were becoming so we introduced SiteMinder’s Channel Manager and now our hotels are reaching up to 10 online booking sites and the increase in room nights and revenue has been dramatic by up to 25%. Internet bookings now make up around a quarter of all our bookings and we see this increasing.”
“Since introducing SiteMinder’s Channel Manager we have seen a dramatic increase in revenue, up by 25%”
Ms Ligthelm says SiteMinder’s Channel Manager has helped Newmark Hotels reach a much wider global audience: “Because SiteMinder offers pooled inventory, we can offer more inventory and connect to more sites, updating is much less time-consuming and there is no risk of over bookings. It’s incredibly easy and much quicker to administer and it’s all managed from the one place.
“What I like best about SiteMinder’s Channel Manager is the fact that live rates and availability can be updated to all our online booking sites within minutes and we can also sign up as many new online booking sites as we want for no additional cost. By engaging more booking sites, we will receive even more exposure and hence more revenue!”
Booking up more business
Newmark Hotels also decided to use TheBookingButton from SiteMinder as its direct booking engine for all ﬁve hotels on www.newmarkhotels.com. Although Newmark Hotels had previously used another provider’s web booking engine on its site, the group found it was not user-friendly for guests or hotel staff and also inﬂexible, with extras such as transfers, massages and dinners unable to be included in bookings.
“Since going live with TheBookingButton, we have received a substantial increase of reservations from our website as it looks more professional, it’s easy to use and it offers the guest more information and images on the hotels and its services. We also love the fact that it’s commission-free so we don’t pay for bookings made on our own website”, Ms Ligthelm says.
“The Victoria and Alfred has seen an increase in direct booking revenue of 22% and the Ambassador Hotel has recorded an increase of 50% which we are extremely happy about.
“SiteMinder has made it effortless to manage our online inventory and distribution as well as ensure rate parity. We have also seen a signiﬁcant increase in online bookings since the introduction of TheBookingButton to our website.
“With SiteMinder’s Chanel Manager and TheBookingButton now in place and working for us, our online presence is much more robust and we are conﬁdent the years ahead for Newmark Hotels will be as impressive and exciting as our ﬁve stylish hotels!”