With the integration of a new innovative online distribution technology, Australia’s Sea World Resort has streamlined its channel management to report a significant reduction in overhead costs and an increase in staff productivity.
Sea World Resort, located on Queensland’s Gold Coast, counts towards Australia’s most popular and family-friendly resorts. The resort has partnered with SiteMinder since 2008, when it decided to implement The Channel Manager, an innovative online distribution technology which leads the industry in rate management and online room inventory.
Sea World Resort first opened its gates in 1988 with a vision to provide guests outstanding package deals, including accommodation and theme park entry, to create unforgettable experiences for the whole family.
To sell even the very last of their inventory, the resort faced various challenges prior to 2008, prompting management to look for digital solutions to tackle the following challenges:
- Manually updating third party sites to action close outs, every time a date sold out
- Too much time spent manually maintaining rate parity across all sites
- Not enough time to focus on other key tasks and sales initiatives.
The resort was looking for a new, efficient system that featured outstanding tech support and a user-friendly interface for both staff as well as consumers. Their main objectives included:
- Streamlining third party website management
- Increasing staff productivity
- Reducing time wasted on manual site management in order to place more focus on the highest performing channels
- Finding a system that managed and increased online booking revenues.
The Channel Manager has since helped to increase the resort’s online presence from 12 to 17 websites. SiteMinder now connects Sea World Resort to the top booking websites using a central cloud application, while the two-way integration seamlessly connects to their PMS and allows for real-time rate parity, accurate planning and maximum sales.
Sue Elliot, Online Sales Manager at Sea World Resort, explains: “It’s really simple to put a special rate into the market with selected suppliers; just change a few rates and tick a few boxes and it’s done. This task not only allowed me to handle the system with ease, but provided reservations and front office staff with the ability to close out dates too.”
After much success with the 2008 integration of The Channel Manger and PMS, 2013 saw the introduction of TheBookingButton, a unique technology that offers a fast and easy two-click booking process to provide guests with the opportunity to book around the clock on the web, using a mobile device or even through a Facebook app. An easy-to-use hot deal feature allows for ad-hoc promotion of deals and special offers, and the reporting feature lets properties analyze which booking sites are producing the best results.
Shortly after TheBookingButton was launched, Sea World Resort’s operating costs dropped by 50% and the management of third party sites such as OTAs experienced a boost in time-efficiency through streamlined processes.
Prior to the partnership in 2008, the resort’s online channel produced approximately 11% of total room revenue; in 2013, this number had risen to an impressive 47%.
Overall, the integration of SiteMinder technology has shown to be utterly successful for Sea World Resort. Online sales and reach have grown, overhead costs have dropped and reservation offerings have improved.