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Five simple top tips to increase your direct bookings

Five simple top tips to increase your direct bookings

1) Make sure booking online is simple and easy and make sure your website is mobile friendly

2) Offer prospective guests free upgrades and add-ons for booking direct

3) Give exclusive discounts to specific audiences through discount codes by email, Facebook, Twitter or other social media

4) Advertise value-added packages such as free parking, spa services, or tickets to local attractions when people book direct

5) Up-sell at check-in – when guests check in, offer them a special discount to book direct next time they book with you

Ask the team at Anytime Booking how our system can help you achieve any of these on info@anytimebooking.co.uk.

Bosinver scoops top award for Family Friendly Accommodation of the Year 2017

Bosinver scoops top award for Family Friendly Accommodation of the Year 2017

Anytime Booking customer Bosinver has just won the Family Friendly Accommodation of the Year category at the 2017 VisitEngland Awards hosted at the Hilton Waldorf Hotel in central London. We are delighted for them – this national award is such an achievement, and it is wonderful to have their efforts recognised in this way.

Owner Pat says, “We have previously won the top national award for self-catering, but ‘Family Friendly’ is a new category and it is particularly thrilling to win this award as families are at the heart of our business. We strive to combine luxurious accommodation and facilities for parents with the creation of magical childhood memories for children on our farm.”

The congratulations have been flooding in on social media from guests, many of whom have been holidaying with at Bosinver for years. Check out what a wonderful place to stay it really is at www.bosinver.co.uk.

What Bosinver says about Anytime Booking

“The quality of our booking system is an essential part of our success – it is one of the first experiences our guests have of us so it must be as ‘award winning’ as the other experiences we offer – which it is! We are proud to use a Cornish firm that is going from strength to strength and building and improving the service that offered to us. Thank you, Anytime, for helping us to win this prestigious award.”

How Anytime can help you

1 Install a Book Now button on your website, the most effective call to action there is

2 Share live availability with global third parties like Booking.com, Airbnb and Tripadvisor

3 Increase your visibility on the web to take advantage of the spike in staycations and short-breaks

4 Maximise your booking process to capitalise on mobile browsing

5 Minimise the risk of double bookings

6 Flexible management tools to run your business your way, eg. categorising your inventory, setting your pricing, fixing discounts and occupancy rules, moving bookings

7 Up-sell welcome hampers, logs, activities, dogs, you name it – quickly and easily

8 Improve and automate the way you communicate with your visitors

9 Carve through your admin giving you more time to spend ensuring your guests have a fantastic stay

10 Detailed reception reports (arrivals/departures), housekeeping and financial reports, and owner statements

11 Backed up data and a great team of people behind the product to assist you every step of the way

Are you ready to increase your bookings, streamline your admin and stay ahead?

The challenges of a holiday park: increased demand requires increased innovation

The challenges of a holiday park: increased demand requires increased innovation

In recent years, the UK holiday market has been really up against it. Soaring fuel prices, the credit crunch and some pretty crummy weather saw holidaymakers tightening their belts and opting for cheap holidays abroad or staying at home altogether. However, the self-catering market has always shown a sense of resilience and as holidaymakers were forced to look for better value in their holidays, the ‘staycation’ factor boomed. A major benefactor was, of course, the holiday park.

In 2016, the phenomenon still breathes life and boasts higher figures than pre-recession. This remains good news for holiday parks. With falling oil prices and international security issues plastered all over the news, leisure-seekers are more likely than ever to put fuel in their car to go on their holidays in the UK, especially for short-breaks.

So, with holidaymakers being driven nicely towards the open arms of UK holiday parks, what are the main issues of the day for holiday park managers?

New behaviour, higher expectations

Guests are more demanding. They have more choice, more flexibility, and more say in a connected world. The domestic tourism market is also changing demographically. The greatest growth areas are the retiree and higher social group (or ABC1) markets. The trend towards staycations is becoming increasingly concentrated at the upper end of the market, while much of the current UK tourist infrastructure is concentrated at the lower end.

Holiday park operators are starting to address this shift; many of them are investing in glamping facilities or other luxury accommodation and products to encourage a new kind of experience on site. Catering with, and selling, local produce is also becoming more important, as is promoting ‘wellness’ to a growing band of new clientele by providing, for example, spa days and a range of life-affirming activities.

More online visibility, more connectivity

Holidaymakers now expect to be able to browse a holiday on a responsive website from their mobile or tablet. They want to see top quality, attractive photography and clear, honest information about what kind of holiday experience they will get. They also expect to be able to book their holiday online there and then through a clear, responsive booking engine. And God forbid if a destination doesn’t have WiFi! Holiday park owners can look into improving their websites and connectivity to dramatically reduce turn-aways from potential guests and therefore any loss of precious revenue.

Operational and administrative overload

If you’re out on the road as much as we are, you will often hear park owners say, “Owning, managing or working on a park is a way of life, not a job.” Life is very demanding; there are copious hours of round the clock admin, year-round stress keeping up occupancy levels, producing effective targeted marketing, and keeping the site itself maintained. Getting a good overview of the operational status of the business while keeping a hand on all the nuts and bolts of running a busy holiday park is paramount to an owner or manager.

So the holiday park environment has become challenging; it’s no longer okay just to receive bookings and carry out general maintenance and upkeep. It’s about really knowing customers, nurturing those relationships, planning smarter, constantly innovating and reacting to trends, and providing a gold star customer experience.

This is where a good PMS needs to step in, and Anytime Booking fits the bill

Anytime Booking is a PMS (property management software) that makes life easier for park owners and the very busy members of staff who work on site, addressing the challenges above.

Designed specifically for this sector, Anytime Booking is a responsive online booking and site management software that enables parks to sell holidays online, market through other channels such as Trip Advisor, Booking.com and Pitch Up, handle payments, manage reception, reduce admin, reduce running costs and produce a whole host of operational reporting and segmented marketing to the customers they want to attract. We also give parks the opportunity to sell activities, courses and any other extras such as fire-pit hire, logs, welcome packs, gift vouchers, tickets to barbecue nights, you name it.

“Not only has Anytime Booking revolutionised how I run my business, and kept it open all year round,” says Andrew Radford of Home Farm Camping and Caravanning Park, “an additional and welcome bonus is that we have had a massive increase in bookings. Before, I was often unable to get back to customers soon enough. Keeping track of payments, receipts, who is on site and who is arriving are all so simple with Anytime Booking – the system even sends out email communication, directions and a map on its own! What better service could you give to your guests?”

If you want Anytime Booking to help your holiday park go the extra mile to deliver a gold standard customer service, please contact us on 01326 574660 or info@anytimebooking.co.uk.

Top reasons for using Anytime Booking

Top reasons for using Anytime Booking

Simply put, with us on side, you will be more efficient and sell more holidays online

  1. Convert your web traffic into sales and keep ahead of the competition
  2. Cloud-based software accessible anywhere, Anytime
  3. Unlimited bookings, no commission
  4. Decrease your costs by saving time and money on administration
  5. Speed up your cash-flow with secure, stress-free online transactions
  6. Increase your exposure using Anytime Channel Management
  7. Show your browsing customers live availability
  8. Seamless integration into your website and branding
  9. Clever reporting, statistics and revenue tracking
  10. Enhance your CRM (customer relationship management)
  11. Fully supported software, with dedicated email and telephone support
Holiday trends: lifestyle all the way

Holiday trends: lifestyle all the way

More personality, less formality

Reinvention is a word of the moment – and even the travel industry is joining in. There has been a huge rise of accommodation providers repositioning their businesses as homely, approachable, relaxed and earthy, without sacrificing quality or luxury. Why?

Because travellers seem less trusting of the ‘big boys’ – the bland hotel chains – and are choosing smaller, more unique places to stay to satisfy their need for something a little bit ‘different’, while conversely remaining ‘familiar’, and with more individual care.

‘Wellness’ is a buzzword right now, it’s about making choices that are good for you. People put wellness in their coffee, have it on their toast, wear it, consume it, and expect to stay somewhere that promotes it. The domestic market has upgraded in this respect, and staycationing clientele are putting a lot more money into the UK economy than ever before.

So holiday businesses have been looking more closely at what makes people tick – what they enjoy or care about at home, such as the environment, sustainability, local or home-grown produce – and transporting this back into their businesses, taking the time to ‘put the love back’, banishing the stuffiness and formality that have come to be associated with big hotel chains.

This is timely. While the staycation phenomenon is admittedly not as strong as in 2014-15, it still boasts higher figures than pre-recession. Falling oil prices mean that people are far more likely to put fuel in their car to go on their breaks, especially short-breaks, in the UK. Yes, oil prices also mean that it’s cheaper to jump on board a flight to foreign shores, but the security issues abroad of late balance out the scales between UK and international travel.

Visiting friends and relatives (VFR) is also consistently on the rise, by approximately 10% year on year, which means that many businesses are enjoying the bolt-on short-break holidays associated with this – a bonus for UK accommodation providers. It pays for them to ride this wave and to make sure the experience they offer matches up to leisure seekers’ expectations.

So what do today’s travellers expect?

Travellers are asking for more online transparency when they book holidays; they don’t want to have to go backwards and forwards via phonecalls and emails to secure their bookings anymore. Instant connectivity in all locations is also expected when they get there. They are increasingly turning away from holidays if they do not offer WiFi.

If you are an accommodation provider, it is advisable that you think about adapting to these pressures and consider advancing your WiFi connectivity, developing a responsive website, and installing a seamless, front-end online booking process. If you are more at the cottage end of the market, you could even upgrade the technology you offer on site, such as availability of good TVs, satellite, and mp3 players.

Guests generally want more choice, more flexibility, and authentic yet connected experiences. What’s more, they want these expectations to be managed from the outset. A place to stay must build the atmosphere from the very beginning – a guest will be asking, ‘will this place be able to satisfy me, will it live up to my expectations?’ from the moment they start browsing.

If there is no online booking system or a responsive website with truthful, hearty lifestyle photography and clear messages about what the holiday will deliver, the chances are, the guest will think it can’t. They expect to be put first and don’t like it if they are not. Accommodation owners can look into improving these areas to dramatically reduce turn-aways from potential guests and therefore any loss of precious revenue. It is crucial to get up and running with online bookings.

Let technology be your friend in business

If you are a holiday business of any kind, the actual technology does not need to be a barrier to your visibility on the web. Anytime Booking is a young traveltech company and we’re here to help you every step of the way to taking online bookings. We are real people behind the science!

Our booking and site management software gives you the flexibility to run your business your way. You can use it as a simple reservation system to verify the bookings yourself, or you can accept instant online bookings together with payment straight away.

When you come on board, our Account Coordinators are on hand to advise you of the best possible way to configure your accommodation on the system to mirror your business rules, giving you peace of mind that you are getting it right for your customers.

Are you an accommodation provider ready to take the next step? Sign up to Anytime Booking now.