“Their booking engine is really attractive to clients. We ran a customer survey and 85% of our customers said they were happier – the design is good and you can see the room rates clearly. It’s also ideal to be able to offer promo codes.”
- How long have you been working at the hotel?
I trained here in 2008, working as a receptionist, before travelling. Then I returned in 2011 and worked for two summers. Since 2013, I’ve been reservations and revenue manager. I like the hotel, it’s independent.
- Tell us about your hotel
We’re unique, due to our location; we’re right on the coast. In fact, you can take the elevator and it takes you down to the beach. It’s beautiful. We’re 10 minutes from Puerto Banús, and it’s just a mile to the harbour. You have the beach, restaurants, boutiques… We’re also only 6 km to Marbella with its historic old town, and Mijas and the historical cities of Granada and Seville are only two hours away by car. There’s a high repeat rate among our customers.
- How long have you been working with Availpro? Why did you decide to choose them?
We partnered with Availpro in October 2016. All the connections were established in November. We chose Availpro because it was compatible with our PMS, and it has connections with all the channels we were working with. It also lets us connect new channels, which we couldn’t do before. We also use the Availpro booking engine, which helps with our direct bookings. The online travel agents are taking a lot of commission. It’s the right decision to have the booking engine, and it’s really attractive to clients. We ran a customer survey and 85% of our customers said they were happier – the design is good and you can see the room rates clearly. It’s also ideal to be able to offer promo codes.
- What was the issue you were experiencing before choosing Availpro?
Previously all the bookings were introduced manually from our reservations team. Due to the large volume of bookings, we were wasting too much time and effort. We were managing our channels through an intermediary. It wasn’t fast enough, and I didn’t have full control.
- What was the biggest impact on your business after selecting Availpro as your partner?
The biggest impact is that I have full control. The platforms are fast, efficient and automated.
One of the best things is the connection into the PMS – we have all our room inventory automatically available in real time on the channel manager (in case of cancellations or modifications these rooms are distributed again in two seconds). The support is also good. I was worried about the change in November 2016, so I went to talk to our account manager, Thais, at Availpro. She was my guide in the process. If we have any problem, they reply in under 24 hours. They’re really fast!
- Are there any tools or enhancements you would like to see made?
I am the sort of person who is fighting everyday! There are always small details I want to see changed, and one thing I’d like is to be able to add is extras, such as parking, a bottle of wine, or an extra room or a cot in a room, via a calendar rather than having to do it manually each day. Those extras have a price per day or per stay, and to put them online to sell them we have to do it room by room, and day by day, which takes longer – it would be faster selecting all the rooms with all days in two clicks. Then there’s less work in the back office systems, and the guests don’t have to send me an email.
- What would you say to anyone considering partnering with Availpro?
Availpro offers a simple design that makes the platform logical. We’re very satisfied. We’ve already a high occupancy rate, so for us it is about selling right, not selling more. You have to optimise the rates and that is what Availpro gives us.
|Raquel Ortega – Revenue Manager, Gran Hotel Guadalpin Banús
Raquel started her career in the tourism and travel industry in 2007. She joined the Gran Hotel Guadalpin Banús in 2014 as Revenue and Reservations Agent before being promoted to Revenue Manager in 2015. She is responsible for managing both off and online distribution channels of the hotel.