INDEPENDENT NEWS

Easy Online Booking for Travellers

Published: Fri 23 Nov 2007 03:51 PM
Easy Online Booking – for Travellers to Stay in the Bay
www.bestoftauranga.com (BoTCom), the website that provides an independent ‘insider’s guide’ to the Western Bay of Plenty – is now offering realtime, online accommodation bookings.
BoTCom has entered a partnership with Vianet, a leader in online booking systems for the tourist industry.
‘It is a huge step forward for Best of Tauranga – and a first for a locally-based website used by people about to visit this sub-region, says Editor Grant Dyson.
‘The addition of Vianet booking tools to www.bestoftauranga.com ensures the site will have even more appeal to visitors. And it means we are contributing more to the Bay’s tourist industry. Visitors to our site are encouraged to take the next step – make an immediate reservation - and pay for it then and there online,” he says.
Grant Dyson says that Vianet and BoTCom are working together – with the intial focus on accommodation providers on the site. The next step is to expand into activities and other tourism products and services.
How does the system work? Vianet’s easy to use, Google-style maps of the district will sit on a number of our pages, Grant Dyson explains. By clicking on a flag, the user sees information on say, a motel. There is a complete rundown on the motel’s facilities, and other details. An availability calendar at the bottom of the page, complete with prices, allows the user to make an on-the-spot booking.
While it doesn’t cost anything for an operator to join Vianet, a commission of 10% will apply to online bookings made through the site. This is comparable with bookings through agencies that handle bookings.
Vianet’s regional representative Justin Smith has already visited and registered a number of Western Bay accommodation providers, and the process is continuing.
‘There’s no doubt that more and more travellers want to book accommodation, activities and more online,’ he says. By using the Vianet maps on a site like Best of Tauranga – a traveller can better plan their visit or holiday.
From an accommodation provider’s perspective, it saves time, cutting down emailing back and forwards. And Vianet tools allow them to manage their inventory and bookings online themselves.
Justin Smith is keen to hear from providers – from backpackers to motels, hotels and lodges – who would like more information about Vianet – and what it can do for them.
He says Vianet has already successfully partnered with Trademe in the provision of Travelbug – allowing people to book accommodation around New Zealand.
ENDS

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