The Islands’ Partnership has received ERDF funding to make it easier for visitors to plan and book their visit to Scilly – including addressing its lack of online bookable product.
FREE SUPPORT & ADVICE
Come speak to us. We can…
- Introduce you to Online Booking System Providers
- Help you make informed decisions about what will work best for your business
- Interlink your booking system with visitislesofscilly.com to increase your exposure and ultimately your bookings
WHY DO I NEED ONLINE BOOKING?
Everyone’s booking habits have changed – Nationwide, more than 80% of all holiday bookings are made online. Customer expectations are ever-changing so don’t get left behind.
Lots of Scilly’s visitors want to book online – 50% of our visitors in 2017 would have liked to book online – but only 27% were able to.
More booking options mean more bookings – Online reservations are just one of a number of booking options that will help you fill your rooms. It doesn’t mean that you’ll lose control – but your customer base will grow.
NEW VISITISLESOFSCILLY.COM WEBSITE
As part of this project we launched a new booking enabled website in December 2018, working with a company called New Mind TellUs.
The site allows accommodation providers the same editing/updating capabilities as the previous website plus;
- Increased image gallery to showcase your business
- Your social media feeds on your listing
- Improved mapping
- Add to shortlist / create ‘itineraries’
- Improved technical resilience
And, of course, the option to be online bookable.
MY BOOKING OPTIONS FOR VISITISLESOFSCILLY.COM
There are a number of different ways or stages for businesses to display availability and take bookings through the new visitislesofscilly.com website;
- Display indicative availability only. Customers will then need to contact the business to check availability and make a booking
- Display availability and allow customers to reserve vacancies. The business will then contact the customer to progress the booking and take payment
- Fully integrated booking that will allow customers to book and make payment seamlessly
If you choose the 3rd option there are a number of booking systems that you can use…
The solution proposed by New Mind TellUs to “poll” live availability to a new booking enabled website is using a system called Guestlink. Guestlink is the calendar/booking system that will display on visitislesofscilly.com so whichever of the 3 options above you choose, you will need a Guestlink account. The IP will guide you through this process.
There are also a number of other booking systems that can link through the Guestlink system to display your availability, including Freetobook, Little Hotelier, Inn Style, Supercontrol and many more. Contact the Islands’ Partnership if you want to know if a particular system will link through visitislesofscilly.com.
However, we want to make it clear that this does not mean that we are working with any “preferred” or “recommended” suppliers and under no circumstances have or will we provide any 3rd party systems with our members’ details. So, should businesses receive any mailings or emails from 3rd party system providers, please be assured that these have not been instigated by the Islands’ Partnership, nor are we endorsing or making recommendations of one system over any other. As always, we are very happy to offer advice should any business require further assistance or wish to discuss the project or online booking in more detail.
The new visitislesofscilly.com website has started strongly with thousands of pounds worth of bookings taken over the first couple of weeks. We urge our accommodation providers to stay on top of their availability calendars so that our potential visitors are receiving the most up to date and accurate information. To assist you we have put together a selection of helpful guides to using Guestlink. We are of course always happy to help you in person or over the phone as well. Download the guides below.
– Setting up your Guestlink account for the first time
– Adding or editing your pricing details
– Updating your availability
– Allowing customers to book or reserve and what to do when a booking is made