Woodman Inn

Woodman Inn amplifies online exposure to increase bookings by 20%, while reducing costs

In the Yorkshire landscape, between the northern Peak District and the South Pennines, Woodman Inn sits with its stunning country-living 10 bedrooms and three cottages.

Chris McHugh has managed the inn since mid 2012. For Chris, his guest experience always comes first and customer service is an everyday initiative. Woodman Inn attracts many leisure visitors during the weekends and business guests during the week.

“Little Hotelier has changed how we sell rooms online, everything has become much more efficient as we don’t have to update 3rd party websites manually anymore! I have more free time, which I can spend on making my guests happy with their stay.”

The Challenge

As Chris took the reins of Woodman Inn, he thought the booking process wouldn’t take up much of his time. Instead, problems started to arise and things took a turn for the worse.

While guests were able to book on his website through the booking engine, it didn’t integrate with Online Travel Agents (OTAs) and other booking sites, so he wasn’t able to distribute his rooms across his booking channels in real time to gain maximum exposure.

The lack of integration meant that Chris was constantly updating every channel manually every time a room was booked, resulting in a high risk of overbookings. It was also highly time consuming. The existing booking engine was taking up so much of Chris’ time, that he never got the chance to do the job he actually signed up for, which was to look after and attend to his guests.

“It took me ages to manually update room availability on external channels.”

This led to limiting distribution of inventory to just one OTA website, to avoid the risk of overbookings and to reduce the time spent manually updating the channels. Meanwhile, 76% of online bookings happen across all OTAs and 20% of direct bookings come from people who discovered your hotel on an OTA. In other words, not a desirable outcome of future booking revenue ability for Woodman Inn.

Additionally, the existing booking engine was commission based, which had reduced Woodman Inn’s ability to reinvest revenue back into the business. The inn was charged for every reservation that was made, making it very expensive in the long run. The time wasted and costs of his existing booking engine started to weigh in.

The Solution

It didn’t take Chris very long to come to the conclusion that he needed one system that would take care of everything, but remain cost effective. The new system would also need to free up more of his time with a reduction in administrative tasks. It was important for Chris to keep his guests happy and not disappoint them with overbookings.

After having experience with an existing booking engine, Chris knew exactly what he was missing to run Woodman Inn effectively.

Little Hotelier’s all-in-one reservation and property management system ticked all the boxes.

Chris got everything he needed and more from Little Hotelier’s system:

• Integration with OTA channels

• Real time automatic availability updates across all channels

• Everything accessible from one login

• Commission free bookings and cost efficiency

• Easy to use with a user friendly booking management layout

Chris expressed:

“Little Hotelier was much simpler to use compared to other systems and most importantly, not as costly!”

The Results

With Little Hotelier, Woodman Inn is able to distribute their rooms across as many channels as they like.

Woodman Inn experienced a 20% increase in reservations, as their exposure was boosted on the OTAs.

“We have seen a sizeable increase in bookings once we started with Little Hotelier.”

Chris was also able to notice significant cost savings once he started using Little Hotelier’s booking engine and property management system.

His job became less draining, because he no longer had to manually update room availability. Chris is now able to devote more time to better serve his guests and attend to their needs.

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