February 2007 - G-wiz challenges overpriced website booking market: GHO offers more for less
G-wiz by Great Hotels Organisation is set to launch this month as the industry’s leading simple screen booking solution for hotel websites. Challenging the currently overpriced marketplace, G-wiz will invite hotels to pay less for its internet booking technology while receiving a better overall service and return on investment.
Revolutionising current practice, the new pricing structure being adopted by G-wiz is designed to particularly benefit hotels with high producing websites of their own.
Rather than employing the traditional commission based structure, where hotels are charged a one-off fee for using the online booking technology within their websites and then further commissions every time a booking is received through it, G-wiz will be the first provider to offer the technology and its successes all at a flat-rate annual fee. Consequently, by using G-wiz, hotels will now be able to benefit from even better service at just a fraction of the traditional costs, as thousands of pounds are saved in old-style commission payments.
The improved service offered by G-wiz results from it being the first built using AJAX technology. A new way of programming, the use of AJAX enables the website booking process to be faster, more reliable and, importantly, accessible to a greater number of web users. As a result, the G-wiz technology provides a superior user experience for consumers, which research suggests will result in a greater number of completed sales for the hotel. Not charging commissions for the privilege of these sales successes, G-wiz is the first provider to return control of the increasingly important web-based sales costs to hotels; offering a further clear advantage over its competitor alternatives.
Until G-wiz, hotels had few alternatives to the traditional commission-based structure. They could build their own booking engine, which is both expensive and unlikely to be able to keep up with developments in technology, or they could use a smaller local provider, paying a monthly fee but for similarly less technically capable services. Since hotels need a booking engine to accurately reflect their service and offerings on arrival, particularly in the luxury sector, these options were often considered non-viable.
G-wiz has been designed with all these past concerns in mind, enabling it to provide the sought-after hotel solution within the ever important online booking channel.
Yunna Takeuchi, Director of e-Distribution, GHO, commented: “GHO is committed to challenging current industry practices for the benefit of hotels, particularly those that are smaller and independent, whose operating margins can be fragile. There is no reason why the commission structure should be the only option available, so GHO has taken the initiative to introduce that choice.”
G-wiz, the new lower cost booking engine alternative, costs a one-off £450 / €650 set-up and customisation fee and £1,500 / €2,250 per annum for hotels up to 125 rooms in size and an additional £4 / €6 per room for each room thereafter.
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About G-wiz: Following discussions with members of GHO’s Great Hotels of the World (http://www.ghotw.com) and Special Hotels of the World (http://www.shotw.com) brands and studies of current market offerings, GHO identified both a demand and gap in the market. Priding itself on being an industry leader in developing technical solutions for the industry, the answer was G-wiz. Offering the industry’s only true one-screen booking system, G-wiz has been uniquely built using AJAX technology, meaning the technological excellence is presented with the functionality and usability of a desktop application within the accessibility of a website. In addition, it will be the only booking engine which offers an in-built SEO tool, the ability to book extras such as spa treatments and multiple rooms, a customised e-marketing tool, as well as a variety of other features all designed to help hotels maximise the opportunity and yield return of their own websites.
The Great Hotels Organisation’s family of brands include Great Hotels of the World (http://www.ghotw.com)and Special Hotels of the World (http://www.shotw.com). By acknowledging that each hotel has a different set of marketing requirements, the Great Hotels Organisation allows its member hotels to choose from a comprehensive collection of sales and marketinginitiatives in order to build their own ‘à la carte’ membership programme tailored to meet their individual objectives. By doing this, members are able to choose and purchase only the services they require, thus ensuring that membership fees are kept to a minimum and are focused on their specific requirements. Sales and marketing initiatives that members are able to take advantage of include: trade shows, e-marketing, business travel consortia sales, public relations, a private label GDS chain code and sales blitzes. Membership of the Great Hotels Organisation is by invitation only and hotels must meet strict criteria before being accepted. The Great Hotels Organisation manages the “GW” private label GDS chain code and toll-free voice reservation numbers operate globally. Further information on the Great Hotels Organisation can be found at (http://www.ghorg.com).