Travelers will now interface with the Book › Direct lodging search engine when they visit ATA's official travel website, aruba.com, and search for accommodations. The search engine is branded to match ATA's aruba.com, with functionality that operates like any other booking solution, allowing visitors to compare rates & availability and select their desired lodging from Aruba's website. The key difference is that the visitor is then redirected to complete their transaction directly with the lodging property.
"We are very happy to be working with JackRabbit Systems and their Book › Direct Search Engine technology," said Jim Hepple, President & CEO off the Aruba Hotel and Tourism Association. "We are adding Book › DirectTM to aruba.com website to greatly enhance the visitor experience and send visitors directly to our hotels to book."
"It's the right solution for Aruba's hotel industry and fits our strategy perfectly as we are redesigning aruba.com and moving forward into the future with a focus on digital marketing in order to align with the consumer demand for simple and direct online bookings," said Ronella Tjin Asjoe - Croes, CEO Aruba Tourism Authority (ATA).
Compared to Third Party booking engines, Book › Direct eliminates the "middleman" fees for hotels and lodging properties, saving them between 15% and 30% on the total reservation amount while increasing visitor functionality on tourism bureau web sites - all at no additional cost to the property. The Book › Direct search functionality helps increase tourism for destinations inclusive of all lodging partners in the market without the need for each lodging property to manage inventory into the Book › Direct system. This is unlike online travel agencies (OTAs) and Third Party booking engines, where lodging properties must manage additional inventory into their systems. Furthermore, the customer experience is enhanced by allowing them to communicate directly with the lodging property, should they make any changes to their reservation or want additional insight and information on the property.
- JackRabbit Book › Direct allows travelers to go directly to ATA's www.aruba.com, to book accommodations; bypassing online booking fees, travel agency commissions, and eliminating the "middleman."
- Website visitors can search by preferred location, category, and check-in and check-out dates from the Book › Direct toolbar located directly on ATA's aruba.com‘s, home page and other site profile pages.
- Date-driven Book › Direct search results provide information on the lowest average rate per night, hotel amenities, location, and type of accommodations available.
- JackRabbit Book › Direct benefits city and state tourism bureaus by keeping 100% of valuable tax revenue in the market where the lodging property is located, instead of fees and commissions being paid to other online travel agency sites, which can result in lower net revenue taxed.
Government officials say destinations are losing an estimated $1 billion a year in tax revenue to online travel agency net rate bookings.
Tourism Bureaus are able to keep lodging properties' gross reservation and tax revenue in their markets when they utilize the JackRabbit Book › Direct software, since JackRabbit does not charge properties any fees or commissions for reservations driven from the Book › Direct Search Engine.
The resulted change in lodging taxes collected is significant. For example, instead of lodging tax being collected on 70%-75% of the rate with many major online travel agencies, it is collected on 100% of the rate via Book › Direct. This not only keeps 100% of the lodging tax in the market, but also drives commission-free booking revenue for properties.
These important funds can go toward promoting tourism and in some cases pay for schools, law enforcement and other municipal services in the city or county where the property resides. These dollars are especially important during tough economic cycles when treasuries are lean and every penny counts.