Two popular tourist destinations already using BookDirect - Park City, Utah and National Harbor, Maryland - have recently implemented the "Packages & Special Offers" search engine in an effort to make it easier for visitors to book hotels. By using JackRabbit Systems' BookDirect technology, both Park City and National Harbor officials are able to capture the maximum bed tax which keeps tax dollars within the municipalities where the facilities reside and generates funding for other local projects including parks and education initiatives. Additionally, National Harbor has implemented the "Events & Attractions" search engine which provides access to regional activities and attractions while Park City has plans to integrate this system in the future.
"As a premier destination in the greater Washington, DC area it's incredibly important that National Harbor not only make the travel experience as effortless as possible but also keep critical bed tax dollars in the county where lodging facilities are located," said Rocell Viniard, vice president, director of marketing for National Harbor. "With BookDirect, we can increase hotel bookings and direct traffic to other local attractions in a way that is more efficient and accurate than ever before."
How it works
JackRabbit's BookDirect software allows travelers to go directly to the destination website, such as www.parkcityinfo.com and www.nationalharbor.com, bypassing online booking fees, hassle and eliminating the middleman. The Packages & Special Offers Engine and Events & Attractions Engine build on this technology to offer travelers the same ease of booking. The Packages & Special Offers Engine gives Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) a tool to promote direct bookings of hotel packages that lodging properties make available on their own websites. Similarly, JackRabbit indexes tickets for select events and attractions through the Events & Attractions Engine by interfacing with ticket reservation systems in order to make tickets available in a date query, readily-accessible format on the DMO site.
"The benefit of these technology packages is twofold. First, the traveler has a one-stop shop for entertainment and lodging options. Second, DMOs can offer stronger value to local lodging facilities and encourage tourist activity," said Andrew Van Luchene, president and CEO of JackRabbit Systems, Inc.
Each BookDirect engine indexes offers and events, compiles them, and then makes the compilation available for DMO partners on their own websites. Consumers enter dates that they want to travel and can review special offers and regional events on a customized results page. To book a special offer or event, the consumer clicks on a link from the results page and is redirected to the lodging property or event website to complete the booking. The compilation of special offers and events can be used by DMO partners as a stand-alone engine on their websites; as an engine that is integrated into JackRabbit's Pricing and Availability Search Engine on their websites; as an e-mail template that can be sent to a distribution list; as a bookable form on a banner ad, Facebook page, or other third party application; or as a bookable form on a mobile website.
"JackRabbit continuously develops bigger and better features to help us generate hotel leads without an additional cost to our local lodging facilities," said Bill Malone, president and CEO, Park City Chamber of Commerce. "The fact that travelers can now search for lodging packages and special offers from our own website is a much valued feature that we are proud to provide visitors of Park City."
For more information please visit, www.JackRabbitSystems.com.
About JackRabbit Systems and BookDirectTM
JackRabbit Systems develops online travel software for destination and travel portal websites. The BookDirectTM search engine from JackRabbit is designed to improve website functionality and usability in order to enhance the visitor's experience and increase room nights in the selected destination on city and state tourism (DMO) websites in North America. Consumers enter dates into the engine to search for rates and availability for rooms and then click to book directly with the lodging properties, rather than an online travel agent. By linking consumers directly to lodging properties to complete their bookings, the BookDirectTM search engine creates the best consumer experience for booking rooms that leaves the most profit with the lodging property. Over 400,000 consumers a month use the BookDirect engine that is embedded on over 200 city and state tourism websites. For more information, visit www.JackRabbitSystems.com.