Now, when travelers visit www.visitmidlandtexas.com to search for accommodations, they will interface with the Book › Direct system, which has been branded to match Midland's website and includes functionality that allows visitors to compare rates and availability, and select desired lodging from the website. The visitor will then be redirected to complete their transaction directly with the lodging property. "We are very excited to be working with JackRabbit Systems," said Gaylia Olivas, Vice President of the Midland, Texas Convention & Visitors Bureau. "One of the main reasons we chose the Book Direct Search Engine technology is that it will not cost our local accommodation partners any money to participate and we really like the map view option. The JackRabbit team has been wonderful to work with and we look forward to a long and successful relationship."
The Book › Direct Search Engine is the only booking solution in the marketplace that is 100% dedicated to facilitating direct reservations to all lodging properties in each tourism bureau destination. Book › Direct also keeps 100% of the gross lodging revenue within the DMO market (and 100% taxable).
- JackRabbit Book › Direct allows travelers to go directly to www.visitmidlandtexas.com to book accommodations, bypassing online booking fees and travel agency commissions, and eliminating the "middleman."
- Website visitors can search by preferred location, category, and check-in and check-out date from the Book › Direct toolbar located directly on Midland'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 valuable tax revenue in the market where the lodging property is located, instead of it being paid to other online travel booking sites.
Government officials say destinations are losing an estimated $1 billion a year in tax revenue due to other travel agencies. Since JackRabbit Systems does not charge properties fees or commissions for reservations driven from the Book › Direct Search Engine, tourism departments are able to keep lodging properties' gross reservation and tax revenue in their market when they lease the Book › Direct software.
Instead of bed 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 sales for properties. These funds can go toward promoting tourism and potentially pay for schools, law enforcement and other municipal services where the property resides - especially important during tough economic cycles when treasuries are lean and every penny counts.