Properties

Australia’s Rottnest Island deploys custom booking engine by P3

Hotel software solutions provider P3 is being credited for transforming the booking process for Rottnest Island Authority, afterRottnest Island developing a customized booking engine that effectively addresses the authority’s diverse range of accommodations and guests. A popular island destination situated just offshore from the city of Petrh in Western Australia, Rottnest Island Authority operates Stay Rottnest, offering an expansive array of accommodations from campsites and cabins to bungalows and large self-contained units. With 69 different room types spanning seven locations and various views and room configurations, a robust and highly customized guest booking solution was required. After the previous provider announced plans to phase out its booking engine at the end of 2022, Rottnest Island’s management team conducted a thorough evaluation of systems capable of meeting their unique business requirements to identify a new solution.

“Stay Rottnest is different in many ways. It’s a unique business,” said Deborah Taylor, Director of Visitor Services at Rottnest Island Authority, “We had to cover data security issues, PCI-DSS and so forth because it’s a state-agency, not a private entity. We needed to find a new booking engine provider that could understand the uniqueness of our project and that could deliver the level of customisation we needed to support our guests’ bookings and the significant spikes in demand for our accommodation.”

Another unique feature of Stay Rottnest is the loyalty of its clientele, with many guests returning year after year with their families for generations, often seeking the same location or even the same accommodation.

“The biggest piece of functionality that P3 built for us was a calendar with alternative dates. This calendar shows users the available dates for the particular type of accommodation they chose. Guests don’t need to exhaustively guess on possible available dates for their booking needs,” said Taylor. “They can now filter their booking search by location and/or by the types of units that meet their needs, including adults and children. When they move to the rooms and rates page, they are able to see what is sold out and what is available. If what they want is sold out, they can flick through the calendar and find an alternative date when their unit of interest is available. This makes much easier for the user to find availability gaps specific to certain units.”

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In addition to making the booking process simpler and more intuitive for Stay Rottnest guests, the new P3 booking engine has also resulted in added revenue and increased occupancy rates.

“We now have a huge demand for short-lead time bookings, which didn’t happen before, continued Taylor. “There was suddenly a different booking behaviour to fill out the accommodation gaps as people could scroll through the availability calendar. Within the first 24 hours of launching the new system, we sold double the amount of bookings that we would normally sell at that time of year. We also noticed that 25% of those bookings were actually made for the subsequent 5 months, from December to April. This is phenomenal because we rarely have customers booking in such a short lead time. Within the first month with the new system, 40% of the new bookings were made for gaps during the peak period from December to April and this trend continued throughout the peak season.”

Since deploying the new booking engine, the Rottnest Island properties are more consistently fully booked with few gaps between stays. Taylor credits P3 for the uptick in bookings. “We did a proof of concept, and the team was quickly able to demonstrate that they could undertake the customisation required by Rottnest. From the very beginning of the conversations between P3 and Rottnest Island Authority, everything seemed possible to build,” she said. “They clearly understood the transparency and the complexities around selling our accommodation. Their CEO Phelim Pekaar and the team are always proactive in approaching us with ideas and suggestions to improve the Stay Rottnest guest booking experience.”

Tags: Australia, P3, Rottnest Island

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