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HomeRegional NewsAfricaBest Western partners with JackRabbit Systems, Inc.
BookDirectTM system connects state and local tourism operations

Best Western partners with JackRabbit Systems, Inc.

Best Western International, the World’s Largest Hotel Chain with more than 4,000 hotels in 80 countries, announced the integration of JackRabbit’s BookDirect Lodging and Availability Search Engine with their rates and availability data feed platform, Direct Connect. This partnership allows Best Western to feed the most up-to-date rates and availability into a larger travel database embedded directly on state and city tourism sites providing enhanced travel options.

“Working with JackRabbit in markets where they lease the BookDirect Search Engine to the city and state tourism departments ensures that leads are generated, then converted at no additional cost to our properties.”

BookDirect opens up Best Western properties directly to cities and select tourism operators, increasing bookings for that market in which the property resides, and creating an opportunity to direct traffic to other local attractions and features. This technology encourages direct booking and provides an automated way of pulling pricing and availability data that is more efficient and accurate than ever before. Additionally, every reservation that is generated through BookDirect for Best Western is done on Bestwestern.com, building up visibility for the hotel brand and its preferred booking channel.

“This partnership with JackRabbit will provide dynamic visibility into hotel capacity, enabling travelers throughout the nation to make easy and informed purchases within our family of hotels,” said Dorothy Dowling, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Best Western. “Working with JackRabbit in markets where they lease the BookDirect Search Engine to the city and state tourism departments ensures that leads are generated, then converted at no additional cost to our properties.”

In most cases, when a city or state tourism department leases the JackRabbit BookDirect software, they are using the lodging’s tax, which is how they fund their budgets, to generate more sales for their properties in their market at no cost. When the tourism department pays JackRabbit Systems to lease the software, JackRabbit does not charge the properties in the market to participate. This not only keeps the lodging’s tax in the market, but can be used to generate commission-free sales for the properties.

Travelers then interface with the BookDirect system when they visit a city or state tourism website looking for accommodations. They will see the BookDirect toolbar immediately on the home page and can search by preferred location, and check–in and check–out dates. The booking engine will return the results of the search, including the average rate per night, hotel amenities and type of accommodations available. From there, visitors can compare rates and select their desired lodging. In this case, by clicking on “Book Direct,” the user will be transferred directly to the individual Best Western website to complete the booking process without paying for the handoff that traditionally exists with third party travel agencies.

“Our unique lease pricing model makes it possible for Best Western to increase direct bookings and local occupancy rates for properties and franchisees,” said Andrew Van Luchene, president and CEO of JackRabbit Systems, Inc. “By continuing to develop partnerships with leading companies like Best Western, we are helping to provide up-to-minute reservation availability for travelers while keeping critical lodging’s tax dollars in the state and local municipalities where the hotel is located.”

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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