What motivates us ?

Published by Craig Stewart on

You have registered with cobooking and probably want to know a bit more about what motivates us/you and a bit about why you should return to this blog and keep up with cobooking news.

The BIG why ?

For so long, accommodation owners have seen their direct bookings dwindle and wither in front of their eyes. Customers that used to book with them directly somehow end up booking through an Online Travel Agent (OTA).

fighting for direct bookings

Owners have tried almost everything to stem the loss of direct bookings but quite frankly they face massive challenges in trying to do this. Monopolistic, rule breaking and borderline illegal competition grabs their own customers. No single accommodation business is a match for a system so large, ruthless, well funded and so focused in its design to devour your direct bookings.

The how ?

Rather than getting angry and frustrated we believe we could all work towards an alternative. That’s what cobooking is.

At this early stage we don’t yet have a public site to promote your direct offering. It’s something we are working on and hope to have a first version soon.

Cobooking looks to collaborate with technology systems across the spectrum so that no property owner will ever have to change their booking system to work with cobooking – it must be open to all.

Your help ?

working together

How can we effectively work together to help build cobooking ? As property owners you probably know a few other accommodation businesses nearby or even far away. Share the idea and lets see how many we can get involved. If we can share our difficulties and our work we will make it all so much more easily lifted.

Cobooking will be collaborative because we need to work together to do this. In working together we hope to find purpose.

Why come back ?

We will try to make this blog interesting, new and helpful rather than the usual offering of sales rubbish. No doubt that will be a challenge and every article will not suit everyone but it will be a different voice.

Share on twitter, facebook, by email, carrier pigeon, telephone, blog, drum, satellite….


Sarah Smith · May 14, 2020 at 3:41 pm

It would be great if owners could collaborate and offer two centre holidays! A couple of owners are interested in doing this but I would have no idea how to go about it!

    StephenAstin · May 14, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    That’s great idea ! I’d love to participate in something like that but I have absolutely no idea where to start 🙂 .

      Craig Stewart · May 14, 2020 at 5:06 pm

      Hi Stephen, I realise your reply was to Sarah, still getting used to the blog !

    Craig Stewart · May 14, 2020 at 5:20 pm

    Nice idea ! Not totally sure how it would work but there are certainly quite a few destinations that are on a “trail” where guests go from one place to the next.

Tracy Wilson · May 14, 2020 at 4:52 pm

I would like a booking site that asks for a fair commission. Nobody runs a business for nothing! But with fair commission and fair priced accommodation. I think you will be on to a winner!🤗

    Craig Stewart · May 14, 2020 at 5:03 pm

    Thanks for your wise words Tracy, we want to get it started off and then see how we can fund it with the lowest possible costs but also in a fair and open way so that guests are not cheated. It has to be good for accommodation owners and good for guests.

    Jenny Meads · May 17, 2020 at 10:52 am

    I agree with Tracy (Wilson). I don’t expect a free site. Everyone needs to make profit or there’s no point, we also need to recognise that investment is needed if we want this to work. It’s about being fair and reasonable.

      Craig Stewart · May 22, 2020 at 2:34 pm

      That’s a good idea we will have to find a way to fund it and make it inclusive so accommodation owners can be an integral part of the decisions that are made and the work that needs to be done. We should all look to put something in and see where we can take it.

Amanda Dunn · May 15, 2020 at 7:51 am

Hi Craig, are you ok with me sharing on Linked In?

    Craig Stewart · May 15, 2020 at 9:49 am

    Yes you can share away anywhere – we have not yet got our LinkedIn setup, thinking we might do that a bit later once we have listings published.

Kalpana Robinson · May 17, 2020 at 6:21 am

Hi Craig….thanks for starting to build cobooking….needs to be fair on all…..am sure that many of the smaller hotels and b&b’s in Blackpool will join.

John Brid · May 20, 2020 at 1:34 pm

Will your new website look similar to a current OTA website to a guest but with the important difference being that the booking is with us (not an OTA) and it goes direct through our booking software and with our conditions.

    Craig Stewart · May 22, 2020 at 2:32 pm

    That sounds like a good idea, something like that might be quite popular.

Annie's Guest House · May 23, 2020 at 5:12 pm

I look forward to seeing this OTA challenger website and (hopefully!) the end of commission-paid online booking.

I have a couple of suggestions for you…

First, have a “cobooking” advantage perk.If a guest telephones and mentions “cobooking” they receive a perk not available via OTA’s. For online booking this would be a universal “cobooking” discount code used by all members. The perk itself would vary by property, examples include (but are not limited to!) 5% off, free early check in, free later check out, free breakfast, free parking, a welcome gift eg cookies.

Second suggestion is to make the site profitable. Have a blog on the site itself aimed at tourists and charge Cobooking members for a blog post. You could probably even automate this and have a submission form for the blog post – include an image and a word count minimum and maximum. Members could they pay a nominal fee eg £5 to submit a blog post that promotes an event in their area eg a festival. This would also benefit the Cobooking site giving it fresh content that Google likes to see.

You could make even make this blog post mandatory for members, eg one blog post promoting something in their area (written by them) per quarter for £20/year. I think one of the sucesses of Booking.con (deliberate typo!) is that they have fresh content in the form of reviews but I think a steady stream of fresh tourist-focused information would compete with this.

Good luck with the new site!

    Craig Stewart · May 26, 2020 at 10:53 am

    Thanks for the support and for the ideas. Fresh content is important, everyone wants to read the latest version rather than something written six years ago. Topical content also resonates better in our fast move in world, thanks Craig

    Charlotte Boyle · June 4, 2020 at 6:19 pm

    I like Annie’s suggestions and would happily sign up for them particularly the blogs – Great ideas

Michael Dunham · June 5, 2020 at 8:08 am

Providing a great service for guests motivates me, and having them return again and again.

What DOES NOT motivate me is paying commission to OTAs that treat you badly. They call you their partner. Joke!

This new venture is exactly what we need and I am looking forward to it.

Angus Stewart · June 9, 2020 at 9:02 pm

Lets get on with this – I am willing to contribute ££ if others are to get us a website up and running.

Kelvin Brain · June 23, 2020 at 9:09 pm

I’ve been a Freetobook user for 2 years and have to say that I have complete confidence in you guys to pull this off. I’m an ex-management consultant, specialised in Customer Experience and have to say that none of the OTAs or Channel Managers really care about their customers but they’ve created an environment where their customer HAVE to use them even though they hate them. What an awful business relationship to have. Everything I’ve seen and used from Freetobook has been a two-way street and a win win for all. Why do travellers use the large OTAs, loyalty benefits. I would certainly cut my profit to support building a loyalty scheme via Cobooking. It’s so important to maintain business integrity – You guys are one of the few – Good Luck !

Comments are closed.