The worldwide network of not-for-profit youth hostel associations, Hostelling International, has partnered with the global hotel industry's leading cloud platform, SiteMinder, in a bid to bolster the online presence of its almost-4,000 hostel members and attract more direct bookings from guests. The network has integrated its online booking engine with SiteMinder's platform to automate the flow of information between each hostel member's website and property management system – a capability which is already driving a surge of direct reservations for member properties and freeing up time for staff.
Among the early adopters of the integration is Eurohostel in Helsinki, Finland, which has saved over an hour each day manually revising its pricing and availability online.
"The integration with SiteMinder has allowed us to update our room rates and availability in real-time, directly from our property management system, so they are always current. And, since reservations are automatically delivered back into our system, there are no mistakes in the booking information – each booking is exactly how it was provided by the guest," says Marko Repo, Hostel Manager at Eurohostel.
Luke Tarplett, Hostel Manager at the 100-year-old YHA Christchurch in New Zealand, echoes Mr Repo's sentiments on the integrations benefits to guests. Says Mr Tarplett, "Using SiteMinder allows us to offer greater choice to guests using the HIHostels.com website. In the first two months, we saw an increase in bookings, and ultimately the stable and efficient connection continues to offer an easier process for our front desk team."
Hostelling International spans hostels in more than 80 countries and is one of the world's largest international membership organizations. Today's announcement forms part of a group-wide strategy to diversify the online distribution strategies of member hostels, with bookings from both third-party channels and their direct hostel website.
SiteMinder's global SVP of partnerships, Dai Williams, says, "We are pleased to support Hostelling International, an organization that so deeply understands the needs and preferences of the modern traveler, for the true benefit of its hostel members. If the early results prove anything, it is the material value of direct bookings – and, indeed, of automation – in a world that otherwise moves incredibly fast and demands a lot from every accommodation provider."