Friday, 18 March 2011

arcRes V5 new Features for Hotel Bookings & Travel Marketing

arcRes publishes rates special and packages to
mobile phone, social media and travel shopping sites
The new arcRes V5 combines the arcRes real-time booking with a host of unique travel services and marketing options

arcRes V5 brings new Web 2.0 properties to the booking engine streamlining the booking process, making it more intuitive to use and manage. It is more effective in marketing the brand and closing direct bookings.  

arcRes V5 new look and customized design for brands provides improved marketing, more selling options and higher conversion.

 The design is a simple, compact page that is clear, concise and flexible, allowing hotels and tourism partners to offer many rate plans, specials, packages, affiliate promotions and affinity discounts. 

arcRes direct marketing mail systems allow hotels and tourism suppliers to prospect and follow up with interested travelers. Contact-management is geared to tracking bookings. Sales message may be broadcast to travelers, targeting specific interest, regions, and by booking status and dates etc. The mailing database can be imported into iContact for more advanced tracking and marketing.

An availability calendar is built into the reservation process and will appear to show available dates for units that are fully booked for the selected dates. Travelers often have some flexibility in dates, and the calendar allows them to adjust the stay to fit.

V5 builds on the arcRes Tourism marketing Platform that encompasses mobile marketing and bookings, social media marketing, distribution, direct sales, advertising, content management and publishing. 

Brand content, rates, specials, packages and photo galleries are published to over 1000 travel sites and subscribers that include the AXSES travel network, mobile websites, Smartphone applications, social media, independent shopping sites, travel affiliates, syndicate travel sites and subscribers.

The new customized and brand-focused design option allows AXES to offer personal marketing service to individual hotels and travel brands. These can include SEO optimization, directory submission, video blogging, article writing, bookmarking, publishing and distribution. All marketing works in concert with arcRes publishing, specials marketing and distribution, which spreads the brand URL (e.g. across the Internet. This creates a wide footprint of the brand on the internet, increasing hotel ranking on the search engines, making it easier for travelers to find the brand and book direct.

The default payment option is Credit Card Guarantee (CCG) , similar to that used by the Global Distributions Systems like Sabre, and by OnLine Travel Agents like CCG is the preferred option for direct booking at hotels and tourism operations, where the operators have generally excellent merchant rates with their local banks and traditionally accept a credit card to secure a booking. The card is processed in the event the guest cancels. Other payment systems and payment gateways can be integrated.

All hotel rules, rates, terms and conditions, even down to family plans, are accommodated. 

arcRes was designed for tourism properties as their own booking engine. There are no fixed rules: Child ages are set by the hotel and tourism supplier according to their own preferences.  A child rate can be free for the first child with charges for the second, or it may be charges for the first and free for the second, or any combination. Similarly, deposit requirements, cancellation policies, check-in times and terms are customized to the brand.

Hotels, car rentals, tours, activities and all tourism suppliers may use a custom-designed booking widget on their website or select from any standard widget available on The widgets are recommended for each page of the site, as this has been shown to increase bookings. The widgets are available for all major hosting platform, including Wordpress, Facebook, Java, Flash and html.

All inventory models are available: request to sell, block a request, freesell and full allocation.

The request to sell system is most popular with small hotels who do not want to manage inventory. All reservations requests are accepted by the system and are subject to confirmation by the supplier.

Block request is similar, except that the supplier can block any unit for a specific period. If it is blocked, it cannot be booked. If available, it is still treated as a reservation request and must be confirmed by the hotel or tourism supplier.

The advantage of the request system is that it is easy to maintain (no allocation, no inventory management). Its disadvantage is that it requires more follow-up and does not offer a real-time confirmation which many travelers expect.

The Confirmed booking system requires Inventory Management or Freesell

With full inventory management units may be allocated to channels and to website bookings. 5 units for the website, 4 for OTA, 5 to xyz, etc. This can get tedious if their are many channels.

In Freesell all units are considered available unless they are blocked. arcRes allows units to be blocked by day for any period.

AXSES offers a channel management service,
using technology that allows our consultants to manage rates and allocation across multiple distribution points.

All of these features have been available in arcRes for several years. V5 is a streamlined and more effective system for the brand and the traveler. It sells more units, provides more immediate data to travelers, allows better rate management, upgrades and up-sells and converts more bookings.

AXSES offers a channel management service, using technology that allows our consultants to manage rates and allocation across multiple distribution points.

All of these features have been available in arcRes for several years. V5 is a streamlined and more effective system for the brand and the traveler. It sells more units, provides more immediate data to travelers, allows better rate management, upgrades and up-sells and converts more bookings.

For more see our video at h

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Monday, 14 March 2011

AXSES' arcRes Bookings Plugin for WordPress Approved

AXSES has launched a booking engine plugin for WordPress. WordPress is growing as a content management and marketing platform for hotels and tourism companies. It has come a long way from its early blogging days, but blogging is still an important feature of the service. WP also has many plugins and services that are attractive to travel marketers. These include easy to use Social Widgets, SEO plugins, contact forms, blog responder, chat and so forth. There are many design templates that can also be used to quickly create a professional-looking site along a particular theme, like families, romance, etc.

We have been watching hotels, using this resource, and feel that it is the right time to offer an arcRes bookings widget plugin for hotels that want an easy and effecting booking engine that can allow users to get instant quotes and make bookings or just reserve hotel rooms and activities.

The arcRes is a good match for WordPress. It provides flexible inventory and payment options and can work for WordPress merchant gateways. It also provides a credit card guarantee system which is becoming very popular, as many hotels have excellent discount rates with local banks. Credit Card Guarantee is a standard used by the majority of international hotels for hotel and activity reservations. It is very suited to small hotels who don't have a need for Internet merchant accounts. It is quick  to implement and easy to manage. Credit Card Guarantee is used by major Online Travel Agents (OTAs) for hotel reservations. These include, the Global Distribution Systems (GDS) and by many hotels chains, as well as independent hotel and tourism operators.

Both reservation requests and real time confirmed bookings are available and managed by arcRes. 

arcRes is a full feature booking engine that is also a content manager and publishing system. It manages specials, packages, add-ons, numerous rate plans, family plans and themes marketing.

arcRes content is published to the AXSES network, to social sites, Web 2.0 properties and to affiliate travel site. It provides effective and low-cost marketing for hotel and tourism brands to a network of over 1000 sites and subscribers. arcRes also powers AXSES dotMobi marketing via the platform. It publishes brand rates, images, content and bookings capability to Facebook. It  publishes specials to Twitter, Google Shopping, Craigslist and many others. 

The WordPress Bookings plugin means that any hotel on WordPress can now use arcRes for their WP brand website, and at the same time take advantage of its extensive marketing coverage.

Get the arcRes Bookings plugin for WordPress at

Use arcRes to publish to Social Meda and travel sites

Get more info on latest version of arcRes

Quick Review of WordPress for Tourism

We have been experimenting with WP for several months. Our Global marketing site, is build with WordPress. It uses auto-blogging and we have built RSS feeds that push all of our client special, packages and deals out to Adventure Holidays Specials on the site. We have found it requires a degree of effort and time to understand its many features and plugin options. We recommended it as a platform to hotels who have a WP professional available to help in installation and management. As noted By Alex in Blogessive "While working with it as a website CMS will not allow too many customizations for entry-level developers or users, in the hands of a pro WordPress is ready to perform miracles".

We note some issues with the all-in-one SEO plugin, which appears to conflict with manual entries. In our own case, the development and installation was out-sourced and we are now bringing it in-house on our own server. There are issues with the auto-blogging and we believe Google is flagging sites with auto-blogs and duplicated content. In our view, this is affecting the Page Rank of WordPress sites with the WP auto-blogging plugin and we do not recommend using this plugin. Hotels should build unique content on their sites. Even in blogging, make your content original, not copies of news, but news in your own words and with your own special insights and interpretation.

arcRes Links | | arcRes Bookings plugin for WordPress