The founder of London-based Umi Hotels has developed a multi-channel web platform for independent hoteliers to help them counter the spiralling cost of online travel agency commissions.
Steve Lowy’s Umi Digital system uses responsive web design technology to ensure hotel websites properly load on all devices.
He said this was in response to TRI Hospitality figures released earlier this year which showed that while room rates in London were up by an average of 49%, OTA commissions had risen 151%.
Lowy said these figures “served as a warning that smaller hotels need to be highly visible in the online space and drive direct business to survive”.
“We want to offer the independent side of the market an affordable way of getting online and lower their cost of sales without having major headaches and multiple agencies to work with,” Lowy said.
“Starting out as a hotel manager myself, I know there are never enough hours in the day to concentrate on increasing direct business. We take the pain out of executing the full digital strategy that the average independent hotel needs these days and we implement it for them.”
Umi Ditigal’s responsive design approach means websites are rendered instantly compatible with multiple devices, including touch screen tablets.
It is now offering a marketing a package for small to medium hotels that combines a responsive website with its in-house Firedrop content management system and Book It With multi-language and currency booking software.
Umi Digital’s responsive website development is already being used by Pink Hostel in Ghana.