There are multiple websites in the New Zealand, Australian and international markets that can promote and instantly sell your accommodation for you. The trick for many properties is deciding which ones to go on and then how to manage them all so you don’t spend all day updating them and avoid double bookings.
A good strategy for most accommodation businesses is:
1. The more booking sites you are on the better. Essentially the more exposure your accommodation business gets online the higher profile your website will be in the search engines and the more opportunity you will get for regular automated bookings. Most of these sites are free to list on and take a commission for any bookings they send your way. Some of the top sites for instant bookings I recommend for New Zealand accommodation are: Wotif (includes Lastminute.com.au, Travel.com.au amongst others); Travelbug; Expedia (Venere); Travelocity; Ezibed; Rates to Go; NZ Tourism Guide (Bookit); AA Travel; Jsons (Holiday Guide)
2. Use a Channel Manager. These will provide you with just one system that needs updating for your availability and pricing and will automatically update all of the booking sites for you – phew! Popular channel managers in New Zealand include Seekom and Siteminder.
3. Offer Online Bookings in Your Own Website. This is important because the majority of travellers still prefer to book direct with you on your website but also want quick and instant bookings. Ideally, your website online system will either get updated by your reservations/property management system or by your channel manager.