An innovative new booking website marks a New Zealand tourism industry first – activity and attraction operators can now offer seat-specific discounts to online audiences.
Kiwi entrepreneur and founder James Alder said Bookme.co.nz – launched in Queenstown late last year – provided a big ‘win’ for both operators and consumers.
“Precisely selecting which seats to discount lets operators drive sales in a way that makes better use of their resources, filling up seats at the last minute or encouraging sales at softer times,” Alder said.
“Consumers reap the benefits because operators can give much bigger discounts – such as $1 jet boat rides.”
With his site, Alder plans to follow the successful lead of Air NZ’s bargain offshoot Grabaseat with unbeatable prices for consumers that lead to full-rate bookings if customers can’t find deals to suit them.
“Grabaseat grew air travel in NZ by using discounts to get people thinking about flying more often, and we aim to boost demand for activities in the same way.
“It’s about drawing the crowds in and showcasing what each product has to offer,” he said.
In providing a one-stop shop for activities and attractions Alder said it had been important to embrace the advantages of the internet.
“As well as the basics such as video and social media, we’ve added another twist by prompting people to leave feedback after they’ve participated in an activity.
“These authenticated reviews add significant value and the response has been fantastic.”
Bookme already has more than 40 products on the site, including big industry names such as Shotover Jet, Real Journeys and Queenstown Rafting.
“We’ve been blown away by the response from operators, and plenty more products are signed for release over the remaining summer months,” Alder said.
With the success of the Queenstown launch Alder expects to expand to other tourism hotspots soon.