Availability, availability, availability! 

Research shows that on destination websites like ours, accommodation that doesn’t display availability on the website sees, on average, 40% less traffic than accommodation that does. Since the Covid-19 outbreak customers are now used to booking activities and attractions too so being bookable on Visitlakedisrict.com is more important than ever.

Visitlakedistrict.com has more ways than ever for you to be ‘bookable’ and we have been very keen to find solutions that will make it as easy as possible for you to connect in the simplest and most cost effective ways. 


My business is not currently bookable on-line 

If you don’t currently take bookings on-line and would like to, please contact one of the team and they will happily chat you through some options and hopefully point you in the direction of a solution that will work for you. Every business is different and has different requirements and no one solution suits everyone. Some of the team are still working from home so please email in the first instance website@cumbriatourism.org to arrange a call.


I am bookable on-line so what are my options? 

Please look down the list and see which option is best for you. In certain circumstances you may have multiple choice and the Cumbria Tourism web team will be happy to discuss any questions you have. Sometimes though you may need to work with your provider to make the connection work, generally there is no cost or only a small charge to do this. Cumbria Tourism DOES NOT charge for connections and commissions are only charged on bookings received. 

Each option has the commission rate charged and an explanation of how the commission is taken


Guestlink – Suitable for Accommodation

Commission summary:

  • 10% inclusive of VAT on total booking amount.
  • Commission is collected by Guestlink the month after the guest has stayed with you

Cumbria Tourism has worked with Guestlink for many years and continues to do so. If you currently offer booking through Guestlink and are already bookable on Visitlakedistrict.com, nothing will change to the way you receive bookings and how you amend or cancel a booking. Commission will continue to be collected by Guestlink in the usual way. 

Since the Visitlakedistrict.com site launched, the team at Cumbria Tourism no longer has the same access to your Guestlink account, so if you have any queries about your Guestlink account, your availability or pricing, please contact the Guestlink helpdesk here 

Please note that if you make ANY changes within your Guestlink account, only room, pricing and availability details will be updated on Visitlakedistrict.com. All other changes to your listings on Visitlakedistrict.com need to be done via the Extranet or by emailing the web team on website@cumbriatourism.org 

 

If you are new to Guestlink what is the process? 

Guestlink Bookability in Cumbria through Online Polling

Members of Cumbria Tourism that use Guestlink have the ability to take bookings on Visitlakedistrict.com and any relevant affiliate websites.


Process for signing up to Guestlink bookabilty

Making your business bookable via Guestlink requires a few simple steps, as described below.


Step 1: Contact the team at Cumbria Tourism 

Let us know that you wish to be bookable through Guestlink polling on any of the Cumbria sites. The Cumbria Tourism team will then liaise with Guestlink, who will be in touch with you to set up your Guestlink account. 

Step 2: Cumbria Tourism sets up the business listing for you

The web team at Cumbria Tourism creates your website listing and publishes it to all channels agreed with you. 

Step 3: Your Guestlink account is linked to your business listing on Visitlakedistrict.com

The web team will link your new Guestlink account into your business listing on Visitlakedistrict.com and any other agreed affiliate Cumbria websites. They will send you a confirmation email to let you know your listing is now bookable.

 

Removing Guestlink Bookability

If at any time you decide you no longer wish to bookable through Guestlink then simply let Guestlink helpdesk know and drop the web team at Cumbria Tourism a line on website@cumbriatourism.org to let us know.

Useful Information

For Guestlink businesses to show on Visitlakedistrict.com, you need to have signed up to ‘affiliates’ on their system (the commission agreement that makes your booking ability available)  and you need to update availability regularly in the Guestlink system. The booking grid is automatically removed from your Visitlakedistrict.com listing if no availability update has taken place for 6 months. This is to ensure availability is up to date. We recommend that availability is updated as often as possible and you can update anything up to 8 times per day.

The Guestlink Helpdesk team can be contacted by emailing helpdesk@guestlink.co.uk or by telephone on 0844 209 2555 

If you are having difficulty logging into Guestlink either because you have forgotten your password or need your account activating, click on the ‘Login Help’ button on www.guestlink.co.uk which takes you to https://www.guestlink.co.uk/ForgotLogin.aspx.   


Linking your existing booking system to Guestlink

Guestlink can link to a number of popular Property Management Systems via the Guestlink add-on product called +Connect. 

Using +Connect, means that all the availability and pricing you set in your own PMS is mirrored in your Guestlink account and the websites on which you show your Guestlink availability. This minimises the chance of double bookings and removes the need to update two systems.

Guestlink +Connect integrations cost £50+vat* per year per property (payable to Guestlink) and enables you to connect your Guestlink account to the following systems:

PMS’s currently certified for Guestlink + Connect:

Availpro
Beds24
CampManager
Caterbook
Direct Room Sales
Eviivo
FreeToBook
Guestline (sponsored by Cumbria Tourism)
iBex
Inn Style
Parity Rate
Queensborough
Rategain
RateTiger
RDX Channel Manager
RMS
Supercontrol
Yield Partner

* September 2020, please check with them for up to date pricing

 

TXGB – (Suitable for accommodation, attractions and activity providers)

Commission summary:

  • 7.5% + Vat on total booking amount 
  • Bookings through TXGB are all made in full and paid online at the time of booking. 
  • Commission is charged the month after the booking is made
  • Cancellation policies are determined by each provider and displayed to the consumer by TXGB at the time of booking.

What is TXGB?

TXGB is a digital marketplace, operated on behalf of VisitEngland. It offers tourism businesses the opportunity to diversify their distribution, and gives distributors the ability to choose from a wide range of bookable tourism products, to add to their programmes. 

What is meant by diversifying my distribution?

It means that you, as a tourism business, can choose from a selection of distribution channels, domestically and internationally, all in one place. These range from niche operators, to OTAs, and – most importantly here – destination websites like ours: Visitlakedistrict.com. It can also allow you to make your own website bookable, if it isn’t already.

The following systems currently have integrations with TXGB so if you use one of the systems shown, you should be able to connect and be bookable on Visitlakedistrict.com. More system integrations are also in development. 

 

 

How to make your business bookable on Visitlakedistrict.com via TXGB

Step 1: Set up an account with TXGB. Visit TXGB.co.uk to find out more and get started. Or call 0330 223 5050 to chat to one of the TXGB team.

Step 2: Contact the Cumbria Tourism web team on website@cumbriatourism.org to let us know you want to use TXGB to be bookable, giving your TXGB account ID for us to connect you.

Step 3: We’ll let you know when the connection is complete and your bookable options are live on Visitlakedistrict.com.


Where can I find out more about TXGB?

Visit TXGB.co.uk to find out more and get started. Or call 0330 223 5050 to chat to one of the team about the benefits this partnership can bring to your business.

Please note that like all distributors, each channel you connect with will have their own commission rate so you should always check before connecting.

 

Property Management Systems (PMSs) with direct links
– Suitable for accommodation

Visitlakedistrict.com can now offer direct integration links with the following platforms:

  • SuperControl
  • FreeToBook

Commission summary:

  • 10% inclusive of VAT on total booking amount.
  • Commission is collected by Cumbria Tourism quarterly after the guest has stayed with you.

Being a direct connection, the process to get connected and bookable using one of the above systems is simple. 

SuperControl

Step 1: Contact the web team at website@cumbriatourism.org to sign the agreement to have your availability displayed on Visitlakedistrict.com from SuperControl.

Step 2: Log in to your SuperControl portal and navigate to the “integrations” section to opt into the option for “Simpleview (formally New MInd)”. More info can be found here:

http://help.supercontrol.co.uk/m/73839/l/1110968-simpleview-integration-formerly-new-mind?token=DD1UVPwaPECXMVded-kR48o I-TbhGbr 

Once you have opted-in, an automated email will go to the Simpleview Support team with the name of your business, the names of your self-catering units, your Supercontrol ID, and also the website you wish to connect availability for – Visitlakedistrict.com


Step 3: Upon receipt of that email, the Simpleview support team will do any necessary manual “matching” of units in SuperControl with the product in our system.  Once done, Support will notify the Cumbria Tourism web team to let them know that your business is now ready for integration.

Step 4: The Cumbria Tourism web team will then do the final steps to making your booking availability live on Visitlakedistrict.com and any other associated county websites you have chosen. We will then send you an email to confirm your business is bookable.

That’s it. 

FreeToBook

Step 1: Contact the web team at website@cumbriatourism.org to sign the agreement to have your availability displayed on Visitlakedistrict.com from FreeToBook.

Step 2: Log in to your Freetobook portal. Once logged in, click on the tab for “Plus”, and then select “Your Ads” from the sub-menu. Here you will see a list of the available Destination sites, as shown below:

Select Visitlakedistrict.com from the list and change the “off” to “on”.

Step 3: Contact the Cumbria Tourism web team on website@cumbriatourism.org to let us know you have turned on Freetobook booking availability.

Step 4: The Cumbria Tourism web team will then do the final steps to making your booking availability live on Visitlakedistrict.com and any other associated county websites you have chosen. We will then send you an email to confirm your business is bookable.

That’s it. 

Please note: The update for all new integrations takes place between 1-2pm every day, so we may have to wait up to 24 hours between steps 2 and 3 above.

 

Online Travel Agents (OTAs) – Suitable for accommodation

Commission summary:

  • Commission varies and is collected by the OTA in the usual way. Neither Cumbria Tourism or Visitlakedistrict has anything to do with the bookings or transactions as these are taken off site – on the OTA platform.

If none of the direct or low-cost options to offer bookable accommodation integrate with your booking system, we now have the option to connect to the following OTAs

  • Booking.com
  • Expedia
  • Hotel Planner
  • Sykes Cottages

Simply email the Cumbria Tourism web team on website@cumbriatourism.org to get started. The process for connecting is quite straightforward, so we should be able to get you up and running in no time.

 

Beyonk – Suitable for Activity Providers

Commission summary:

  • 10% of the ticket price (+2% fee to Stripe if payment is taken)

Beyonk is a low-cost, easy to use booking system, which gives you the opportunity to reach more customers, especially in the off-season. Using Beyonk, you can share your live availability across your own website and the Visitlakedistrict.com website, to minimise your admin and maximise your bookings.

It’s quick, easy and free to add experiences, with only a small commission when bookings are received, often cheaper than it costs to acquire customers elsewhere.

How it works

Once you sign up for a Beyonk account, uploading your experiences to Beyonk opens you up to offering online booking on Visitlakedistrict.com, as well as your own website, with no up-front costs. Your availability is managed by you through your own Beyonk admin panel. This activity is then shown in the pages of Visitlakedistrict.com as bookable activities, that members of the public can book online, there and then. You can also integrate Beyonk booking in your own website, using their free tools.

I already have my advertising and promotion sorted, is it for me?

It’s hard to get new customers online through advertising for less than 10% of the ticket price, which is the Beyonk fee when you receive bookings (+2% fee to Stripe for payment processing). Beyonk is a cheaper alternative to increase visibility and get more bookings.


I already have a booking system, is it for me?

Beyonk is more than just a booking system, but a way to get more exposure for your experiences. Upload free spaces to bolster your current schedule and your availability is synced across platforms like Visitlakedistrict.com for customers to book with you. 

If you already have an online booking system in place, Beyonk enables you to take provisional bookings, which you can enter into your system and confirm with your customer, just as you would when a customer phones you. 


I don’t take online bookings, is it for me?

If you’re not currently taking online bookings, we can arrange a call with a Beyonk advisor,  who can discuss how it could work for you. If you’re not keen to take instant bookings, there is an alternative that allows you to pre-authorise a customer payment and only accept the booking if you’re available. This allows for flexibility but reduces the major sales leakage from not accepting upfront payment. You can also upload experiences without direct booking capability if you wish.

Further Information

More information can be found on the Beyonk website: beyonk.com or by contacting the Cumbria Tourism web team on website@cumbriatourism.org. A member of the web team will be happy to put you in touch with a representative of the Beyonk team, who can discuss your requirements.

If you have any questions or queries about anything in this document, please contact the Cumbria Tourism web team any time by emailing website@cumbriatourism.org or by telephone on 01539 822 222

For further information

Contact Reception on
01539 822222 or info@cumbriatourism.org