Ipswich: Holiday accommodation busines is growing

Chris Waters, Inn Style

Chris Waters, Inn Style - Credit: Archant

An internet platform built to help small hotel and campsite owners manage their online bookings has seen staggering growth in the first half of 2014.

Ipswich based Inn Style has enjoyed a fantastic start to the year, with revenue growing on average 161.5% each month, resulting in a total growth over the period of 7,900%.

Since January, the platform has processed over £4 million worth of bookings for accommodation owners who have signed up to use the site, and with some of the traditional summer holiday season still to run, the team behind the site are optimistic.

Chris Waters from Inn Style said: “We knew there was a gap in the market for small and boutique hotel owners, bed and breakfasts, and campsite owners who still rely on the paper diary to organise their bookings, but who are finding they have less and less time for admin and so are ready to move online.

“We have a lot of customers here in Suffolk which is fantastic, the accommodation owners have really taken to the idea and thanks to a fantastic season are in a position to start using more technology based solutions to help them manage their business.

“Currently in the UK, 57% of all travel reservations are made online and that figure is only going to rise, as it’s predicted that over 80% of hotel bookings will be made online by 2017, so we’re confident that the platform will see further growth.”

Sally Ball, owner of Woodbridge Retreats, says that it’s made a huge difference to her booking systems.

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“Before, we used a paper booking system which meant that people would have to ring up, and sometimes leave messages or send an email. People book online straight away now and it saves so much time for us and them. I think in the past we have lost clients simply because we weren’t there to pick up the phone when they called. Inn Style is really user friendly and we are very pleased with it.”

Chris Waters said Inn Style had grown from their Condiment creative agency.

“We have a lot of clients, we work for, that are tourism-based.

“We knew there was a need from small independent hotels and accommodation owners for a simple, eficient booking system.

“We say it is blissfully simpe, for hotels, and for their guests.”

Around 25% of their clients were local, but, with the internet, the reach was spreading.

“We have people signed up from Africa, and New York and Miami which is prett exciting and cool.”

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