As 2018 draws to a close, we look back at just some of the highlights. 2018 was truly a remarkable year for the Great National Hotels & Resorts Group; from new partnerships, new additions to our team and the movement of digital and design in house.
1. General Data Protection Regulations
I am sure people are blue in the face with GDPR, the new legislation which came into effect on the 25th May, kept Great National Hotels on their toes. We began assessing existing practices and procedures around data, refining our policies and training staff as early as last summer of 2017.
By taking our responsibilities as an industry toward protecting personal data in line with best practice, we serve our customers’ best interests and ultimately the interests of our respective businesses. Read more about our GDPR changes.
2. Digital Growth
In August this year, we made the decision to break away from our previous CMS providers and move to WordPress, allowing extremely customisable design, features and functionalities, with little limitation.
This year has seen the Digital Team double in size, with staff having extensive experience in paid search, social media, content strategy and conversion rate optimisation to name a few. This has resulted in the roll out of new websites such as Claregalway Hotel, Ballyroe Heights Hotel & The Inn at Woodhall Spa, with as many as 10 new websites expected for release in Q1 2019.
3. Great National Hotel mergers with the Hotel Partnership
On the 9th September 2018, Great National Hotels and Resorts announced the successful acquisition of Classic British Hotels. The merger brings the group to a combined total of 135 hotels, making it one of the largest independent hotel services companies in Europe with 8,150 bedrooms. The deal will see the two organisations combine their technology, marketing and distribution services, offering a full suite of proven ‘best in class’ solutions for independent hotels throughout the UK and Ireland. Read more..
4. ReviewPro Partnership
In October, we were very happy to mark a one year of partnership with ReviewPro. ReviewPro’s Corporate Dashboard, Online Reputation Management (ORM) tool has enabled us to create a guest satisfaction index.
This means that we have been able provide an efficient and reliable way for hotels within the Great National Group to identify areas which need improvement, implement strategies to increase guest satisfaction, and then track the improvements over time. The results have been fantastic, and the feedback from our hoteliers overwhelmingly positive.
5. For-Sight Partnership
Late October, Great National Hotels partnered with Forth Communication Limited to offer Forth’s state of the art For-Sight Guest CRM.
By partnering with For-Sight Guest CRM, we can offer our hotels the ability to take their guest communications to the next level by leveraging the power of their data. For-Sight allows our hotels to drive direct relationships with their guests, through tailored, personalised content and automation, while maintaining the highest standards in data security and compliance.
6. New Members to the Great National Hotel Team
2018 brought some exciting new additions to the Great National Hotel’s Team. We are delighted to have Brian Reeves, Rachel Howes & Julie Akhondi as part of our team.
- Brian joined the team at the beginning of the year, he is the co-founder of hotel technology company Avvio.com and founder of GOPPAR Digital, one of the UK’s leading digital marketing agencies and Shunpike Labs, a specialist AI technology company focused on travel.
- Julie is our newly appointed UK Sales Manager following 8 years at Booking.com. Julie is an experienced Account Manager specialising in acquisition, driving sales and revenue for independent hotels. Most recently Julie lead a Client Services Partner Team, providing accommodation services to hoteliers across the globe.
- Rachel, former Managing Director of Booking.com Limited, has over 25 years’ experience in accelerating hotels room revenue and is one of the leading international figures in channel management. Rachel has been appointed our Director of Distribution.
Back in October, Great National Hotels was delighted to launch Revanista, a hotel revenue management solution. Revanista’s goal is to provide Hoteliers with tools that can effectively build their brand and grow their business.
Revanista's low cost, high impact model has increased online revenues by up to 80% for some hoteliers.
We were delighted to have our first Revanista Connect signing, Langstone Cliff Hotel, a three-star Classic British Hotel.
8. Almost a decade on, we're not just surviving, but thriving.
No clients. No funding. No staff. And it was 2010, when the tourism industry was on its knees in the middle of the economic crisis.
That was the moment when David Collins and David Byrne decided to launch a completely new hotel brand in Ireland. Oh, and the banks wouldn't touch them. Read more about Great National Hotel's story.