A profile of a company that uses the Internet as a way for travelers and on-line retailers to access some of the most unique small hotels in most of the world. Small independent hotels have poor Internet resources, no global cliental and no travel agents for representations. They are entirely on their own in terms of having a real-time booking capability and a good networking system.
In May 2000, a young Canadian entrepreneur with an idea to sign on small hotels to an on-line reservation system, hired young student reps to scout out the finest, cleanest and cheapest independent hotels and hostels.
Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa are dotted with small hotels, overshadowed by big hotel chains, that needed a progressive real time on-line reservation system with a personal touch.
In the competitive travel industry, David Barnes has managed to find a niche for his product despite a growing number of on-line businesses being forced to close down this year.
In the past all hotel reservations were made through a travel agent that only dealt with big hotel chains, which comprises over 80 per cent of the market in North America. Because Europe is not primarily dominated by the big hotel chains, Barnes found a niche of small hotels that were not signed on to any system.
According to recent surveys, in 1999, 324 million Europeans made outbound trips and spent three billion nights in hotel beds and paid out $223 billion in travel expenses.
The reps spend time in the hotels, take photos and create a profile of each hotel. Hotel owners post their inventory and can make rooms available for any unexpected cancellations.
David Barnes, the CEO of Online Distribution Systems Inc. operates a website called www.cheapaccomodation.com from a one room office in Gastown. Behind the Web site that now competes in a global market has five employees, working round the clock to keep up with the reservations that are flooding in.
Since January 2001, Online Distribution System has expanded its inventory of hotels in Florence, Bangkok, and Capetown. With over 300 hotels signed up in 63 cities throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa.
The growing success story of this company, which incorporated on Oct. 26, 1999, is growing faster every month. Hoping to convince companies, such as travel agents and on-line retailers to use the Online Distribution System is the goal in the coming months.