Wotif.com will extend its booking window from the current 14-day model to 28 days.
The extension to a 28-day window, which officially launches 28 September, is expected to deliver a 40% growth in leisure bookings by providing suppliers with increased reach to the consumer.
As Australia and New Zealand’s leading accommodation website, a large proportion of North America’s growth will be attributed to inbound bookings from Australia and New Zealand, although growth in the rapidly expanding domestic market is expected. Wotif.com also anticipates a rise in inbound bookings from Asia and Europe.
The new 28-day format will be displayed in Wotif.com’s signature hotel price matrix to minimize changes and maintain ease-of-use for customers who will be able to view 14 days at once with the ability to scroll forward or back 7 days at a time.
A further new site enhancement designed specifically for the leisure traveller is the ‘Weekends’ feature. This unique feature, only available on Wotif.com, can be selected from the home page and enables consumers to narrow their search to view only deals for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in the four weeks ahead, rather than all days.
The decision to extend the booking window is a result of both consumer and supplier feedback requesting a longer lead time, along with extensive research conducted into consumer booking behaviour.
“Feedback from consumers and suppliers alike has consistently reinforced what an effective tool Wotif.com is for both parties. The one recurring request, however, is that they like it so much they wish we would extend beyond the 14 days,” said Graeme Wood, CEO and co-founder of Wotif.com.
While this is the most significant change that Wotif.com has made to its model since launching in March 2000, Graeme Wood remains adamant that this will not detract from Wotif.com’s focus on value for the consumer.
“Today’s traveller is savvier than ever before,” Wood continued. “The Internet has provided the consumer with a wealth of information, and a quick and easy resource to research their options. Consumers demand value and are driven by the best deals, and it is this force that will ultimately set the playing field in the 28-day market.”
Katrina Sagan, Director of North American Operations said, “Wotif.com has prided itself on creating and delivering not only a low cost sales and marketing channel for suppliers, but also an effective yield management tool. We offer free listings for hotels to promote their empty rooms without contracts or fees and gives hoteliers a cost-effective way to market their property online. In addition, as the leading accommodation website in Australia and New Zealand, a listing on Wotif.com offers hotels the unique opportunity to reach these international markets.”