Many parts of Australia are finally
experiencing cooler weather, and winter has hit the snowfields and
southern parts of the country with a vengeance. If your property is
placed to make the most of the winter weather, then take a moment to
update your listing and mention the things that will make it a cosy and
welcoming retreat from the chill (or a sunny retreat if you are further
north). Then follow through and if possible, have the fire lit or
heater on for when guests arrive, play some music or light candles to
give a welcoming glow. We know this isn't appropriate or possible for
many properties, but do your best to make your place a welcome haven
from the winter weather and help your guests unwind from the moment
they step through the door.
Recent research has shown that
Australians are the worst in the world when it comes to taking time for
holidays. Everyone is busy and it can be hard to find time for
holidays, and the current trend appears to be several short breaks,
rather than the traditional long holiday. This means we all need to
work at making our properties an easy option for a short break and make
the most of the changing ways that Australians are holidaying. Perhaps
something as simple as a reduction in the minimum nights required could
put your place in the running for increased "short break" bookings.
Highlight the positives... close to the city (or airport or train
station), available for 2 night bookings, easy after hours access... be
creative and make the most of emerging holiday trends.
Until next time,
Your TakeABreak ™ Marketing Team
| Quotable Quotes
TakeABreak ™Online Payment System is unique in the online accommodation
industry, and recent research has shown that among its many benefits
for operators is an increase in conversion rates when using the system.
surveyed operators using it and one thing that was consistently
mentioned is how using the Online Payment System secures the booking
and leads to increased conversion. Scott McClymont of Alton Victoria
in Ballarat says that he uses the TakeABreak ™ Online Payment System
for managing payments for all his enquiries, even those from other
sites. “It finalises the booking – all too often I was taking bookings
only to have no shows or last minute cancellations. I now direct all
enquiries to TakeABreak ™ so that I can ensure the management of the
enquiry and its payment,” said Scott.
many operators, Scott says his operation is too small to justify having
his own credit card facilities, but using the Online Payment System to
manage all his enquiries means that he no longer needs a merchant
account, with its associated fees. “I ask for full payment via the
Online Payment System, and I have found that it really does help
prevent last minute cancellations. Of course if someone needs to
cancel for a legitimate reason, then it is no problem to have the
payment returned. I don’t like giving out my bank account details for
payment, and now I don’t have to. I just wish I had started using the
Online Payment System earlier,” Scott continued.
Read more about the Online Payment System
| What's New & What's News
According to Terry Hayes from Smart Company
the ATO releases its list of 'targets' in August each year, and while
it is only July, apparently the early bird view is that rental
properties may be in the firing line. More than 1.5 million people
claimed more than $24 billion in rental deductions in their tax returns
last year, with almost 170,000 people claiming for the first time. For
more information click here for the full story from ninemsn/money.
Special offer on Play Panels
you a family-friendly property? Sick of replacing toys that are broken
or are missing vital pieces? Why not take advantage of an exclusive offer for TakeABreak operators
and buy an innovative Play Panel or Play Centre from Child-Friendly
Solutions at a discount of 10% until 15 August 2008. These clever play
options keep children happy, giving parents a chance to relax, and
their innovative design means they are easy to install and require
virtually no maintenance.
Older-style bunk beds a hazard
holiday properties maximise their available accommodation space by
using bunk beds, and for the last few years all new bunk beds have been
equipped with the all-important top safety rail. However there are
still many older bunk beds around that lack this rail, and they pose a
real threat to small children. If your bunk beds are older-style and do
not have this rail, it is time to invest in beds that conform to
current day safety standards, or you may find yourself liable to
prosecution, should an accident occur.
| Tips and Tricks - Maximise Your Business
Is your property truly pet-friendly?
and more people are choosing to take their pets away with them, and
this growing and discerning market is demanding more than just a dog
bowl and kennel to make Fido happy. We survey visitors to the site
every month, and we are receiving an increasing number of comments
relating to properties and their 'pet-friendly' status. We have
included a couple of quotes to highlight the concerns of people who
wish to travel with their pets.
dogs are allowed inside, or only outside; restrictions on dog size;
things like that. In this instance I had to make specific enquiries
with the property owner. All was well, but additional information could
have been provided on the listing to help me decide whether it was
worth making further enquiries or not."
travelling with dogs need much more information about what is provided.
'Pet-friendly' is not sufficient. We need to know: are they welcome
inside? Is the property fenced? Fenced balcony? Whole yard? Size of
yard? An information pack about local dog by-laws such as which beaches
allow dogs would be really useful, along with recommended walks for
people with dogs. This is the information dog people want. I would
prefer this information to be on the listing, so I don't have to
disclose all of my contact details just to find out if the property
meets my needs."
is clearly an issue that needs to be addressed and those who best meet
the needs of people travelling with pets will be the ones to capitalise
on a increasing market.
you have certain days of the week or times of the year when you only
accept a minimum of 2 night, or 7 night bookings? Make this clear in
your listing information - in the description or rates field, so that
visitors are not disappointed when attempting to
make bookings that don't meet your minimum. If you have a standing 2
night minimum night stay, then please enter this information into the Rates & Specials page as then visitors will not be able to submit enquiries for less than the set number of nights.
More business tips...
| TakeABreak ™Updates|
Welcome to our new Operations Manager
are pleased to welcome Matthew Elsley to the TakeABreak ™ team. Matthew
joined TakeABreak in June 2008 to take up a newly formed role as
Operations Manager in the Canberra office. Matthew has considerable
management experience in fast moving consumer goods and information
technology and ventured from the sunny northern beaches in Sydney to
take up a national role with the department of Workplace Relations,
where he worked as the
National Workforce Manager. Prior to joining TakeABreak Matthew was
Team Manager with Unisys Australia on the Immigration Contract.
holds tertiary qualifications in business and people and process
management. He loves to travel and has a passion for coastal trips
with no real destination in mind. Matthew brings a distinct passion
and understanding of customer needs and will add further quality
oversight to the operations area of TakeABreak. In this role he will
oversee the operations team and help further develop TakeABreak's
customer focus and strategy over the coming years.
TakeABreak ™ turning five!
quickly time flies! It is now five years since the idea of an online
accommodation website covering ALL types of accommodation was born, and
in September we plan to celebrate out 5th birthday, by giving our
visitors the gifts. We have many ideas on the best way to mark this
anniversary by increasing traffic through the site and you can help
with special offers that will receive wide coverage. We will be in
touch soon with details on our birthday plans.
New contact numbers for TakeABreak ™ support
Don't forget that we have new phone numbers to make it even easier for you to contact our support staff.
Canberra/National 02 6100 7709
Brisbane 07 3102 3759
Perth 08 9467 4392
| Business Growth|
Why advertising doesn't sell...
experts generally agree on the stages of the communication process:
unawareness, awareness, comprehension, conviction, and finally action.
is advertising’s easiest job and may be quickly accomplished. Your
advertising can easily move prospects from unawareness to an awareness
of your business, product or service.
(comprehension) requires more advertising effort and more time.
Advertising must now be asked to move the prospective customer to an
understanding of who you are, what you stand for, the quality of your
products or services and your promise of customer satisfactions.
Creating preference or trust
takes even longer. When trust is achieved you will attract customers
and establish a consumer franchise for your business. When trust is
achieved you will own your segment of the market.
Read more about why advertising doesn't sell...
With thanks to Jeff Dostal and Marketing Firepower
Remember we have many resources available to assist operators with marketing, property management, environmental care and more, all available here.
| Environmental Care|
Tidy Towns involvement has many benefits
We have long supported the Keep Australia Beautiful Tidy Towns initiative and are proud to be the official sponsors of the Culture and Heritage section. Our congratulations to Ross, Tasmania - the 2008 winner of this section, and to Toowoomba, Queensland - National Winner of the Tidy Towns Award for 2008.
with the Tidy Towns program brings many benefits, and increasingly we
are expected by our guests and others to demonstrate our commitment to
the environment and a sustainable future. We know that many of you are
already involved in this program or some other form of environmental
sustainability, and we encourage everyone to investigate how being part
of the Tidy Town program can benefit not only your community, but also
Below are some quotes from a recent competition asking (in 25 words or less) which town should win the national award and why.
should win! It is a lovely place with something to offer all community
and visitors. The gardens are beautiful and the Council really care
about the environment and work with the community on projects that help
make Toowoomba more sustainable."
believe that Toowoomba should win because of it's beautiful gardens and
the residents' consistent and continuous love of the environment."
has for many years presented a beautiful township - even through
periods of extreme drought the town still is beautiful."
"Toowoomba because it's beautiful, clean, friendly and plenty to do and see..."
Go to Keep Australia Beautiful to find out how being part of the TidyTowns program can bring compliments - and visitors - like these to your town.
NSW & ACT Bed & Breakfast and Farmstay annual conference, 19 & 20 August
™ is proud to be among the sponsors of the 2008 Conference, to be held
at the Mollymook Surf Club, an easy 3 hour drive from Sydney and 2
hours from Canberra. Open to members and non-members, the theme of the
conference is ‘Marketing, Managing, Meeting & Greeting’ and will be
of interest to anyone involved in or thinking of starting out in the
bed and breakfast or farmstay industry.
miss out on this great opportunity to network with others and hear from
a diverse and experienced group of speakers specialising in marketing,
tourism and business who will provide insights to help you optimise
your opportunities as you grow your
accommodation business. Click here for more details.
AGV (Accommodation Getaways Victoria) conference 13 & 14 October at Victoria University
We are also proud to be involved with this conference for bed and breakfasts, farmstays, guesthouses and self-contained accommodation operators in
Victoria - a great opportunity to hear industry experts discuss
issues that are most relevant to the unique business of guest
accommodation. They will share their experience, knowledge and 'tricks
of the trade' to ensure that your business is as successful as you want
it to be.
Australian Regional Tourism Conference
2008 Australian Regional Tourism Convention (ARTC) will be held over
three days, September 9th - 12th, in the Barossa Region of South
The theme for this year's Convention is "Taking
Tourism into the Future" and will look at challenges and
transformations, skills shortages, environmental changes and the online
environment. Click here for more information.