Is to help accommodation companies reach internet clients, local and globally at the lowest cost possible.
The internet has an enormous impact on the accommodation industry. Our focus is to help provide accommodation partners with the best possible solutions to source clients at the lowest possible costs. (Remember that the Homecare Foundation do help companies with direct contact via the business directory, even when the companies do not have their own websites.)
The Homecare Foundation needs to provide all possible solutions to help business partners. The monthly donation’s costs will be recovered if we only provide one guest per month. We have a commitment that we will reward companies more than 10 fold for their donation support (thus at least 10 guests).
We employ some of the best IT personnel in South Africa. We have to explain our views about internet support, and how important it is to plan internet marketing well.
Our team has done a lot of research on internet solutions that will help accommodation companies at the lowest costs possible.
We looked at companies that are specialists in certain fields. We investigated the services that Tripadvisor, Bookings.com and numerous companies offer to accommodation companies.
It is our honest opinion that South African based IT companies (supporting the accommodation industry) will struggle to catch-up with European and American companies. The tourism industry is a Global industry with IT companies working in the industry since the internet originated. The BEST support unfortunately will be from companies abroad.
Wix.com (American based company) works in partnership with Tripadvisor. Combined they offer the lowest, best options towards accommodation companies in our opinion. Bookings.com and Tripadvisor are the bigger role players and they will do their best to remain in their spots.
Most South African website developers ask companies a large fee to programme their websites. The way search engines work changes yearly and rapidly. For this reason, websites become out-dated. It is thus important to host a website with a team of people who do their best to maintain websites.
We have to provide opinions, and support. Our commitment to help accommodation partners is important. Business owners can read and decide what support they need, but often it is better to take everything into consideration when managing a company.
There are accommodation companies who use local web programmers for support. We do not ask companies to cancel arrangements. We only provide information about new developments and the way larger companies change their own support strategies.
Our own IT team is able to provide booking systems… We even planned to support accommodation partners with bestroom & bestekamer booking sites. These booking sites would have provided internet clients without booking commissions. We reviewed everything and we know that sometimes, pride is your own downfall.
We decided NOT to implement additional booking systems. We know that there are better solutions for accommodation companies.
The Homecare Foundation will receive no fees at all, by providing suggestions. Tripadvisor or Bookings.com will not donate fees towards the Homecare Foundation, just because we inform business owners about their services. Our focus is purely to fill in accommodation companies on new strategies that will play a positive role in the way internet clients can be reached.
We will first explain how the internet and search engines work. (We came across accommodation business owners during research who do not understand how the internet works. We decided to publish content, which some readers will know well, to help people who are unfortunately not up to date with this important aspect of business.)
We will thereafter describe our suggestions, to source as much internet bookings as possible, without relying on strategies where a large percentage of fees are paid as booking commissions.
Booking agencies & internet marketing
Booking agencies rely on the internet… Google is their most important support structure. They know that it will almost be impossible for accommodation companies to rely on their own websites alone for business.
There are too many accommodation companies in an area. Google will list hundreds of different website options if each company rely on their own website for marketing.
The service that booking agencies basically provide, is to combine the accommodation companies into “one website structure”
Most booking agencies position themselves between the public and the accommodation companies. The booking companies do not share in your company’s monthly costs; all they want to accomplish is to earn as much booking commission as possible (hence they try to sign up all the accommodation companies in an area). Their client searching for accommodation is important and they want to provide accommodation to as many people as possible.
The different booking agencies compete against each other to gain the top spot on the Google Search engines.
Google make billions as a service provider. They earn income from companies who purchase Google ad keywords… To be listed on the top of the search screen, companies pay Google fees. Depending on the search criteria, the costs are expensive.
Google is the most well-known search engine. There are numerous companies that compete against Google. The search engine that provides the best service will continuously have the largest part of the world’s population on their site. Click here if you want to read more about the top 10 Search engines.
How does a search engine determine which websites have relevant content?
Most Google users will not click on the “Paid for” websites. They understand the way search engines work. Google list the websites that are most used by the public on top as non-paid websites. Their search engines are programmed to provide adequate information about topics people search for.
For example: If a person research cancer, the search engine must display websites that can provide relevant information. It is critical; else they will lose the internet user.
Website programmers focus on numerous aspects when they develop a website. The correct website structural development plays a huge role to help position a website on the top when search engines search information.
Internet users will within a short period drop a website when a website hosts irrelevant or poor information. The search engines penalize such websites by giving them lower ratings when it realizes the public’s respond to a website is poor. Relevant content therefore plays a huge role in the website’s performance.
Google always do their best to list the top website on the top of their page when internet users search information. Google however do not earn any income from the company who has the top spot. The only method Google earn income is to position companies who are willing to pay for media coverage around the top sites. The “paid for” sites may contain information that is not relevant to what the person need.
We include an example of a search for accommodation in Cape Town. Top companies continuously buy Key words to better their chances of securing business via the internet.
The booking agencies all spend large amounts on website development. Their website structures are well planned. They host numerous accommodation opportunities; hence they have a fairly large timeframe that people spent on their websites. The search engines take this into account when it positions websites. If a website is used by numerous persons for long periods, in theory the website host content people are looking for.
For this reason booking agency’s websites are listed in the top of the web pages when people search for accommodation in an area (Websites without key word purchasing).
Booking agencies comprehend that for their service to be effective, they need the internet users to search on their sites before searching on the opposition’s websites, hence they will buy lots of keywords.
Different ways internet users search for services and the advantage of a well-known brand name:
Most internet users will Google “accommodation in Cape Town”. A smaller percentage will Google “Lekkeslaap” or they will type in the computer’s web browser the Booking company’s name and access the website directly…
Booking agencies prefer that internet users access their websites directly in order to save marketing budget that they spend at Google.
They do their best to market their own brand names… You will often find that they advertise on radio, in printed media and on billboards. Lekkeslaap often advertise on billboards hosted inside rugby stadiums.
Booking agencies will always play a positive role in the accommodation industry. The only drawback is that most booking agencies use staff to interact between the clients and the accommodation companies.
Our advice to reach internet clients
We believe it is best if the guests talk to the companies directly. There will be no misunderstandings between the accommodation company and their clients. The Foundation will explain the benefits of talking to the companies directly and we publish all the relevant contact information to help internet users in all our own media strategies. We explain to receive the best service, the companies providing the service needs to communicate directly (via e-mail or telephonically), in order for them to ensure they have everything prepared when the guests arrive.
Most booking agencies are not willing to advertise the accommodation company’s contact details. Their concern is that the accommodation company will not pay them commission and may claim that the client made contact from the accommodation company’s own website.
This often makes service delivery difficult. Some guesthouse owners told us during research that people occasionally get lost. The clients booked their own accommodation from other guesthouses they found in the area.
Apparently there are different ways that payments between clients, booking agencies and accommodation companies occur. Some booking agencies expect the clients to pay them and they pay the accommodation companies. Others allow the guests to pay the accommodation company and they require commission from the accommodation company. They want their commission, irrespective if the client arrived at the guesthouse.
Internet support structures
It is nowadays just as important for accommodation companies to have their own websites as having access to the internet. An accommodation company will find it difficult to remain in business without support from the internet.
Our strategies are to help companies with clients that booked into their facilities via the company’s own websites. (The business directory is one action plan that will draw numerous clients towards the accommodation partner’s own website.)
There are smaller accommodation companies without their own websites. They upload photos and content onto booking agencies’ websites. This will keep them reliant on booking agencies.
Tripadvisor (and Bookings.com) recently changes their business models to offer additional services. Tripadvisor now offers two services:
1) Instant booking:
Instant booking works on a simple “Pay for Stays” commission basis, with a choice of two commission rates: 15% or 12%. The share of “Book on TripAdvisor” traveler views (see above) you receive is determined by the commission level you choose. With a 15% commission, you claim half of all “Book on TripAdvisor” traveler views, as well as any resulting bookings those views may generate. With a 12% commission you claim a quarter of all traveler views and any resulting bookings.
For example, if “Book on TripAdvisor” is displayed 100 times for your property, and you’ve signed up at a 15% commission, your rates and availability will show at least 50 times out of the 100. At the 12% commission, your rates and availability will show at least 25 times.
2) Tripconnect: https:(https://www.tripadvisor.com/CostPerClick)
Tripadvisor Send Booking-Ready Travelers Directly to Your Website. This is their latest service that changes the way accommodation companies can work with the larger internet booking companies.
In short, Tripadvisor is almost a Google within a Google.
Tripadvisor earns income out of selling key-words. They allow the internet users to book directly into accommodation companies. Tripadvisor rank the different companies websites per geographical area on a key-word bidding system.
For example, if there are 50 accommodation companies in Knysna, the Tripadvisor booking system will rank the 50 companies from top to bottom on a system where the accommodation companies bid to be listed on top.
The system will not rank your business on top if your accommodation is fully booked.
The benefit of this system is that companies only pay per click. You get access to the tripadvisor clientele, and you do not pay commission on bookings.
You can also put a cap on the daily views you want to receive, based on your own budget.
The Tripconnect service will combine perfectly with our support plan. The Foundation can help accommodation companies to receive more clients via direct booking structures and we can help companies to source internet clients at a more cost effective method.
Lay-outs of booking agencies’ websites
Booking agencies develop their websites in such a manner, that they can advertise as much information as possible of the guesthouses, lodges etc. The reality is that the services accommodation companies provide vary a lot.
A company’s own website often provides the best images with service descriptions. It is a pity that most booking agencies do not want to direct traffic to the accommodation company’s own website.
Our strategy is to divert traffic to the company’s own websites. It is better if the public can see exactly what a company offers and the best descriptions are often on the company’s own sites.
Company’s own websites
Internet users base their decisions on pictures of the facilities displayed when people search for accommodation via the internet. It is essential that a website portray a professional design. Internet users often choose a facility (with higher room rates), for the reason that the website advertising the guesthouse was professionally designed.
There is actually a lot of planning before publishing a website. Most people rush to get a website up and running. It is sometimes better to take photos of the premises late in the afternoon, for better picture quality.
One should plan décor and arrange flowers to match décor the best, when rooms are photographed for the website.
The advantage of hosting pictures on your own website is that software can be used to alter images. Pictures can be designed with masks to create a professional look. The images will then better integrate with the design of the website.
A 3 stars Bed & breakfast can increase business just by designing a website that characterizes the same design as a 5 stars Hotel.
Designing websites is a scientific art. Companies, not only in the accommodation industry, spend large amounts on research to plan what lay-outs will retain their customers on their websites.
The latest trends are to design websites with a “cleaner look”. Not clattered and with a lay-out structure that can guide a person within seconds to the part the company needs the person to read. A website’s landing page should be like a billboard.
(Remember that the website you are currently reading is a work document. A website should not host so much data. This website enables us to give management teams’ all the necessary detail, so that we do not need to send out a representative. We need to reach people in smaller towns. Some business owners have other partners that are not full time at the guesthouses. They also need to know exactly what we propose. To save costs, a website with all the content is available.)
The Homecare Foundation can help accommodation companies who do not have their own websites, or companies who wants to upgrade/review their websites with support.
Please remember that our focus is to give advice… not to ask that we design websites.
The CSE team can help companies to set-up new websites on the American based software structures.
The websites will then be backed by the largest internet companies in the world. These websites will be accredited to link into the Tripconnect platform that will make a huge difference for future internet business.
We negotiated with Dai Heka Guesthouse to partner with the Foundation. We asked Theresa Brits permit ion to develop a new website that we will publish after 3 months. We want to explain with examples how the Homecare Foundation can help upgrade a website to source more international guests. Dai Heka is well established into the corporate market (more than 70% of business). The Guesthouse provide services to a large number of corporate clients, including some of our country’s major financial institutions. Dai Heka did not really focused on the tourism industry.
There are numerous challenges that we need to address. The guesthouse does not have an outstanding street view photo. The guesthouse is surrounded by walls and we cannot use these photos to their advantage.
We also received low quality pictures of the guesthouse. We did not ask for high quality pictures. We want to show readers how we can sharpen images and alter images with software to publish a fairly good site. Our demo site was created within 2 hours. We can publish a far better site if we use high quality pictures that need to be taken. (Theresa does not have the original pictures.)
We also wanted to keep the theme of the original website. There is a history about the guesthouse that we want to preserve in the new website.
Deon & Liana Jordaan (original owners) were from Namaqualand and they named the guesthouse “Dai Heke”. It is the way people from their hometown talked about the project they worked on to build the guesthouse… They wanted to bring the Namaqualand theme and culture into their guesthouse.
It is important to publish a website in such a manner that it will draw guests from abroad. Please read the About section on the website we developed to target people from abroad. We even use images in their History section that symbolise the Namaqualand culture.
We created a more modern website that fit in with the European standards.
Here are two links that will open the websites:
http://www.daiheka.co.za/ (The original site that will remain active until we publish the new site)
http://cseinfo.wixsite.com/daiheka (The propose site that we will finalize over time to help Dai Heka source international clients)
The direct booking functionality will then be activated and will interact with all her electronic platforms.
Please remember that we do not want to say anything bad about the original website. The original site was developed more than 4 years ago and the person who developed that website did not have access to the latest development tools.
We just need to explain how important it is to keep websites up to date with the latest trends and technology… It is the lifeline of internet business… It should be looked after!
The Homecare Foundation can arrange that you will receive your own website, with an electronic booking platform at the following costs:
Design time: +2 hours at R450 per hour. Web developers work at a rate average of R600 per hour. CSE Services support companies to help the bedridden patients, hence rates are cut to help business partners. It is only a once of cost and the team can help companies within a short period if the accommodation partner supply the correct pictures and information.
It will take the CSE team less time to help companies as they know the software structures well. CSE Services will help accommodation partners by providing a three month payment structure.
Companies who need help can notify us and the CSE team will help companies during the next 3 months to position their websites on the American, European structures.
Monthly costs payable to American company directly: US$ 14.99
Connect Your Domain (You may have your own current domain name linked towards a new website structure)
TripAdvisor Partner (website is accredited for booking systems etc.)
Free Domain (Get a free domain voucher for 1 year. If you do not have an existing domain name. offer is applicable on: .com .net .org .info .biz domain suffixes)
Accept Online Payments
Accept Online Payments
The website will be supported by numerous payment support structures:
Accept PayPal and Credit Cards online
A world trusted brand
Quickly sign up and connect
From 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction
Accept Visa and MasterCard online
High security standards
Seamless with your site's look and feel
From 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction
Accept payments from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico & Venezuela.
Funds are available in 14 days
From 4.79% + Interest-free installments. No setup fee
Guests can book without entering payment details
You arrange payment with your guests
Valid in all countries
You will have the ability to set-up seasonal room rates for different seasons and holidays, as well as additional charges for extras including meals, cleaning services etc.
Your new website will be smart phone, Ipad and all electronic devices compatible. Google and other search engines will position a website over a shorter period on the first page if the website’s structural development supports all the electronic devices.
It is recommended to host and get support from companies who specialize in their fields. Larger website companies who support thousands of websites for a specific industry cannot afford to provide poor service. They will constantly upgrade to remain competitive. They also have better resources and they can provide support at better rates.
According to some guesthouse owners (we talked to during research) they pay on average R450 per month to host their own websites. The Homecare Foundation will help with an internet solution that will cost + R200 depending on exchange rates. The Homecare Foundation provides free website hosting (for companies on the new platform) with 12 e-mail addresses per company. The only costs will be the US$ 14.99 payable towards the American based company.
Our objective is to help companies save on costs and to increase income. This will enable them to donate R250 per month towards an important cause.
It is possible to provide an accommodation company with a well-planned internet booking system, its own website, other important services explained in focus point 2 to 5, a magazine the guesthouse owner loves to read, 4 cappuccinos and a carwash once a month for less than R450. The total spending will be lower and the Guesthouse owner helps people within his/her community! We explain our voucher structures with more detail under Donations.