In a move designed to help hospitality businesses better engage with and retain their guests, Welcome Systems has announced a strategic partnership with Guestfolio, Cendyn’s customer relationship management (CRM) platform for hoteliers.

Guestfolio CRM will empower Welcome System’s customers to deliver the right message at the right time through marketing automation across multiple channels. This in combination with a robust email marketing platform, TripAdvisor integration and consolidated guest profiles will offer insights into guest reservations, room stays and inquiries, leading to measurable impact and revenue growth.

Welcome Systems, a UK leader in hospitality software solutions, will use Guestfolio to provide its clients with the ability to integrate every ‘digital touch-point’ before, during and after a guest stay, providing a cohesive view of visitor data in a single platform for tailored guest marketing.

John Jones, MD of Welcome Systems Ltd, explains:

“In an increasingly competitive hospitality sector it’s never been more important for hoteliers to communicate and engage with their guests. Our partnership with Cendyn is a major step in overcoming obstacles to this.

“The way people anticipate a hotel experience has completely changed over the last few years. From the moment they consider booking a trip through to the point they arrive, the focus is on a comfortable, unique and hassle-free stay.

“Our Welcome Anywhere property management system (PMS) is a perfect fit with Cendyn’s Guestfolio CRM platform, meaning our accommodation business clients can now benefit from the best of both in a single package.

“Guestfolio simply plugs into Welcome Anywhere, extracts historical guest data and synchronises all present and future reservations. From here the system creates tailored marketing campaigns and notifications that can be actively pushed out to guests based on their known likes before, during and after a visit.

“This allows for seamless pre-arrival, confirmation, modification and cancellation messages to be neatly tied in with Welcome Anywhere’s cloud-based PMS, which works across smartphones, tablets and PCs.

“We’re particularly excited about Guestfolio’s Concierge App, which also works on mobile devices and desktop computers. It can be adapted to mirror a hotel’s brand and is instantly updated with guests’ travel requests, details of special hotel events and other attractions in a local area.

“All of this represents the effective use of granular ‘data mining’ and ultimately frees-up a hotelier’s time for other things.

“This is quite unlike anything else on the market and, as the hospitality sector becomes increasingly aware of the value and power of data, we’re thrilled to be at the forefront of these developments.”

Charles Deyo, CEO & President at Cendyn, adds:

“We’re delighted to be partnering with Welcome Systems. Adding them to our data connectivity suite is a testament to our dedication to provide the most integrated CRM platform in the industry

“One of the biggest challenges that faces hotels today is being able to take action on their data. By integrating their PMS with a CRM, as we are doing with Welcome Systems and Cendyn, hoteliers are able to understand and leverage their data to improve the guest experience like never before. We continue to work with robust and innovative PMS vendors like Welcome Systems to ensure hoteliers can take advantage of technology that works fundamentally to put the guests at the heart of what they do.”

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To find out more about the integration between Welcome Anywhere and Guestfolio, click here.

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We're excited to announce that we have launched a free version of the Welcome Anywhere property management system (PMS) to support hotels in the face of an anticipated slowdown for the sector during 2018.

Welcome Anywhere is designed specifically for independent hotels, B&Bs and guest houses, many of which are hesitant to explore new technology in the face of tough market conditions, explains our MD, John Jones.

He continues: “There are two concerns that sometimes stop our prospective clients from investigating the benefits of an online PMS – price and complexity.

“Happily, Welcome Anywhere is renowned for being both affordable and easy-to-use, and we’re convinced that any doubters will be won over by their experience of this new product release.

“Welcome Anywhere Free is a cloud-based, entry-level PMS with the necessary tools to move businesses from pen and paper to digital. It features a booking chart for PC, laptop or tablet, guest database and basic house lists and a rate management device.”

It’s no coincidence that this development comes at a time when the UK hospitality industry is under significant threat from a series of unprecedented challenges, as evidenced by PwC’s latest UK hotels forecast for 2018.

Titled ‘As Good as it Gets?’, the report suggests that the hotel sector will plateau and overall growth will slow in 2018.

“This is in large part due to an over-supply of new build hotels, the impact of Brexit on international travel to the UK and disruption to hotel trading from the threat of cyber and terrorist attacks,” add Jones.

“With times set to become harder for hospitality providers, especially independent and smaller property owners, businesses need the right tools to grow. We believe technology should be accessible and, as hospitality originals ourselves, we want to ensure UK accommodation businesses succeed now and in the future.”

For further details on Welcome Anywhere Free, click here.

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Valsoft Corporation Inc. (“Valsoft”), a Montreal-based company specialized in the acquisition and development of vertical market software businesses, is pleased to announce the acquisition of Welcome Systems Ltd. (“Welcome Systems”), a leading provider of cloud-based hospitality solutions in the United Kingdom.

Welcome Systems’ cutting-edge Hotel Management software and all-inclusive online table booking system will enable Valsoft to expand its hospitality software portfolio with next generation technology and tools that empower its customers to meet competitive marketplace demands and increase profits.

Welcome Systems was founded in 1984 by Nick Chudley to improve the operations of his family’s hotel and convention center in the county of Northamptonshire. Spotting a gap in the market and a lack of efficient tools, Nick found success writing and selling his own property management software, specifically designed for hospitality businesses. Decades later, Welcome retains an extremely loyal customer base and its premier product, Welcome Anywhere, remains a market leader in its category. Over the past three years, a next-generation management team with solid hospitality experience has continued to fuel Welcome Systems’ expansion by forging strategic partnerships with some of the best service providers and vendors in the industry.

“Welcome Systems’ culture of customer-centric innovation and its ability to successfully launch new technology solutions has been the key to its growth, and we are thrilled to welcome its talented team into our family of companies,” said Michael Assi, CEO of Valsoft Travel and Leisure. “This strategic acquisition is fully in line with Valsoft’s vision to become the preferred global one-stop software solutions provider for independent lodging businesses, and reaffirms our strong commitment to our customers.”

“I am absolutely delighted about this development. Welcome Systems has always been about helping hotels provide a great guest experience through the use of intuitive, feature-rich software,” said John Jones, Managing Director at Welcome Systems Ltd. “Although we have been around for over thirty years, we’re still an ambitious company, full of fresh ideas and innovative thinking. As part of the Valsoft family, Welcome Systems is perfectly positioned to expand its technical capabilities, continue its growth plan, and increase significantly its market share by leveraging the resources, experience, and know-how of a fantastic parent company which shares our core values and goals.”

The acquisition of Welcome Systems is Valsoft’s third investment into the Travel & Leisure software sector. In July 2016, Valsoft acquired InnQuest Software, an established global leader in the hotel management software industry and, in May 2017, it purchased the assets of DockMaster, a leading solutions provider for the management of marinas, boatyards and boat dealerships.

About Welcome Systems:

Welcome Systems Ltd provides innovative software solutions for the hospitality sector in the UK and beyond. Its mission is to empower independent hotels, inns with rooms, pubs, B&Bs, guesthouses and accommodation chains to provide a great guest experience.

Welcome’s ethos supports creative thinking and a brave approach to thoughtful leadership, while remaining approachable and partner-centric.

About Valsoft Corporation:

Valsoft Corporation acquires and develops vertical market software companies to enable each business to deliver the best mission-critical solutions for customers in its respective industry or niche.

Valsoft’s philosophy is to invest in stable businesses and foster entrepreneurial environments that transform companies into leaders in specific sectors. Unlike private equity and VC firms, Valsoft does not have pre-defined investment horizons, aiming instead to acquire, hold, and create value through long-term partnerships with existing management.

Valsoft Corporation was represented by Caroline Harwood of Rooney Nimmo, UK and internally by David Felicissimo, General Counsel & Pamela Romero, Paralegal. Welcome Systems Ltd was represented by John Keeble of DFA Law in Northampton, UK.

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The Winner of Welcome Systems Ltd’s iPad Mini competition for the hotelier best able to describe their experience of using the Welcome Anywhere property management system via Capterra.com, is Elizabeth Wells, reservations manager at the Mannin Hotel on the Isle of Man.

Welcome Systems set the competition to mark the latest update of its fully cloud-based Welcome Anywhere property management system, and to highlight how mobile devices offer the perfect platform to manage hotel room reservations, pricing, marketing and guest communications on a 24/7 basis.

Describing Welcome Anywhere’s pros as being its ‘simplicity of use and doing everything we need for a medium-sized hotel’ on her Capterra.com review, Elizabeth continues:

“I previously worked for another hotel that used Welcome Anywhere to manage its bookings, so I was already aware of the system and the advantages it offers.

“When I moved to join the Mannin Hotel, which is relatively new after opening in April 2016, I became involved in almost everything, from choosing which sugar sachets we’d use through to putting all of our front and back office systems into place!

“In this day and age you have to use an online booking system. The hotel manager and I looked at several options to begin with, and we eventually chose Welcome for a number of reasons.

“Being on the Isle of Man means it can be difficult to get maintenance for software or hardware issues quickly and efficiently. The fact that Welcome is fully cloud-based, maintained by Welcome around the clock, and there are no physical moving parts makes a lot of sense for us.

“A highly visual web portal additionally means that tracking occupancy and avoiding double-bookings is no longer a concern. It also ties in seamlessly with all of the major booking engines and the Global Distribution System, allowing us to show live availability for our 54 bedrooms at all times.

“Business for the Mannin Hotel has taken off beyond our wildest expectations. There aren’t many new hotels on the Island and we’re very proud of our excellent staff and excited that demand is proving so high.

“Naturally I’m delighted to start the New Year with a brand new iPad to help manage our bookings!”

John Jones, Managing Director of Welcome Systems Ltd, added:

“Welcome Anywhere has always been suited to devices of all sizes, but our latest update features significant improvements to the way the system performs on tablets and smartphones.

“There’s no doubt the future of hotel and restaurant booking is continual innovation online. We’re thrilled to be pressing ahead with our mission to help hotels, B&Bs and pubs with accommodation meet raised customer demands for improved comfort, value, technology and convenience.”

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After what it describes as an ‘exhaustive consultation with its customers’, Welcome Systems Ltd, the online hospitality booking software experts, has completely revamped the reporting suite in its hotel property management system (PMS) ‘Welcome Anywhere Plus.’

The development continues Welcome Anywhere’s drive to innovate in line with market demands and suit clients’ continual needs for a 24/7 bookings service that delivers the best guest experience.

“The market is swamped with PMS offerings but I can say with confidence that Welcome Anywhere is the real deal for B&Bs, independent hospitality providers, small hotel chains and pubs with accommodation,” comments John Jones, Managing Director of Welcome Systems Ltd.

“This isn’t just bravado. Our business has been successful for over 30 years by being brave, building strategic partnerships and focusing on innovation, and many of our team are former hoteliers themselves. We understand the market pressures and deliver a system which is renowned for its ease-of-use and measurable results.

“Hospitality managers need the ability to automatically coordinate bookings and finances, send out confirmation emails to clients and accomplish everything at the touch of a screen, whether they are using a PC, tablet, smartphone or a combination of all three.”

Among the exciting new developments offered by the Welcome Anywhere are:

  • A new online dashboard offering instant hotel and accommodation data
  • Full mobile compatibility throughout the app
  • Instant adjustment and performance information on average daily rates, marketing cost per booking, direct revenue ratio, and total revenue per available room and per client
  • The Booking.com Opportunity Centre, designed to identify opportunities to supercharge room performance and profitability

“Because customer feedback has always been vital to Welcome Anywhere our clients can now also send us their ideas for improvement using the new 'Got an idea?' section,” continues Jones. “In addition our system security is fully encrypted to combat the threat of cybercrime, and we have made huge advancements in mobile readiness.

“Welcome Anywhere has always been suited to devices of all sizes, but this latest update features significant improvements to the way it performs on smartphones.

“The booking details screen now has a new menu for users to quickly access invoices and add payment card details - a small, but crucial detail.

“There’s no doubt the future of hotel and restaurant booking is continual innovation online,” adds Jones. “We’re thrilled to be helping hotels, B&Bs and pubs with accommodation meet raised customer demands for improved comfort, value and convenience.

“This business is all about convenience, comfort and quality - factors that should apply not only to guests, but also to hoteliers in their day-to-day business.”

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We're delighted to announce that we have appointed Checkout (CI) Ltd as the sole agent in The Channel Islands for the Welcome Anywhere hotel booking system.

Welcome Systems’ Managing Director, John Jones, explains:

“As part of our growth strategy we’ve identified a gap in the market. Hotel management systems aimed at large hospitality chains are unprepared to support independent hoteliers based outside of the mainland.

“UK Hoteliers love Welcome Anywhere’s ease of use, regularly updated features and straightforward monthly subscription.

“The days of expensive, outdated booking systems are gone and we plan to break new ground in the Channel Islands by bringing our next generation product to hotels, B&Bs and guest houses there.

“We only partner with the best and Checkout (CI) Ltd, with offices in Jersey and Guernsey, is the leading provider of electronic point of sale systems (EPOS) in the Channel Islands. Offering invaluable local knowledge, expertise and connections, Welcome Anywhere is a natural addition to their product range. This agreement was a no-brainer!”

Mike Le Conte, CEO Checkout (CI) Ltd, adds:

“Our own EPOS software providers interface with many different hospitality management systems and they recommended Welcome Anywhere as the most innovative and impressive they’ve ever seen.

“The Channel Islands have a fantastic selection of mostly independent hotels. Everyone knows everyone else here, and recommendation is absolutely key.

“The introduction of Welcome Anywhere is a huge opportunity for the Islands. There is a high demand for staff, who often switch between hotels, so having an intuitive online management system that can easily manage bookings and guest enquiries 24/7 is vital.

“A major advantage over other UK providers needing to deliver training or on-site assistance is that they have to get on a plane. We can be with our clients in about 15 minutes.”

To book your free trial of Welcome Anywhere in the Channel Islands, please contact Mike Le Conte at Checkout (CI) Ltd on email: gsy@checkoutci.com (01481 716307) or Jonathan Rubber on email: jsy@checkoutci.com (01534 871784).

For anywhere else in the UK, email sales@welcome-systems.uk (0330 1001090) or click here.

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(Left-right): John Jones, Welcome Systems Managing Director and Cornie McGinley, Costa Systems Managing Director.

We're delighted to announce that we have appointed Costa Systems as our sole agent in The Republic of Ireland for the Welcome Anywhere hotel booking system.

Welcome Systems’ Managing Director, John Jones, explains:

“Welcome Anywhere is used by hundreds of hoteliers in the UK who love its ease of use and cutting-edge features. The days of expensive, clunky booking systems are gone, and we’re going to break new ground in Ireland by bringing our next generation product to hotels, B&Bs and guest houses there.

“As a hospitality original, we don’t just partner with anyone, we only work with the best and this new collaboration with Costa Systems is a prime example. I’m absolutely delighted to have forged this alliance with Costa.”

Cornie McGinley, Managing Director of Costa Systems, based in Co. Meath, Ireland, adds:

“Costa Systems is one of the Country’s top Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) success stories and we have an excellent understanding of the local market. In my view hotels, B&Bs, pubs with rooms and guest houses need to work harder than ever before to deliver an unforgettable guest experience, particularly as the Irish visitor economy takes off.

“Through this partnership with Welcome Systems we will help customers achieve their goals by offering world class EPOS products, coupled with the Welcome Anywhere system. It is refreshingly straightforward and offers a constant flow of updates and improvements. It’s a genuinely next-generation product that makes other options look obsolete.”

Welcome Systems and Costa Systems will exhibit together at the Food, Retail & Hospitality Expo on 13th Sept at Citywest in Dublin, where one visitor will receive a free year’s subscription to Welcome Anywhere.

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Get a FREE 2 month trial of the Welcome Anywhere hotel booking system and RateManager by BookingSuite!

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Independent hoteliers failing to take control of their online presence and bookings this summer could be missing a massive opportunity, according to John Jones, MD of Welcome Systems Ltd.

“For many, staying in a hotel is no longer an extravagance,” he explains. “It is much more affordable and frequent, meaning there is huge potential for hoteliers to capitalise on the summer period.”

However, despite the latest stats indicating 16 million more nights were spent in European hotels than the previous year, the UK has seen the biggest fall in bookings with a drop of -15.4%.

While the growth of ‘industry disruptors’ like Airbnb may bear some responsibility for these figures, John believes that it is up to hoteliers to raise their game in an increasingly competitive market.

He continues: “This isn’t about just competing on price, but also on services and experience. Our research shows that booking a hotel room is often viewed as the least enjoyable part of a holiday.

“We’ve found there are hundreds of online booking systems on the market, all with one common problem - confusing web layouts, a mass of options and text-heavy pages.”

As a result Welcome Systems Ltd is launching its new ‘Book Yourself Full 2017’ summer campaign, designed to help hoteliers achieve maximum occupancy with the least amount of work and stress.

“By signing up for our weekly newsletter, hoteliers will gain exclusive access to a wealth of top tips and hacks on achieving the ultimate booking simplicity and efficiency,” adds John.

“We’ll be covering everything from developing social media campaigns, improving in-room experiences and accepting contactless payments, through to mastering hotel websites and dealing with negative reviews, plus webinars and podcasts with key industry players and special guests."

Too busy to plan ahead?

We often hear that hoteliers are simply 'too busy' during the summer to do anything more than oversee the daily running of their business.

Unfortunately, this leaves a whole raft of opportunities untapped and means planning for the quieter months takes a back seat.

That gave us an idea...

“We’re offering the first 100 hotels to register for Welcome Systems’ newsletter before the end of July 2017, a free two-month trial of our Welcome Anywhere PMS and its integration with RateManager by BookingSuite," explains John. "However, we appreciate how busy hoteliers are at this time of year, which is why we're suggesting they focus on their business during the summer and have the system installed in September. We're even providing them with a free stress buster to get them through this period!"

To find out more and sign up for two free months* of Welcome Anywhere and RateManager by BookingSuite, click below:

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*Offer only applies to new Welcome Anywhere customers.[/fusion_text]

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TrustYou hotel guest review platform

Pursuing the joint goal of facilitating the hotelier’s everyday business and enhancing bookings, TrustYou, the world’s largest guest feedback platform, and Welcome Systems, the British hospitality original behind the popular Welcome Anywhere hotel booking system, today announced their new strategic partnership.

Welcome Systems’ users now have free access to TrustYou Stars Lite, an advanced software solution to collect, analyze and market guest reviews. The feedback is collected through surveys that are automatically sent to the guest after their stay. Proactively sending out guest surveys helps hotels to increase the volume of positive reviews*, which leads to a better rating and online reputation as well as a higher visibility and better rankings across the web. Evaluating guest reviews also helps Welcome Systems’ users to identify areas for improvement and to manage the quality of their hotel better in order to enhance the overall guest experience and satisfaction.

“When it comes to bookings hotels need to be on top of their reputation to assure a positive reputation”, adds John Jones, Managing Director at Welcome Systems. “We are excited to collaborate with TrustYou to provide post-stay surveys and offer this additional service to our users for free. Our brand stands for constant innovation and we aim to partner with the best players in the industry which led us to the decision to work with TrustYou and its sophisticated survey solution.“

Welcome Systems benefits from over 30 years of experience in the hospitality sector with the goal of delivering a great customer experience and the ability to drive profitability in any sized business. TrustYou’s expertise lies on providing the best possible platform for feedback management enabling hotels to manage, market and react upon all reviews, guest surveys and social posts and comments worldwide.

Michael Menzel, CRO and VP Strategic Partnerships at TrustYou explains: “TrustYou Stars Lite is designed to give hotels important insights into their guest's opinions in an easy and user-friendly way. Our survey solution fits very well to Welcome Systems’ existing services and goals to improve the hotel’s operations. We are convinced that we can help a myriad of hotels to solicit and analyze feedback and thereby positively influence their review scores and ranking, as 85 percent* of all guest feedback is positive. This partnership is an important step for TrustYou to solidify our presence in the British hospitality industry.”

More information about TrustYou can be found at www.trustyou.com.

*According to TrustYou’s data evaluation

About TrustYou

TrustYou, the world’s largest guest feedback platform, provides hotels with insights to improve their guest experience and market to future guests. Guest feedback informs 95% of booking decisions, and TrustYou’s guest feedback platform incorporates hundreds of millions of hotel reviews, surveys, social comments, and direct messages through SMS, email, Facebook Messenger and more. This information is analyzed along each step of a traveler’s journey, including booking and pre-stay queries, real-time guest request, and post-stay feedback, to generate actionable insights for 500,000 hotels. TrustYou’s platform is made up of various components, including TrustYou Meta-Reviews*, verified global review summaries displayed on travel and search sites like Google, KAYAK, and Hotels.com;  TrustYou Messaging, real-time guest messaging service; TrustYou Stars, an advanced guest satisfaction survey tool; TrustYou Analytics, the world’s leading online reputation management tool and the accompanying app TrustYou Radar. PMS, CRM, IBE and other hotel software providers can make use of TrustYou Connect, a partner program to integrate TrustYou’s guest feedback platform with its products to help their hotel clients to positively influence every stage of the guest journey.

Find more information on TrustYou and the guest feedback platform at www.trustyou.com.

*TrustYou Meta-Reviews only contain verified reviews and do not include reviews from TripAdvisor

Press contacts

Welcome Systems: Mark Ferguson (More Fire PR Ltd)

TrustYou: Katharina Sickora

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Welcome Systems Ltd has appointed Hefin Morris as Head of Sales to manage an influx of new business from its independent hotel, restaurant and pub clients.

The Northamptonshire hospitality booking software business recently moved from Pitsord to larger premises at Moulton Park as part of an expansion to support its growing list of several hundred clients across the UK.

Discussing his new role, Hefin comments:

“Welcome Systems has established itself as a major player in online booking. We deliver resilient tools that allow property managers to ensure accommodation and restaurant spaces are efficiently coordinated and fully-booked.

“This is a highly competitive market, but we stand out by working closely with our clients to provide clear services and pricing, while constantly developing our systems and meet their day-to-day needs.

“Recent technological developments mean that online booking and electronic-point-of-sale systems (EPOS) can now be easily managed in real-time from a smartphone, tablet or PC on a 24/7 basis.”

With 10 years’ experience as a former hotel general manager himself, Hefin recalls the demanding challenges posed by no-shows, potential double-bookings, and guests’ growing expectations for instantaneous room availability through websites or ‘online travel agencies,’ such as Booking.com.

He continues: “The sector is packed with choice, so we aim to distinguish ourselves by providing straightforward and intuitive software in the form of our Welcome Anywhere and Welcome Table products.

“Welcome Anywhere offers essential reservation management tools for boosting room sales, managing room bookings, advanced customer profiling and automated guest correspondence. Welcome Table similarly delivers an online, cloud-based table booking system for restaurants of all sizes.”

Welcome Systems Ltd Managing Director, John Jones, adds:

“We’re delighted to have Hefin join us at this particularly challenging time for the market.

“Independent hotels, restaurants and pubs are increasingly well placed to rival their big chain competitors, but many need to improve their digital offer to meet the expectations of savvy online travellers and business people. Our mission is to make this goal a reality.”

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