Accommodation Type

Visitor Information Centre Resources

RoomsHere.com has been developed, giving consideration to the varying and complex operations of Visitor Information Centres across Australia, particularly those who pride themselves in delivering a personal and professional service to meet the needs of travelers.

One of RoomsHere.com's primary functions is to streamline the sometimes difficult task of servicing accommodation bookings and enquiries, especially leading up to and during busy periods, such as holidays, long weekends, events and conferences.

RoomsHere.com has made the commitment to list all Visitor Information Centres

Because RoomsHere.com values the role of Visitor Information Centres in the accommodation industry, special tools and functions have been provided so that each Visitor Information Centre can product an online Accommodation Guide which can be used to streamline the servicing of counter and email enquiries and/or bookings.

Visitor Information Centres are provided with their own login, so that they can setup their Accommodation Guide to meet the demands of their local area:

  • Choose which Properties they wish to include in their Accommodation Guide
  • Select the areas they wish to service (across regions or borders) which can also be incorporated in their Accommodation Guide, streamlining the process of helping travelers find accommodation in nearby towns/areas or to assist with forward bookings
  • Utilise their own private data base to record important information that may assist Staff/Volunteers with management of a booking/referral service
  • Manage the calendars of accommodation providers who may not yet be computer savvy by including them in a special Portfolio

For further information, see the Visitor Information Centre User Manual

Providing an Accommodation Booking Service?

Visitor Information Centres in most states across Australia are encouraged to participate in an Accreditation program which recognises the professionalism of their operations. 

Facilitating accommodation bookings is generally a requirement of an Accredited Visitor Information Centre due to its potential to increase the economic gain to the tourism industry as a whole.

The real benefits are, that once a booking has been made and confirmed with a financial commitment, it satisfies the needs of all parties:

  • The Customer can relax knowing that accommodation has been secured for that evening - they may even take a tour, visit a café etc., even though their accommodation may be in another town or area
  • The Accommodation Business can confidently prepare for their guest's arrival knowing that a monetary commitment has been made as confirmation of their stay - "no shows" are costly to the Accommodation Business, especially if breakfast provisions etc., have been specially purchased
  • The Visitor Information Centre fulfills the ultimate service delivery and in doing so, has generated some income helping the sustainability of the Centre

"Live" Online Booking Systems

Our research has discovered that many Accommodation Businesses struggle with the management and demand of "live" online booking systems due to the risk of double bookings and the high cost of commissions and ongoing costs.

Some Visitor Information Centres who have committed to "live" online booking systems estimate that around 80% of Accommodation Businesses choose the 24 - 48 confirmation option, which means Staff/Volunteers still need to phone to confirm availability before finalising each booking.

High signup fees and the real cost of staff resources in managing "live" online booking systems reduces the profit margins generated by Visitor Information Centres.  This often means that Accommodation Businesses are required to pay commission rates well above 10%, sometimes leading to a low take-up rate of operators who are willing to pay the higher commission rate.

Direct Booking System

Many Visitor Information Centres across Australia have opted to continue using the Direct Accommodation Booking System as it appears to be the most cost effective and efficient method of operating a booking service.  It does not discriminate against any business, as all Accommodation Businesses can be included in this system.

It is very low in administration, particularly when the Visitor Information Centre only charges the amount of the deposit on the booking which is retained by the VIC as "commission" - processing the full amount of the booking complicates the Direct Booking System due to the administration required to reconcile accounts and reimburse payments to Accommodation Businesses

RoomsHere.com has been developed to efficiently meet all the objectives of a Direct Accommodation Booking System avoiding the costs associated with the operation of an online booking system by:

  • Providing the full use of RoomsHere.com to all Visitor Information Centres
  • Displaying availability on a 12 month calendar
  • Enabling Commissionable product to be identified in the Visitor Information Centre Login
  • Facilitating enquiries direct from the Visitor Information Centre to the Accommodation Business
  • Providing a private data base to support the management of a booking system
  • Collating a contact list of Accommodation Businesses to streamline the process of bulk emailing
  • Setting up Major Event Listings which identifies availability and the given driving times from the venue

For further information see Section 7 of the Visitor Information Centre User Manual.

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