Breathing Life Back Into Caribbean Excursion Corporations One Commission At a Time
The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season – most notably Hurricanes Irma and Maria – left an indelible mark on the Caribbean. In addition to the devastating physical tolls left by these storms, the long-lasting damage to the economy is palpable.
According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, a public misconception about the damage to the entire Caribbean has cost the region nearly 1 million visitors, costing the region up to $741 million, which would have supported more than 11,000 jobs – and a full recovery could take up to four years.
Of the revenue that is coming in, for many local businesses and excursion groups, the majority of bookings and referrals are coming from third-party travel sites, such as Travelocity and Expedia, which charge the groups up to 20 percent commission for each booking they deliver.
One company is looking to help Caribbean tour groups and local businesses keep more of their hard-earned dollars in the local economy and supporting their staffs and communities.
Thyme Online and founder Ben Jamieson have launched RezBS, an online booking tool that will allow local businesses to easily, seamlessly integrate robust online booking capabilities into their existing websites, enabling a greater percentage of direct bookings and a decrease in commissions paid out to third-party vendors.
RezBS offers excursion groups several benefits that will help streamline their businesses and take the pains out of phone and email booking systems. In addition to direct booking and full integration with all leading Caribbean banks, the app allows for robust and secure online booking management, including live seat availability, unlimited activities and packages, as well as upsells, and the ability to quickly print daily manifests for easy client check-in.
Groups can also gain full digital insight into their traffic, growth, and revenue, with multiple reporting tools and tax/VAT ready data. Further, the app’s admin area gives managers the ability to add, manage, and track third-party bookings, including voucher and concierge referrals from their partner resorts and businesses.
Perhaps it’s no surprise that this Brit is a real-life Robin Hood. The founder of Bahamas Archery and an active member of the local community in Nassau for more than 20 years, Jamieson is passionate about supporting local, Caribbean businesses, and stresses the importance of travelers booking directly with local businesses for upcoming Caribbean travel.
“Many excursion companies are paying out commissions at massive rates for their guests,” he explains. “By not only increasing their overall bookings, but minimizing the number of commissions that they are paying out each month, these tour groups are able to expand their offerings and fleets, and feed their bottom lines, instead of those of a third party service.”
Take, for example, the case of Powerboat Adventures,
The app can be integrated seamlessly with an existing business site, whether built on WordPress or another, custom platform, in seconds. Booking pages are fully branded, and offer direct Facebook page integration, as well as Facebook call to action linking to help convert social traffic.
Presently, RezBS boasts several Bahamian clients, including Exuma Kitesurfing, Neal Watson’s Bimini Scuba Center, and Bimini Big Game Club. They have securely processed nearly $3.7 million in sales in 2018 alone – with PCI certified & compliant systems, 256 bit SSL encryption, and secure, encrypted booking giving travelers the peace of mind to know that their credit card information will never be stored nor stolen.
For more information about RezBS, or to learn about the amazing excursion groups that