We are part of the SpeedyBooker network of websites.
January 2021: investing for the future
The Covid pandemic meant 2020 was a turbulent year for everyone. Whilst some of our websites were down considerably (e.g. most universities closed down their vacation bookings) there were bright spots, with a summer staycation boom meaning that BritainsFinest.co.uk
grew 50%, and BeachHuts.com
had a great year as people continued flocked to the coast and benefited from our online bookings functionality.
Our strong financial position meant that in 2020 fortunately we were able to continue our investments in our websites, admin system, and infrastructure, as well as growing our number of live vendors by over 5x to 6,512 at the year end. As a result, we will emerge stronger from the pandemic and are poised to ride the wave of the great 2021 (and 2022) travel recovery. Bring it on!
We also made a donation to World Land Trust towards their purchase 4,843 acres (1,960 ha) of Ecuadorian Chocó rainforest, protecting this threatened habitat and its wildlife which includes Jaguar. Thank you to our wonderful vendors and loyal customers for your support during what was a difficult year for everyone.
August 2020: BeachHuts.com is relaunched
BeachHuts.com, acquired in 2017, has been migrated over to the SpeedyBooker platform, opening it to the joys of online bookings, payments, instant confirmations, and multi currency capabilities. Plus we can now offer huts to our accommodation customers, and vice versa. Bookings were received within hours, and we are excited by the future. Thank you to our hut owners for their support during the transition.
January 2020: 4 acres of Columbian rainforest savedAugust 2019: Out of hours support introduced
We give a small contribution from every booking (at no extra cost to you) to World Land Trust
. We are proud to report that in 2019 our contributions helped save four acres of Columbian rainforest from deforestation. The Trust has purchased the land in the biodiverse forests and wetlands of the Magdalena Valley in Colombia’s Barbacoas region. The Magdalena River flows from the Colombian Andes into a rich expanse of wetlands surrounded by rainforest, home to rare species including the Brown Spider Monkey and the White-footed Tamarin.
These donations will continue during 2020. So, by using this website, you are contributing to this success story. Thank you for your support!
In an important step forwards for our customers and vendors (properties), we have established a small team in Asia which gives us the ability to offer out of hours support (not quite 24/7 yet), as well as weekends and UK bank holidays. This has dramatically cut our average response times, and further enhances our service standards.
June 2019: Partnership with Google Hotel Ads
Our partnership with Google Hotel Ads went live in six weeks from start to finish which according to them, is one of the quickest on record: well done to our team who worked on the project. Bookings are already coming through, we are refining our approach, and volumes are building. Given Google's market share, estimated at over 60% of the meta-search market, this partnership gives us an exciting growth injection. Our properties pay nothing extra and customers will be referred through to our websites to complete their bookings.
January 2019: Progress continues apace
Our family of websites received over 6,600,000 visitors in 2018, and had 5,061 properties (vendors) live. 2018 was a year of further acceleration in our innovation. Having increased the software engineering team, we have now re-written 95% of our code, using the latest tools and architecture, to set us up for the future, and enable exciting developments including new websites and new tools for customers and vendors. Announcements will follow.
January 2018: Mandarin versions launched
As of today our websites are now translated into Mandarin. This will accellerate the growth in bookings we receive from China and will assist our expansion.
December 2017: BeachHuts.com joins the family
One of our core strategies is to expand our portfolio of niche travel websites. We are excited to welcome BeachHuts.com to our family, and look forward to a long and happily sandy future together.
November 2017: Partnership with Trivago
After many months of preparations and technical integration, our partnership with Trivago went live on 30th November. As a new marketing channel for us, this partnership will boost our booking volumes. Customers will be referred through to our websites to complete their bookings.
November 2017: new UniversityRooms website
We are delighted to annouce the next step in our reinvigorated quest to invest in technology and innovation, announced in June. Our new UniversityRooms website is now launched and is acheiving excellent customer retention and conversion rates.
June 2017: new SpeedyBooker website launched
SpeedyBooker is delighted to announce the launch of its new website speedybooker.com. Please see the full press release.
January 2017: 2016 was our 9th year of continuous growth
Any young company would be pretty chuffed with nine years of continuous growth. We have achieved this through meticulous attention to detail and continuous investment in our software, websites, and team. In 2016 we acheived over 6,000,000 unique visitors to our websites, 60,000 bookings and 2m referrals. We have lots of exciting plans for this year in terms of new features for vendors and customers, and more news will follow shortly.
April 2016: new office opened in Bury St Edmunds
We have completed our relocation from London to a larger office in beautiful Bury St Edmunds, and are enjoying the fresh air. This move was undertaken partly to assist our long-term expansion and stability. We have grown the team to 18 team members and the transition has gone smoothly. We are settled, happy and working hard to grow bookings.
January 2016:Growth accelerates
SpeedyBooker marches on, with bookings up another 13% in 2015. During the year we unveiled our new UniversityRooms website, launched the ability for customers to set up accounts with us, and developed lots of other clever new functionality for customers and properties alike. We are working hard on several initiatives that will drive further growth in the number of properties and customers in the future.
January 2015: Bookings up again - now over 200,000
2014 was another year of growth for SpeedyBooker, with bookings up 12% compared to the previous year. This brings the number of bookings made via our family of sites to over 200,000 since we launched. We have a host of exciting developments in the pipeline, which we expect will deliver even more traffic, bookings and customers for our customers in 2015.
April 2014: SpeedyBooker acquires BritainsFinest.co.uk.
We are delighted to announce the acquisition of BritainsFinest.co.uk. Generating over 3m visitors a year, BritainsFinest.co.uk is the leading specialist website for luxury hotels, spas, bed and breakfasts, holiday cottages, visitor attractions and restaurants in the UK. This addition is a major step forward for the business. Read the full press release here.
January 2014: SpeedyBooker up 32%
We are delighted to announce a blockbuster 2013 which saw bookings leap to 47,000, with over £9.2m of revenue generated for our properties. 2014 will see a number of exciting developments which will be announced in due course. We are proud to be a growing, global force in online bookings.
January 2013: SpeedyBooker grows bookings to £7.0m
2012 saw the continued rise of SpeedyBooker as visitor numbers, bookings, and partnerships all grew in number. The bookings growth, from £6.1m in 2011 to £7.0m was slowed by the effect of the London Olympics as UK visitor numbers were down 5% in the summer. We are therefore delighted by this performance and look forward to another year of growth in 2013. If you are interested in advertising your property or partnering your website with us, please get in touch.
September 2012: SpeedyBooker passes 100,000 bookings
Things have come a long way since our first booking on 11th March 2007, a year which ended with 899 bookings. This year we will exceed 35,000 bookings. However this is only the beginning: we are keeping our heads down, expanding the websites and continually improving our service for customers and members.
April 2012: SpeedyBooker breaks through 1,000 members
We are more than a little chuffed to have just passed the landmark of 1,000 members, which range from B&Bs in the wildest parts of northern Scotland to Pensiones in central Rome, and university colleges in Sydney Australia to boutique hotels in central London. We will continue to expand. Whatever accommodation you are looking for, or whatever the kind of hotel, B&B, guest house, hostel or holiday cottage you manage, we are pleased to be able to help. Bookings for everyone!
January 2012: SpeedyBooker announces launch of Bed&Breakfast and Hostel websites
The growth in SpeedyBooker continued apace in 2011, with the number of properties signed up to our websites growing to 612, and the number of bookings growing from £4.2m to £6.1m. In total 105,923 room nights were booked, representing an average room price per night of £57.36.
2011 was another record year for our existing websites UniversityRooms (which is now established in 11 countries worldwide) and HistoricBritain. We are also delighted to announce the formal launch of our Bed&Breakfast websites and CheapHostels websites, and our international hostel brand, HostelHunter. We anticipate these new websites will increase our rate of growth in the B&B and Hostel markets, and look forward to another great year in 2012!
January 2011: SpeedyBooker grows to 458 members; 2010 bookings up three-fold
2010 was an exciting year for SpeedyBooker, with the number of bed and breakfasts, hotels, and university residences growing to 478, and the number of bookings growing from £1.4m in 2009 to £4.2m in 2010. In total, 70,891 room nights were booked, representing an average room price per night of £59.01.
2010 was a great year for both UniversityRooms and HistoricBritain. Whilst we can be proud of our acheivements so far, we are very focused on driving the business forward and are optimistic about prospects for 2011 and beyond, including new websites planned.
September 2010: UniversityRooms goes international
We are pleased to report that this summer our UniversityRooms business has added its first members abroad, with nine halls of residence in Spain and one university in Italy. We are hoping to expand this further in 2011, with both more residences in Spain and Italy, and members in new countries including North America and Australasia.
June 2010: HistoricBritain announces 103% growth in visitors
We are pleased to announce that, on a rolling twelve month basis, we have passed 50,000 unique visitors to our second website, HistoricBritain for the first time. This represents 103% growth over the previous 12 months. In addition, we have recently passed 400 properties on the website.
Whilst we are very pleased with the growth in visitors to the website, which we will continue to drive, our main focus at present is on increasing the number of properties. Only with a critical mass of properties can customers make comparisons and therefore book with confidence. The next few years will see a significant acceleration in both properties and visitors.
January 2010: UniversityRooms reports growth in members
Having ended 2008 with only the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge as members of University Rooms, we are pleased to announce that this has now increased to thirteen UK universities, and bookings have increased to £1.4m from £650,000 in 2008.
April 2009: SpeedyBooker launched
Having developed our booking platform for Universities, we are delighted to announce that we have rebranded the platform SpeedyBooker, and will now help support independent accommodation providers (Vendors) of all types, throgh a variety of websites (the SpeedyBooker Network) to suit them, all centrally managed through one SpeedyBooker admin system. We aim to do so at lower cost for Vendors and customers.
September 2008: UniversityRooms Update
We have had a successful start with our first six clients (all colleges in Oxford and Cambridge) and generated them bookings for over 9,500 room nights so far this year. With this under our belt, and following a great deal of time invested into "fine tuning" the website over the summer, we today begun our campaign to sign up new clients, with a view to having a decent number live on the website in time for a busy spring and summer 2009.
April 2008: Unique Bed and Breakfast accommodation service now available for visitors to Oxford and Cambridge
Visitors to Oxford and Cambridge are benefiting from an exciting new service in these historic cities: the ability to book bed and breakfast accommodation in the famous University colleges.
It is the combination of low cost (starting from £40), central locations, being able to trace the footsteps of famous graduates and the ability to experience life inside the universities that is making the college bed and breakfast service so popular. Drawing one’s curtain back to see an Oxford quad or Cambridge court, stumbling down a creaking 500 year old wooden staircase en route to breakfast in a magnificent dining hall is an experience that few forget. Most are single but twins are available. All have their own washbasin and an increasing number now have ensuite bathroom facilities.