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Our journey: 10 years of Booking Experts

01 Feb '22
On 1 February 2022 Booking Experts officially exists for 10 years! This is a milestone we would have liked to celebrate with you immediately, but we'll keep that in mind. However, the foundations of Booking Experts have been laid well before 2012. In this blog, we would like to take you back to the very beginning of Booking Experts, the highlights of the past few years and we also look ahead, to the next 10 years and more to come.

Expert Webdesign and Booking Experts

The start of our journey lies with Expert Webdesign. Ali has been active in the software industry since 2002. At that time, he built websites and web applications for various parties from different industries. From the leisure industry, the question arose to create a fully integrated CRM package with a website, followed by the question for a rental website. After we had developed this, it turned out that the reservation systems were not suitable for full integration in a website, and therefore online bookings were not possible. This had to be improved, was the conclusion! The original plan was to develop a Search & Book, but due to the extensive knowledge of the recreational sector already present, we saw that more was needed. So we decided to develop our own reservation system.

The goal was to create a reservation system in which all parties could work in one system. It was clear from day one that we had to develop direct integrations with tour operators and our own website. Furthermore, we opted for standardisation of the reservation system. Because, in the end, a holiday park always needs the same thing at the back. Booking Experts was born. We started with a small team but with a clear vision, a clear goal in mind and independent from other parties with an eye for our users.

"To give recreational entrepreneurs the tools with which they can manage their own park without being dependent on third parties."

Our technical development

Developing a complete reservation system in which all parties can work and with which external parties can link directly is not something that happens overnight. We developed both the reservation system and the integrations with other parties ourselves. The puzzle of how everything had to communicate in real time was a real head-scratcher. We did manage to solve it successfully, though. The foundations were laid well and we are still benefiting from them.

ParkCMS, our linked website module, soon followed. ParkCMS is a content management system that is 100% integrated with Booking Experts through real-time communication. The need to offer translated content for the ever-growing group of foreign guests also followed. Linguist was therefore integrated; with one press of the button, a translation request can be sent to translators worldwide who can start work immediately and the translated content is immediately online on the website and in Booking Experts.

The growth of Booking Experts

The growth of Booking Experts is stable. We have been growing linearly for a long time, according to the principle 'first one happy user and then the next'. This stable growth is also reflected in our team. We started small and now we have about 50 employees and interns. The arrival of experienced programmers, marketers, recreation experts and all the other top people is one of our highlights. When we look at our users, we are glad that we can still help and speak to them in the same way as we did years ago; the personal contact is an important motive for us. This service level is important to us and we will maintain it.

At Booking Experts we have our own vision and way of working. For example, we still have our software development in-house, in Enschede. Also, our programmers do not work with hard deadlines. We take the time needed to do our developments right. We also learn from each other, every day. Booking Experts also develops continuously. Our professionals improve our software every day and also continuously develop new features. What we are also proud of is the recent development of our App Store. This idea was there from day one and was a long-term wish for which a good basis was needed. That we can take this step now is a milestone. With the App Store, Booking Experts becomes more than an all-in-one booking system. So we can now proudly say that Booking Experts becomes a platform!

Booking Experts in the market

When we started, people were sometimes sceptical. We would even dare to say that at the time we were pretty much kicking against the established order. But with good reason: we believed (and still believe) that things can be done better. We still follow our own path, working every day on a powerful product we can support 100%. At Booking Experts, we are ahead in the field of reservation software for the leisure industry. This is how we help our users make strides in the modern world of automation, ensuring more turnover, more time for guests and higher guest satisfaction.

The next station in our journey

Our journey continues! Firstly, we would like to continue helping our current users, as we always have. We also want to continue our stable growth. But we are also going to make big leaps in the near future. The group bookings are coming and we are working on Booking Experts Educate, a programme for internal and external training. Booking Experts Educate is a spin-off from the Academy. Many schools are already working with the Booking Experts Academy. Our goal is to be able to support even more schools in the coming years.

Further internationalisation is also on our agenda. We are already present in more than 15 countries but we would like to expand this. Finally, we aim to create a rich system with the knowledge of many companies and experts combined. We would like to add as much value for as many people as possible and make Booking Experts a knowledge platform for leisure companies.

Our highlights of the past 10 years

Below we take you through some of our highlights of the past 10 years:

  • The growth of the team to nearly 50 recreation experts.
  • The growth of our users over the years. From campsites to holiday parks and from hotels to resorts, in more than 15 countries.
  • Programmers and other experts who have been with us for a long time, building up a collective brain.
  • The launch of the App Store.
  • A user-friendly and easy-to-learn reservation system.
  • The development of a fully integrated ParkCMS.
  • The development of an easy-to-use translation system.
  • The Booking Experts Academy.

Booking Experts, once started as 'new kids on the block' and now part of the market leading software companies in the leisure industry.

"How do we strive for perfection? By being innovative and driven, from day one. We develop for the long term and lift the recreation sector to a higher level. Our goal is to stay ahead for at least 10 years!" - Ali Ilboga

To our users: thank you for your trust, input and motivation. On to the next 10 years!

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