FBM Holidays, the long-established holiday rental agency local to West Wales is reporting that it has seen a dramatic rise in bookings year-on-year.
According to results posted for Q4 of the companies financial year which runs from November-October, the company as posted an increase of 11.1% in bookings in 2017/2018 over the same period in 2016/2017. The property portfolio also grew by over 80 properties in the latest period, which has seen a tremendous phase of growth in general.
This comes on top of what was also a very successful previous year, where bookings grew by over 7%, with the latest figures being attributed to new and diverse marketing of both properties and the West Wales region as a whole, and also an influx of holiday home owners joining the firm to take advantage of increased rental throughout the entire booking calendar.
Marketing Executive, Thom James said:
“The results we posted for the entire year have been phenomenal and it’s really pleasing to see that they way we have marketed both the company’s portfolio and the assets of the region has paid off, especially in the early half of the year, which is typically the quieter months, where we have seen huge booking numbers.
“2 years ago we changed our approach to marketing and brought forward campaigns that have allowed us to actively reach higher levels of bookings and larger audiences, whilst being able to manage this process from our Tenby headquarters.
“What is perhaps more pleasing is that we have managed to buck the trend set by owners using larger OTAs like Airbnb and Booking.com solely, as their knowledge just isn’t good enough.”
Property Increases Help
More and more holiday home owners in Pembrokeshire and West Wales are using FBM, leaving the likes of larger companies such as Sykes, or established large platforms like Owners Direct, which is now owned by HomeAway and Expedia. After a recent trip to the Vacation Rental World Summit, FBM Holidays were able to speak to a plethora of worldwide agencies and found that of the 96 countries these businesses represented, they were in the minority of those who were outstripping singular efforts of large booking platforms.
With this in mind, the use of one large channel is no longer cutting it, as more and more owners flock to these channels and saturate their online marketplaces, second-home owners and investors have spoken with their feet and have flocked to the doors of FBM Holidays.
It is considered that 2019, the state of the holiday rental industry worldwide, but especially the staycation market in the UK will continue in such a way. Whilst larger online travel agencies will continue to increase their own efforts, they are not focusing well enough on experiences or local knowledge.
“It’s purely a numbers game to the larger conglomerates.” continues James, “They may have more volume, but what they don’t have is local knowledge or information, especially in Wales, which is a huge oversight.”
“That’s why we have seen such good numbers this year, and will expect this to continue next year, as we compete very well in regards to audience levels, promoting our owners and their properties to a huge market, but we also have the staff on the ground who have a combined 58 years of local knowledge between them, so going that extra mile for customers is part of the daily routine for FBM, which has meant a huge surge in bookings for us.”