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Case study: Amadeus Guest House, Glasgow:

Owner Alex Fabvre-Meltser has been an extensive user of hotels since a very young age.

"In my earliest memories, I remember breakfast buffets in the Andes, comfortable beds in Buenos Aires, and the soothing sound of traffic in Paris, all in lovely hotels. My father worked in the oil industry so this means we travelled and travelled," she comments.

Having studied hotel management and languages, Alex acquired her first place when still in her 20's. When she bought the Amadeus Guest House in Glasgow she had a 10-month old baby and discovered she was also expecting another new addition to the family. Seven years on and the children are very much part of the family environment that guests experience during their stay. The children even have their own guesthouse chores.

With a background as a project manager in IT for eight years, owner Alex had a good level of knowledge in technology and she immediately bought the www.amadeusguesthouse.co.uk domain name, as the previous owner relied on a very basic site hosted by freeserve. The site was then redesigned and with the help of strategic online advertising, enquires were rolling in.

As time went on Alex realized that having only an enquiry form on the website was too time-consuming and they were loosing bookings by the time she responded. Registering with Laterooms and Booking.com didn't prove to be the answer either as the 15% commission, and the low prices to be visible in the search results meant that their revenue quickly took a huge hit. In addition to a tough economy – she thought this may be the end of Amadeus Guest House.

After some research Alex came across the online booking software freetobook. "It seemed so easy, taking only one day to set up and we have never looked back. The system is incredibly straight forward, yet quite sophisticated. Guests can now book rooms with us 24/7. This makes us very competitive and looking so professional! And the best bit is that it is all commission free... I think that it is important to note that freetobook are definitely with you every step of the way – they embrace feedback and constantly thrive to improve."

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