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 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 achieved 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.
Charlie Ramsay, founder of the SpeedyBooker, commented "2011 was another record year for our existing websites UniversityRooms (which is now established in 11 countries worldwide) and HistoricBritain. I am 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 the 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.
Charlie Ramsay, founder of the SpeedyBooker, commented "2010 was a great year for both UniversityRooms and HistoricBritain. Whilst we can be proud of our achievements so far, we are very focused on driving the business forward and are optimistic about prospects for 2011 and beyond. We are planning to launch several new websites in 2011 so watch this space!"
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.
Charlie Ramsay, founder of the SpeedyBooker, said "University Rooms is our first brand to venture abroad. We are confident that it will flourish throughout Europe, and plan to move to North America and Australasia in 2011."
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 HistoricBritain website for the first time. This represents 103% growth over the previous 12 months. In addition, we have recently passed 400 properties on the website.
Charlie Ramsay, founder of the SpeedyBooker commented "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.
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 began 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.
Oxford and Cambridge are both popular destinations for British and International visitors alike: Oxford receives roughly 8.8m per year and Cambridge receives 4.6m (source: National Statistics). In both cases, their world famous universities are the main reason for this, giving the cities the majority of their historic buildings (both universities date from the 13th Century), green spaces, and inspiring views. In Oxford, there are an incredible 900 buildings that are either listed or have been recognised as having historic or architectural merit, and the joy for visitors is that they are all located within a very neatly packed single square mile.
Both Oxford and Cambridge Universities are world class academic institutions: consistently ranked the top two in the UK, they also rank second and third globally after Harvard (source: QS Ltd; Times Higher Education Supplement, 2007). Students travel from all over the world to attend, both for the excellent higher education but also to experience student life in the hallowed cities.
Many famous graduates have helped to spread the reputation of the universities, both through returning to far corners of the world, and through their subsequent achievements. From Cambridge, these include Sir David Attenborough, actors John Cleese, Hugh Lawrie and Sacha Baron-Cohen (Ali G), the author Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Princes Charles and Edward, poets Siegfried Sasson and William Wordsworth, Economist John Maynard Keynes, Prime Ministers William Pitt and Oliver Cromwell, and Sportsmen Mike Atherton. In total Cambridge has produced 82 Nobel Laureates.
Oxford, for its part, has had a role in educating four British, and at least eight foreign kings, 47 Nobel prize-winners, three Fields medallists, 25 British Prime Ministers, 28 foreign presidents and prime ministers including Indira Ghandi and Bill Clinton, seven saints, 86 archbishops, 18 cardinals, and one pope. Seven of the last eleven British Prime Ministers have been Oxford graduates, including Tony Blair. Oxford’s strengths in the arts are reflected in several famous authors (including Evelyn Waugh, Graham Green, Aldous Huxley, JRR Tolkien, Oscar Wilde and Lewis Carroll) and actors (including Michael Palin, Rowan Atkinson, Hugh Grant).
In addition, the cities have featured in several films including the recent Harry Potter films, where various parts of Oxford University have played roles: the Bodleian Library’s Divinity School was used as Hogwarts Sanatorium, the Duke Humphrey’s Library was used as the Hogwarts Library, and Christ Church college’s dining hall was used as the Hogwarts dining hall. And all corners of the University were used in The Golden Compass.
It is the combination of being able to trace the footsteps of these famous graduates and actors 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. In addition to this, the colleges are all wonderfully central and the rooms (starting from £40) are more affordable than local hotels. Most are single but twins are available. All have their own washbasin and an increasing number now have ensuite bathroom facilities.