Who, What, When, Where, Why & How
with Ian Simmonds
When did you start Levart?
In 1998 the idea of developing a Content Management System (CMS) for hotels was as a result of a number of hotels complaining about the having to go back to website developers to make changes on a website. This had a great deal to do with updating rates which are ever changing.
So I decided to develop specifications for a website based on a content management system specifically for hotels using their language which could be simply updated and managed by themselves.
At the time I was consulting to Hotels on their Sales and Marketing activities. It was in fact a natural addition to what I was doing.
How did you get involved in Hospitality?
My back ground was with Airlines having worked for 23 years with TAA, Australian Airlines and Qantas. I left Qantas and started two businesses one called Hospitality Industry Marketing Services the other Interactive Databases. The former being the consultancy to the hospitality industry and the latter involved in software development.
The synergies between air travel and hospitality are very much aligned. Same client base utilising the same distribution tools and the same technology. It was in fact a natural progression.
Why Interactive Databases?
I had a partner who had a concept to sell to Qantas the idea of providing a timetable on disk. With my background in the airlines and basic understanding of technology but great belief of what it could achieve for the industry, I set about selling the concept to Qantas. We were successful and developed the product known as Qantim. It won the Microsoft Solutions Challenge in Australia. The prize was to present the product at Microsoft’s Windows World in in Atlanta in the US.
Interactive databases further convinced me as to the many opportunities technology would play in the industry.
When did Levart come about?
Levart evolved as a result of developing the content management system with the additional option of a booking functionality providing immediate confirmations. We needed a name which was short, appropriate for the internet and the industry we were in, being Travel.
After many searches and options we “found” Levart. With our objective of “Turning travel around for the hospitality industry” it was appropriate. Levart is TRAVEL spelt backwards.
We have since identified the
LEV A R T
Levart Leveraging Availability Rates & Technology – for the hospitality industry
We obtained our first client in 2001. And have been on a growth curve ever since.
When did Channel Management come about?
With the new phenomenon of the internet gaining in the speed and coverage we saw the birth of online travel Agents such as Wotif. We identified the opportunity to provide a single access point “The Levart booking Engine” where properties could update their own website and online travel agents. Additionally we introduced the concept of pooled inventory to the online world where “first in would obtain the room”.
This concept made the provision of allotments and allocations per channel obsolete.
Our first channel management client was in 2003 we termed the feature Channel Control.
What is the combined experience in the Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Industry of the Levart team?
Our team has in excess of 112 years of experience in the Travel, Tourism and Hospitality Industry.