- Thursday, 07 June 2012 08:41
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Veteran Australian hotelier and the founder of Australia's world-first room bargaining website, Ubid4rooms.com, Gary Berman (pictured), is preparing to see his market-changing portal emerge this month in a new and bigger model under the reigns of Australia's largest online auction house, GraysOnline.
Since launching Ubid4rooms.com in early 2008, Mr Berman has helped hundreds of hotels put more bums in beds and saved thousands of savvy Australians money on accommodation by running a world-first website that enables hotels and customers to negotiate one-off rates one-on-one. With an average of more than 100,000 hotel rooms vacant every night across Australia, Ubid4rooms.com has helped fill rooms at controlled and opaque discounts, keeping both accommodation providers and bargain hunters happy.
The growth and potential of the unique, make-an-offer site convinced GraysOnline to purchase Ubid4rooms.com in April, marking Grays' first major foray into the accommodation market. To be unveiled later this month, GraysOnline's newly branded hotel booking site will allow the 1.1 million people who visit GraysOnline.com every month to purchase accommodation by making their best offer.
The move is expected to reap huge benefits for Ubid4rooms.com's customers, with a big increase expected in the number and range of properties prepared to receive offers from prospective guests. The purchase is also a major boon for current hoteliers listed on the award-winning Ubid4rooms site, with their beds now linked directly to GraysOnline's huge customer base, leading to more bookings.
Mr Berman, who will head up GraysOnline's new hotel division to oversee the new face of his concept, says he is excited at seeing his 'baby' and his vision mature into the bold new entity that GraysOnline will foster.
"I always believed passionately in the concept of Ubid4rooms to revolutionise the way we book accommodation and GraysOnline is really a perfect partner to take that vision forward to a whole new level," said Mr Berman, who has worked in the hotel industry since 1984 and has managed hotels and resorts across Australia.
"From the early days when just a handful of hotels were willing to bargain with customers to fill rooms on our site, Ubid4rooms.com ended up with over 1200 properties keen to negotiate with customers on rates and under GraysOnline that number will increase markedly."