Marina app developments bringing interesting times in the nautical tourism sector. Season 2018 is about to begin and there are more apps around than ever before for better communication between harbours and their guests. When we started at the end of 2015 we aimed to understand what is really needed. What were the software solutions back then to ease the harbour management and what kind of business models the marina app providers used to sell their services. It was soon clear, that the nautical tourism sector isn´t the same around the globe. Similar but not the same. In fact it was different enough that even the same business logic wouldn’t work. The more it is odd to see new attempts to create a better booking apps for the whole world without actually differ from the failed ones.

The times when harbour visitors had to pay a booking fee of 10% are long gone.

We saw it back then when some of the more innovative hotel reservation service providers started to cut off the booking fees by offering more valuable services to the hotel itself. Your client is the king. Do they have to pay a share for asking a better customer service?

A multilingual marina app doesn´t mean you get great service in your home country.

Bang! The app was launched in New Zealand! Really? The possibilities of world wide web doesn’t mean there is usable support or understanding for all of the parts of the world without having someone familiar with the local specificities.

Booking is not the only magic thingy.

A booking app, and another one. What about a descent solution for first-come first served principles? What are you really missing?

Who´ll be there the next summer?

Building services for a sector so seasonal means each year there will be a new beginning. Are the university projects and grant money initiatives here also the next year?

Nobody is perfect. Dealing with software there is always room for improvement. But in which direction? Building a service and offering service are not the same. When thinking about going online, take your moment, write me, I want to understand your story to advise you what could do the job.

#guestharbours #MarinaAhoy #Sailing #booking #marinaapp

While visiting different guest harbours you probably have seen various pricing models for berth fees. It is a science of its own. Finding the right alchemy means tiny adjustments in the pricing models every season. Is it worth the hassle?

Let´s start with the day ticket – fixed price irrespective from the size of your vessel, transparent and easy to calculate. Usually paid per day even if your stay lasts longer. Day tickets are used in smaller, shallower guest harbours where the visitors use to have similar sized, smaller vessels. It is usual that the fees are collected every morning in return for the Wi-Fi key and access codes.

Besides the day ticket there are more complex pricing models for calculating berth rates. Guest harbours that are able to host bigger yachts charge visitors according to the size of the vessel. It is fair to ask more for taking more space, probably having more visitors on board, using more water or electricity – simple as that, but the pricing models vary a lot.

Most common is the pricing model with fixed intervals for vessel length. For example- one price for vessels up to 6m, another from 6 to 13m, then 13,1m to 20m. The intervals are different from harbour to harbour and there is no real reason for that. And even if they use fixed intervals they still combine other calculation methods such as price per meter for vessels bigger than 20 meters or price per square meter for catamarans. The pricing model is still a convenient way to collect cash but pointless when having card payments available. The complexity is not easy to manage. It isn´t rare that visitors declare their vessels smaller to fit into a lower interval and pay less. But hey, harbour masters usually know the lengths from experience.

To Avoid those embarrassing moments there could be a fixed fee per meter, without intervals. The price is calculated according to the length of the vessel and that’s it. This simple pricing model is widely used across Europe. There is the need for rounding the numbers when dealing with cash. And even though some of the guest harbours have cash as the only payment option available today, it is a decreasing trend.

So even if you found your favorite pricing model it probably can´t fit them all. There are so many details to consider when designing a harbours pricing model, from the layout of the berths up to the management model. When designing a service tool for marinas, we can´t oversee any of those differences.

#guestharbours #pricing #booking #book