What is Tiny Bookings anyway?

We are an independent business helping other independent hotels, BnBs and accommodation providers to reduce their reliance on large online travel agencies (OTAs). When COVID-19 arrived, it was a nightmare for the tourism industry, but also a good excuse to challenge what had become the norm - dominance of large booking platforms and their high fees. Of course uncertain times are never the moment splash out on new websites or marketing, which is why we came up with Tiny Bookings.

We build and maintain your own fancy looking website with an integrated booking system and support you with your online marketing. But we don’t actually cost you any money - we only get paid, when you save money. It is win-win, and only the internet giants are losing out (but that’s okay, they can afford it).

Meet the team

Larry and Shirley Mills have been involved in creating websites for over 20 combined years, firstly building websites on the side for friends and family, then for our own business (an independent restaurant in Amsterdam) and finally creating websites as a business in itself. Alongside working together on Tiny Bookings, Larry is a web developer and Shirley works in design, communication, photography and film.

Why Tiny Bookings? Larry's parents own a Bed and Breakfast in New Zealand - Fantail Lodge. Growing up, Larry helped welcome visitors from all over the world and learnt about all the hard work that goes into running an independent BnB. We piloted Tiny Bookings with Fantail Lodge and have seen direct bookings increase ever since. With a handful of ambitious accommodation providers we officially launched in 2021, and we now look forward to helping your business too.

Photo of Larry and Shirley Mills from Tiny Bookings

Frequently asked questions

Very few of my guests book directly, so is there any point in having a booking platform?

Absolutely! Guests usually want to support independent businesses, but they also want convenience. Giving you a call or sending you an email is often too much effort. So the easy way of increasing direct bookings is to have your own online booking system. Of course we cannot promise all guests will book directly, but with your great looking website, glowing reviews and easy-to-use booking system, what's stopping them?

Is Tiny Bookings just another online booking platform?

Definitely not. We are all about empowering the independent businesses and offering an alternative to the online giants.

With Tiny Bookings you get your own bespoke website with built-in booking platform. Bookings, payments and guest communication come directly to you - so you have the control. We just potter away in the background to make sure it all works and get people booking directly!

Do I need to stop working with other online booking systems?

Nope. You can stay on Booking.com, Airbnb or with any other online travel agency. We make sure all the calendars are synchronised so your online availability is always up to date. We actually encourage you to have a listing on at least one of these sites as it gives your business exposure. Most guests look for an accommodation provider’s own website before booking online, so once they see your beautiful website with an easy-to-use booking system, they will go direct!

How much does it cost?

There are no setup fees for your own Tiny Bookings website and booking platform, nor do we charge any fees for the ongoing hosting and maintenance.

We charge a reasonable 5% commission per direct booking made on the website. Travel agents generally charge anything from 10%-30%, so not only are you getting the Tiny Bookings platform for free, but you should be saving on every direct booking too.

How much money will I save?

This depends on your business, type of guests and how much commission you now pay, but to help you calculate this see our savings calculator.

We also strive to attract a greater number of potential guests. We make sure people can find you on Google searches by improving your 'search engine ranking position', increasing your presence on social media and review sites and we make it quick and easy to book directly on your website.

When will I receive payment from the bookings?

You choose how guests pay (credit card, cash on arrival, bank transfer) and it always comes directly to you. As soon as the guests pay, you get paid (dependent on the processing speed of those payment providers of course).

In a nutshell, we don't hold or handle guest payments.

Can I opt out?

Yes absolutely, we don’t want to create any new dependencies. That said, we do put a lot of time and costs into building each bespoke site, so we just ask you to give it a go for at least two high seasons. Remember there are no fixed costs, so you have nothing to lose by giving it a go. If it's still not working for you, we can take the site down or restore your old site without any costs...just some sad faces.

How can I join up?

You can register simply by filling out the form. We will be in touch within a few days and can get you up and running within a matter of weeks, once we have all the details we need from you.

We don't want Tiny Bookings to turn into Enormous Bookings and lose focus of the details, so we only accept new properties if we believe we can build a good relationship and grow our businesses together. If you are interested in hearing more, please do get in touch for a chat!

But what about...? Contact us for any other questions