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Chester hotel tech firm eyes growth after milestone

A Chester hotel tech company is eyeing increased market share after celebrating the 200th UK property to run its all-in-one hospitality software in only 5 years.

Hop, founded by hoteliers Richard Drummond and Jon Erasmus, alongside co-founder and CTO Ronald Tweedie, secured its first hotel client, in 2018.

Drummond and Erasmus, who themselves operate their own hospitality businesses, developed Hop after becoming frustrated by out-dated and expensive hotel software systems; deploying sector knowledge to develop a bespoke, cloud-based, system.

Now, after posting year on year growth and increasing Design and Creative staffing levels at its Chester base, Hop intends to develop its share of the hotel technology market further, with strategic partnerships playing a prominent role.

The news comes hot on the heels of the company signing an integration agreement with Australian Venue Management Software firm, iVvy, to help hotels and venues manage large scale Events, weddings and conferences through the Hop software system.

Gold Coast-based iVvy has over 25 000 users in 14 countries.

Hop officials believe fostering such partnerships and extending what it can offer clients will play a key role in attracting new customers and developing the company’s growing position within the hotel tech market.

The company will also be assessing inward investment options as its aims to double in size within 24 months.

“Passing the 200 property milestone is an achievement for the company as we continue to grow and we will always look to the market leaders within other areas if it means we can advance and improve what we can offer Hop customers,” said Chief Operating Officer, Sharon Smith.

“The iVvy partnership is an example of that. We have clients now in the UK and globally that manage hundreds of events per year. That requires in-depth functionality and that is why, for this type of customer, we decided to partner with one of the industry leaders to provide that solution.

“Our clients are getting a great Events module with Hop’s ability to handle all the bedroom reservations, rates, reporting and finances.

“In terms of the user, they are getting a seamless ability to book everything in one go.”

Hop now operates from three offices, with its principal North West base in Chester, an Edinburgh address, and a site in South Africa.

Recent customer acquisitions include iStay Liverpool which runs a number of serviced aparthotel properties in the city in the north of England.

Hop has also added a digital marketing agency, HopDigital, to its brand in order to help hotels reach new customers through digital strategies, with 25 creative and design staff recruited.

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Hop co-founders Jon Erasmus (left) and Richard Drummond (right) see strategic partnerships as key to growth.

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