Scots hotel software developer goes global with help of former Dragon Duncan Bannatyne
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Hop is the brainchild of Highlands-based hoteliers Richard Drummond and Jon Erasmus, along with developer Ronald Tweedie. The trio developed the system out of frustration at expensive, outdated technology, creating single-point software that can handle a variety of tasks such as bookings, multi-system payments and check-ins.
After inking a contract with five English hotels in Scots entrepreneur Bannatyne’s leisure portfolio, the company is celebrating new business in Florida and Nigeria, with a deal also closed in Barbados.
Drummond, who also runs McKays hotel, restaurant and bar in Pitlochry, said: “We have a good presence and foundation in Scotland. This is probably because we have over 40 years of experience running our own hotels here. That gives us a ground-up, daily insight into the Scottish and UK sector and we are keen to continually build on that, with the knowledge we have.”
Hop already enjoys a significant market share in Scotland, with software operational in 65 hospitality venues. The recent deals will see the business, which retains strong roots in the Highlands and Islands and an office in Edinburgh, operate in three continents.
Erasmus, who owns the Glen Mhor Hotel in Inverness, said: “Securing the Bannatyne contract was really important for us, as a business, while the international deals take things to a new level. We are in a crowded market but our customers tell us our product represents the type of functionality they want for their money, which is crucial in a time of rising costs across the hospitality sector because people are looking for value. Like all businesses, Covid-19 was a challenge for us, but the aim now is to effectively double the size of the business in the next few years.”
The firm’s Florida tie-up sees it provide services for Skyborne Aviation, which operates a 314-room campus hotel as part of an airline training academy at Vero Beach. The Scots company is also providing systems for CheckInn, which is a multi-property organisation, in Nigeria.