|Headquarters||Panama City Beach, Florida|
|Key people||Bud Finlaw (CEO)|
The company was founded in 2000 by current President and CEO Arthur "Bud" Finlaw. As he has often mentioned, the company started with a recommendation from his wife, Melody, a family portrait photographer also based in Panama City Beach. The business began in the family garage with the help of son, Jamin Finlaw. As the company showed promise, the first additional employees were hired, including the current Vice President of Marketing, Jesse Henson, were brought into the organization.
The company originally launched as ReservationSystem.com, and in addition to its primary website, operates several affiliate travel websites including SpringBreakRooms.com. BookIt.com enables users to plan and book travel products including hotel, cruise, airline, activities, car, and vacation packages. It operates in more than 100 destinations worldwide and maintains offices throughout the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean.
BookIt.com became one of the first privately held corporations online to begin competing on a national and international scale in the travel industry. Bookit.com has evolved its travel technology to include its services throughout the United States, Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, Canada, Europe, Asia, and the Pacific
− In August 2012 BookIt.com laid off 80 employees, in what was called by CEO Bud Finlaw a consolidation of resource, "So, [Thursday] was a day where we were able to consolidate two departments into one. A call center and a service center into a contact center. [We're] very excited about this." People were let go from all positions including marketing, development and help-desk, including the newly hired director of help-desk. Mr. Finlaw also said in the same interview, "The company, which has created more than 500 jobs locally, has completed its staffing consolidation and expects to begin hiring again late this year." "And, um, we certainly...they're eligible to rehire," said Finlaw, speaking about the 80 persons laid off. Although the severance contract offered (less than 2 weeks pay), stated that employees will not be eligible for rehire, and should consider the lay off permanent. This severance also required the employees to agree to a noncompete agreement stating they would not pursue work in their same field.
In April 2008, BookIt.com adapted FROM Technology (Fast-Relevant-Origin-Method), a patent-pending pricing methodology with a search feature that generates deals instantly, displays relevant prices and automatically uses the closest airport to the user’s current I.P. address to find deals. FROM ranks travel deals based on factors that include user rating, popularity of the destinations from each users’ point of origin, internal marketing ratings, rankings of the property manager and the number of mouse “clicks” on the destination’s websites.
- Hampton, Addie (8/11/2012). "BookIt.com Fires 80 Employees in Panama City Beach". Retrieved 8/10/2012.
- " USA Weekend, July 18–20, 2008, http://www.usaweekend.com/08_issues/080720/080720save-money.html#gas How to save on money on nearly everything"
- " MSNBC, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25012816/ June 8, 2008, BookIt.com Facility Breaks Ground in Panama City Beach
- "The News Herald (Panama City, Fla.) Business Section, Aug. 6, 2008, http://www.newsherald.com/news/new_67262_article.html/panama_beach.html BookIt launches new website
- "WJHG-NBC http://www.wjhg.com/home/headlines/19617529.html
June 6, 2008
- "News Herald (Panama City, Fla.), Feb. 17, 2008, BookIt looking to expand after banner year.
- Company website
- "Louisville Courier-Journal, Sept. 7, 2008, Travel Briefs: Point-of-origin plan helps travel.
- "The Wall Street Journal, May 22, 2009 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124291893807443635.html Mexico Goes On Sale
- "Louisville Courier-Journal, September 7, 2008, Point-of-origin plan helps travel.
- Travel.com and Travel Distribution News Aug. 5, 2008, Destination method of vacation planning out, origin planning in
- TravelWeekly.com, Sept. 10, 2008, BookIt.com search puts focus on origin in listing travel deals