CEO and founder, Bud Finlaw, began BookIt.com® in 2000 out of his mother-in-law suite in his own Panama City Beach home. Alongside his son, Jamin Finlaw, and trusted friend, Sue Meritt, this company has come from humble beginnings to the great success it is today. Formerly known as ReservationSystem.com, BookIt.com® launched its first destination in Orlando by only booking hotel rooms, and was the top online producer for Walt Disney World Resorts. Within a year, the company expanded its destination offerings to include Panama City Beach.
BookIt.com® Company Founder & Ceo, Arthur "Bud" Finlaw
In 2002, Finlaw moved the call center to another home a couple blocks away from his own. That same year, he expanded from 2 to 15 agents - some of whom are still with the company today. Two years later, in 2004, the company launched a new website and changed its name to BookIt.com® while also taking on a total of 45 booking agents. Once more, the company had to move due to the ever-growing team.
The year 2006 was an important one for BookIt.com® as the company started booking flights, cars, cruises, and all-inclusive packages. In 2008, the company implemented FROM™ technology, thus making it easier for a customer to find deals specific to their location.
Finlaw and the team at BookIt.com® made many changes in 2009. The company moved to its new, and current, headquarters in Panama City Beach, and also began changes in their marketing and advertising. BookIt.com® launched its series of Word of Mouth Videos, with an in-house production crew that goes on-site to different locations interviewing Guests about their experiences. The company transitioned to television advertising and was the largest radio advertiser on Sirius radio.
BookIt.com® lived up to its fast growing reputation by reaching an average of 5 million views a month in 2010. Jamin Finlaw decided that many Guests were also interested in purchasing tickets and booking activities on top of their hotel booking. He moved forward and created a new sister company called Destination Experience, which offers deals on activities that Guests can book ahead of their arrival to make their trip even more worthwhile.
BookIt.com® is a true story of hard work and great teamwork. From a big dream, Bud Finlaw was able to create a company that services Guests near and far to find the best deals for travel.