5 Comparisons: Free, Open-Source Booking Engines & Commercial Booking Engines

Many hoteliers benefit from free and open-source hotel booking engines. However, there are some differences between using free and open-source hotel booking engines as compared to using closed (commercial) software. In this article, we listed five comparisons between free and open-source booking engines with commercial booking engines.

Read: Booking Engine for Hotels


Licensing Agreement

When it comes to free and open-source hotel booking engines, its licensing agreement allows its hotel booking engines to be shared, viewed, and modified by users and organizations. But when we talk about closed, commercial, or proprietary hotel booking engines, we are talking about those hotel booking engines with a licensing agreement to authorized users only and which can only be modified by their owners.





Since free and open-source booking engines are usually offered for free to hoteliers, they might not be user-friendly compared to the commercial versions. This is probably because the programmer just wants to bring his idea to life and didn’t want to spend much time on the booking system. As a result of this those who are not tech-savvy or those who are not from an IT background usually find such free and open-source booking engines difficult to use. 


Extensive Support

When you are using a commercial booking engine you usually will have peace of mind. This is because you know who created, designed, and distributed it. Also, you know whom to hold accountable should the hotel booking engine malfunctions or cause any damage to your hardware. But this is not the case for open-source booking engines since they were created and designed by multiple users and you don’t know whom or which company to hold accountable.


Security Risk

When it comes to open-source booking engines, many people have access to the source code. Some of the people who access these source codes don’t have good intentions. They exploit software vulnerabilities and create bugs that can infect hardware or steal data from users. But this is not the case for a commercial booking system. The companies that planned them have good quality control and they usually make sure the software is vulnerability-free before releasing it to the market.


Hidden Costs

Sometimes when you start using free and open-source booking engines, they start selling you features that you didn’t even know are missing from the booking system. Furthermore, sometimes these open-source booking systems cost money to run. But this is not the case for commercial booking systems, as all the features are included in one package.


In conclusion, it may sound good to adopt an open-source booking system but in the long run, it may cost you even more. It is advisable to invest in a cloud-based booking system that has the features your hotel needs and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with it.

Read: List of Hotel Booking Engines

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