What is a Hotel reservation system?
An online hotel reservation system is a must-have for hotels these days. A hotel reservation system is a software that enables hotel guests to book directly from a hotel's official website and make an online payment for their booking. The system will create reservations and send booking confirmation via email to guests. It is also known as a direct booking system in which hotels collect their guest booking on their own without going through OTA platforms such as Agoda, Booking.com, Expedia, and so on.
How does a hotel booking engine work and why do you need it?
Many modern travelers are capable of planning their whole trip online with a smartphone. Every step in the planning of the trip is made online such as booking flight tickets, tours, dinner reservations, and accommodation. Having a hotel website that offers a simple and seamless booking experience is more likely to encourage guests to place a booking directly with you. To do this a hotel reservation system is required.
Hotel reservation systems allow guests to select the length of stay, room type, service add-ons, and their preferred payment method. Hotels can also include travel tour packages, extra services such as airport pickup, car rental, and many more for the guest to add on when making payment.
These days social media plays a huge role in the marketing and sales of hotels. With a hotel booking engine system installed on your social media pages such as on Facebook, guests will be able to book directly within the page which is both convenient and minimizes distractions such as ads of your competitors on the search results page. Some booking engines also send out review requests after the guests have checked out which is useful to accumulate reviews and improve reputation.
Read also: Things You Should Consider When Choosing A Reservation Software
Why you should consider investing in a hotel reservation system:-
Your hotel reservation system is available 24/7, it becomes more convenient for your guests to book any time, anywhere, and on their device of choice. Allowing bookings 24 hours a day will allow guests from different time zones to make bookings at times that are convenient for them.
Read also: Online hotel bookings vs. Offline bookings
There are still many small to medium-sized hotels that do not use online booking systems. This puts them at a disadvantage as their market reach is significantly reduced. They limit themselves to outbound advertising and word of mouth which reduces their chances of getting bookings. Having an online booking system will allow you to have an edge over these competitors.
Seamless Booking Process
The booking process should be as simple and straightforward as possible. The more the hassle the more likely it is for guests to give up on the transaction. An example of this is when a potential guest finds out about you from their preferred social media site such as Facebook then is allowed to place a booking immediately within the site by simply hitting a “Book Now” button.
Offer Loyalty Incentive
By having your own site and using direct booking, you have more funds to allocate for loyalty rewards that would have been previously paid as commission. You may promote these loyalty incentives on social media as a means to gradually build a following of loyal customers.
Read also: How to Optimize OTA to Improve Hotel Direct Booking?
How to choose the best online booking engine?
- Support multiple payment gateways
- Flexible payment collection method
- Promotion code system
- Upsell module
- Review system
- Self-service cancellation system
- Flexible room management system
- Booking Engine
- Cloud-based system
Remember, the best online booking engine system is optimized for conversion, facilitates the booking process, and gives many benefits in terms of direct booking, not failing your online booking strategy.
Read also: Hotel Booking Engine Expectations vs. Reality
Companies that provide hotel reservation system include:-
If you are currently looking for a Hotel Booking Engine system, you may take the above vendors as a reference and find the one that suits your hotels. Have a look on what are the most common questions hotels asked and wonder before they decided on a hotel reservation system. For more hotel reservation system vendors, you may refer to this, and if you are looking for a vendor in Indonesia, here is a bonus as we compiled a list of hotel booking engines in Indonesia too.
Read also: What To Look For When Deciding On A Booking Engine For Your Hotel
The benefits of hotel collecting direct booking
Build and control your hotel’s brand
The best way to build a good relationship with your guests is by interacting with them directly, instead of via third-party booking channels such as OTAs. When a guest book directly with hotels, it means that hotels have all the guest information and profiles from the beginning and you are the one that guides them through the entire booking process.
Offer guest loyalty program or incentive
Keeping a good relationship with your guest is important to encourage more loyal customers. Make sure to keep your guests warm by sending marketing follow-up emails, hotel latest promotions or hotel may also run promotions that only target the guests who have stayed before or for your VIPs guests only by creating a private promo code for their future stay use.
Collect guest feedback upon check-out
It allows the system to auto send a follow-up email to the guest that has just checked out their stay from your hotel and to collect their honest feedback about their stay at your hotel to better manage your customer experience.
Better manage and control room rate
It will be easy for hotels to control their room rates when they don’t have many OTAs to deal with. As you can play around with your room rates and pricing strategy. For example, you can offer some discount in your room rates for guests that book directly but you may not be able to do the same with an OTA since a fixed percentage will be collected as commission.
There is no middle charge or any additional charge such as commission. You get the exact amount of your booking amount.
With the best hotel reservation system, one may reduce the time spent on daily operation tasks with automation helping hotels save a large number of funds, not to mention the commission paid to the OTAs for every booking. With the direct booking, you can better manage your hotel cash flow, as well as better, manage your customer database with full control of your guest information as OTAs tend not to share customer data or not allow you to reach out to the guest directly pre or post stay, with customer data your team can create marketing campaigns and make data-driven decisions.