Today you can research and buy just about anything online, and travel is no exception. Whether you are looking to book an airline ticket, reserve a car or make a hotel reservation, chances are there are several places you can go online. This major shift in consumer behaviour has forced many travel agents to adjust the way they interact with their customers.
Let’s face it, most people today will start their research online whether they are purchasing a book, a new car or planning a trip. Today’s traveller can go online from just about anywhere to research what a destination has to offer, review various flight possibilities, consider hotel options and find things to do during their trip. Whether a traveller is looking for a good restaurant in a distant town or interested in the nightlife a certain city may have to offer, chances are they will be able to find the information they are looking for online.
The right hotel reservation software can allow any size travel agent to compete with the largest online travel company while providing the personalized service that only an individual travel agent can provide. Whether customers book directly with a travel agent -or- they prefer to shop and book online, hotel reservation software is a key tool that any travel business will need in order to serve customers looking to reserve a hotel room quickly and easily.
Finding the right hotel booking engine can help any travel agency automate the hotel booking process, increase their agency revenues and reduce the amount of time and effort required to complete a hotel booking for their customers. The online booking engines that are available in the market today can even be customized to an agency’s specific needs and branded to provide a seamless online experience for those visiting an agency website.
For today’s traveller, researching and booking hotel accommodations is easy when using an online hotel booking engine. Many are designed with the capability to search the rates and check availability at multiple properties within a given city or location. Most hotel reservation software will include various hotel images and room descriptions to help decide which hotel and room type is best for a specific traveller. Some booking engines even have the ability to search multiple websites to find the best deal at a specific hotel property. The different website options available seem endless and can sometimes overwhelming for many shopping online. Using a travel agent can certainly help, finding a travel agent with the online tools that allow their customers to research and shop for hotel accommodations on line can be even better.
So how important is an online hotel booking engine for a travel agent’s customers today? How important is an online booking engine to a travel agency business? I would say very important for those travel agents that are looking to serve the millions of travellers who are already researching, shopping and purchasing their travel arrangements online today.