The internet has changed the way the travel industry conducts business and the way hotel accommodations are researched and booked today is no exception. The hotel industry was quick to embrace the online marketplace by shifting their business online. They experienced some early success, but not without some challenges along the way. At first it seemed like the only way some hotels could compete online was by price. Initially “online bookings” typically represented a discounted price as a result with some hoteliers using online retailers to dump unused inventory at significantly reduced prices. While some of this deep discounting still occurs, many have been able to reverse this trend and regain some price control with the use of a state of the art hotel booking engine.
Hotel companies have made a significant investment in providing access to media files & rich content to assist with selecting the right hotel property during the shopping process. Today’s consumer can go online and view photographs of actual hotel rooms as well as public areas and learn about things like the different amenities available.
Travel agents remain a great resource to help consumers research their options and can often find the best deal possible and ensure their client’s get treated like a VIP upon arrival. They are experts in the industry and many have negotiated special deals and amenities for their clients. Many have launched their own online booking solutions with a hotel booking engine that allows you to research and book your hotel accommodations when and where you want while still enjoying the benefits of using a travel agent.
Hotel reservation software should be easy to use and provide Users the functionality they are looking for. The ability to narrow the Search to a specific neighborhood within a city near a specific point of interest may be important for some. Easily finding the property that includes the specific amenities a client may be looking for such as free internet or perhaps concierge service may be important for others. The ability to find a hotel that has a restaurant or banquet facilities may be key for those planning an event. Hotels offer varying levels of comfort and service, so matching a client with the right hotel is also important. The ability for your hotel booking engine to sort a search for hotel rooms by a particular star rating or the average nightly rate can speed up the process dramatically.
With just a few clicks of a mouse, today’s consumer can access the information needed to research which particular hotel best meets their individual needs. They can search for a hotel room by a specific neighborhood within a larger city or by price range and even star rating. There is even a way to research whether a hotel property has free internet, a restaurant or SPA services. Some applications go as far as using innovative responsive technology that automatically adjusts the screen display layout based on the type of device being used to access the booking engine.
So not matter what size an online travel business is, finding the right hotel booking engine for your business is important. Finding the right technology partner may be even more important.