Hotel companies and large online travel agencies were early to embrace attracting online customers and were pioneers in travel e-commerce. Unfortunately for many hotels, price integrity quickly became a challenge as the race to embrace e-commerce began. Suddenly hotels realized that the hotel reservation software available at the time limited their ability to differentiate their brand or the features a particular hotel property offered from the competition. Consumers were going online in droves to find the best deals and suddenly the lowest price became a determining factor in whether they even noticed a particular hotel in the crowded display.
Hotel companies were quick to react and developed hotel reservation software with access to information & rich content. This not only helped them distinguish their Brand from their competitors, but also assisted online shoppers with finding which particular hotel is best for them. The ability to search for a hotel room by a specific neighborhood within a larger city or by price range and even star rating. Detailed information about whether a particular hotel property has free internet, a restaurant or SPA services was integrated into hotel booking engines. And the rich media content provided the shopper a “preview” of the experience they could expect at a particular hotel. Hotels offer varying levels of comfort and service, so matching a client with the right hotel is important. The wealth of content and information hotel booking engines make available help strengthen and expand online business with consumers.
Somehow in the middle of all the commotion however, many consumers overlooked the benefits of working with a professional travel agent and went online themselves. But using a travel agent can ensure a consumer gets the best deal possible and the VIP service they deserve upon their arrival. Many are hotel experts and have negotiated special deals and amenities for their clients.
A Custom Packaging tool can allow travel agents distinguish the product they offer online further by tailor making a travel itinerary to be sold as a package. This can help increase overall hotel sales and be a valuable tool in setting an online travel business apart from the competition. Dynamic Packaging products are another tool becoming increasingly popular. These are typically an extension of an existing Booking Engine designed to allow Users to package and book cruises, flights, hotels and other travel products in real time.
And remember e-commerce today is not only “online”, it is also “mobile”. The best hotel booking engines use innovative responsive technology that will automatically adjust the screen size and display layout based to match the type of device being used. Hotel software should be easy to use and provide Users the functionality they are looking for. And since most travel reservations are not complete without a hotel reservation, it can be said that no travel booking solution is complete without mobile ready hotel reservation software.
But no matter what type of travel you sell, choosing a travel technology solution with the right combination of content and options for your business can be a critical decision. Finding a technology partner that will help you reach today’s mobile consumer with the content they are looking for can be just as important.