What is a Hotel Booking Engine?
A hotel booking engine is a widget that appears on a hotel’s website or social media and can be used by travelers to make their reservations online.
It is simple and straightforward, it links to a hotel PMS (Property Management System) that provides the data regarding how many rooms are available, their features, how to accept payments and availability and rates provided.
An online hotel booking engine is your key to commission-free direct bookings which maximizes your profits while optimizing your property’s sales strategy.
With most travelers preferring to make their reservations online, hotels have become heavily reliant on online travel agents to deliver them bookings. These listings by agents enable hotels to reach new and larger target audiences.
However, on the downside, for each reservation made, a commission fee has to be paid to the third-party, and when this fee starts creeping way into double digits, it becomes impractical to hoteliers as it eats heavily into profits.
A hotel online booking engine is an easy way for hotels to directly compete with online travel agents to maximize profits and increase their ROI.
protel Booking Engine
Features to Look for in a Hotel Online Booking System
Here’s a number of things you should be looking out for in a great online booking engine:
Number of Images in the Gallery
After doing all the hard work of setting up your beautiful hotel and its rooms, you need to showcase them to potential clients. It’s a widely known fact that visual images are appealing to guests and are more likely to entice customers and generate conversions.
Think of the last time you had a ‘wow’ experience on a certain website. What intrigued the reaction? Wasn’t it the large banner image at the top of the page that made the first impression? Exactly– and your booking engine should allow you to display banner images to improve customer experience.
Your guests don’t necessarily have to be converted to clients on your website. You could get potential customers from social media. Check that the booking engine allows you to include the “Book Now” button on your Facebook page to make it easier for your guests to find your hotel and make bookings.
Room Type Auto Optimization
The only way to help your guests navigate your website is by providing them with the results they’re looking for. This feature allows you to display rooms according to your guests’ search criteria – making it quicker and easier for them to make a reservation.
Google Analytics Integration
You definitely need to understand where your bookings are coming from and where your visitors are exiting. Google Analytics gives you the chance to analyze this information and make concrete decisions based on crucial data.
Regardless of the device, your guest is using, the experience should be smooth and seamless. If the booking engine is slow on some devices like mobile phones, it will be a significant deterrent to your visitors and hurt your returns.
This is a surefire way to step ahead of the competition by attracting more customers through giveaways and promotions. A booking engine should help you create your own promotions for your customers and provide a discount option.
When the guest completes their online reservation via the online hotel booking engine the guest should be given the choice of how they would like to make payment. PayPal, Check Card, Credit card or other online payments should be available so that guests can choose their preferred payment method.
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