In the recent past, hotels have shifted focus to acquiring more reservations while pocketing the highest profits. By 2023, it is predicted that over 700 million people will be booking their hotel rooms online. This is a great chance to employ an online hotel booking system that will create a commission-free booking source. And, with the right marketing and sales strategies, it is possible to build a sustainable direct reservations channel.
A common rule in the hospitality industry is ‘if it works, don’t change it’. However, the recent pandemic has done away with all the old rules. Hoteliers need to be more creative and drive innovative changes to stand out and thrive.
Let’s look at the below FAQs and better understand the need for, and benefits of, a web booking engine.
Why is an Online Booking System Important?
There were days when hotel bookings were made solely through the phone, through email or walk-ins. But- how often does that happen now?
According to the little hotelier, mobile devices have become the travellers best friend with around 85% of activities booked through mobile devices. The main advantage of having an online booking engine is that it lets potential guests make reservations at any time. This also makes it convenient for international clients to be able to book with your hotel without worrying about office hours.
An online hotel booking system that is always open for business gives you a higher chance of increasing your occupancy and revenue.
What are some ways of booking online?
Online travel agents are like marketplaces for hotels. OTAs provide multiple options for booking and act as the middlemen between travellers and hoteliers. To make things easy and seamless, OTAs take about 15 to 30% of each reservation as a commission.
OTAs drive more direct bookings to bookings to hotels, giving more visibility on the web, and target the right travellers
Direct Web Bookings
Direct Web bookings are when guests book reservations directly through your hotel’s web booking engine or social media.
Driving direct bookings have many advantages such as:
- Build customer relationships and brand loyalty
- Deliver superior service delivery with personalised experiences
- Gather more data to run effective marketing strategies
- All of this at 0% commission
Online Travel Agents or Direct Bookings: What is Better for Your Hotel?
Driving direct bookings is a challenge in the beginning. Most small to mid-size property managers rely on OTAs to drive maximum revenue. While both have their own advantages, hoteliers prefer to have direct bookings.
Here are a few advantages that Web Booking Engines offer:
- Your hotel booking system is your online brochure. You can add your property’s details such as photographs, room descriptions, amenities available, etc. and the guests can decide if they want to stay at your hotel.
- While the direct bookings secured might be lower than OTA bookings, you would not lose out on any money as commissions.
- Get a more seamless booking experience with your hotel’s booking engine which also reflects on your brand reputation online.
- Your online hotel booking system gives your guests the flexibility to book from anywhere and at any time zone.
- Direct bookings through the hotel booking engine allow you to collect guest information. This information can help hoteliers build strong customer relationships and deliver a more personalized stay experience.
- Direct booking saves revenue shares. Driving reservations on your website or your Facebook page would increase sustainable revenue.
With these advantages, keeping long-term benefits in mind, we can say the benefits of direct bookings outweigh those of OTAs.
Get Hotelogix’s Web Booking Engine 2.0
In order to maximize bookings with ease, Hotelogix has introduced its web booking engine. With a sleek design and new features, this upgraded version allows you to check room availability quicker, make instant bookings, automate confirmation emails and more.
Display Photos of Your Room –
The easiest way to get more people walking in through the doors of your hotel is to provide visual cues. Allowing your guests to see the rooms they will be staying at lets them imagine their experience before even booking. Hotelogix Web Booking Engine 2.0 allows you to create a slideshow with pictures of the room and amenities. You can also add pictures of the view (for example pool view) to let your guests know that you care about their preferences.
Add a Slideshow of the Hotel and Surroundings –
If you are looking for more guests, you will have to first drive traffic to your website. The best way to do that is with a great marketing plan. A good place to start is by adding relevant, detailed information about your hotel and getting your guests familiar with your brand. This helps them make the buying decision. Providing authentic photos of your hotel and its surroundings helps you build trust. No one wants to see the same generic photos available on all hotel websites. With Hotelogix Web Booking Engine 2.0, you can create a slideshow of multiple photos. This improved visual experience will not just bring more visitors to your site but also drive revenue growth with instant bookings.
Multi-Currency and Multi-Language Support
With the new and updated Web Booking Engine 2.0 from Hotelogix, you can increase direct bookings from across the world. To augment this process, Hotelogix offers 24×7 support by an award-winning team to guide you through difficult situations with innovative and efficient solutions. The web booking engine also supports the following languages – English, Arabic, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai, Russian and Hindi- to make it more convenient for non-English speakers. Moreover, your guests can pay in their own currency without any hassle. This makes the booking process effortless and enhances your guests’ experience.
Customizable Upsell packages
Another unmatched feature of Hotelogix Web Booking Engine 2.0 is the wide personalization capabilities it offers to your booking consoles. Manage accounts for your guests, corporates, and travel agents with a single-screen platform. The software is user-friendly and with an open API it can be easily customized and integrated into the hotel’s website and Facebook page. Moreover, you can also use customer data to offer services that would benefit the guests or package them as a combo for upsell opportunities.
Hotelogix Editorial Desk
Hotelogix’s team of researchers and writers are constantly innovating to share the latest trends from the travel and hospitality space. Got suggestions? Write to us on email@example.com.