Hotel reservation systems make it easy for hoteliers to manage daily operations for a hotel with great ease. In the recent times, small, midsize and large hotel owners are slowly embracing the change towards online reservation software. The trends reveal it all – MMGY Global states 82% of Gen X book travel online and 71% research their travel through OTAs. With an explosive growth in mobile bookings, 80% of travelers use the Internet for travel information and bookings according to Training Aid.
Think about this. Why do you, as a hotel owner, need to opt for software for hotel reservations? You have a trustworthy hotel staff and the job is being done; despite manual errors. This is exactly where you might be losing profits and adding to the burden of managing your hotel on a daily basis. Using one of the best hotel reservation systems, you can perform many tasks and focus on issues that are important for your brand. An organized approach allows hoteliers to have a strong focus on guest experience and attract repeat visitors. Hotel reservation software makes online bookings easy and secure for the net-savvy user.
Finding the Best Hotel Reservation System: What it is, how it works
A hotel reservation system is a software application that allows hoteliers to manage multiple tasks and gain more revenue. It’s not as complicated as it sounds! In fact, online hotel reservation software allows users to perform secure online bookings on the hotel’s website.
The concept of cloud-based reservation software is fast replacing on-premise software. The latter, client-server model, is a very expensive option as compared to cloud-based models. The responsibility of maintaining the security and management of the software lies solely with the user. Requirements such as in-house server hardware, IT support staff and more adds to the daily hassles for hoteliers. On the other hand, cloud-based systems offer great convenience to hotel owners with a pay-as-you-go service and zero expenditures on maintenance and support.
In the recent times, hotel owners of small and independent properties have realized the importance of hotel reservation software. The many features associated with the use of an hotel reservation system – managing reservations, automating tasks (emails, billing, guest preferences, etc.), updating information, generating reports, and much more makes it an essential tool to include for optimizing hotel management. The data that is added in the cloud-based hotel’s reservation system is transferred to a secure backend system and hotel owners can access the details to manage bookings – anywhere, and at anytime.
Smartphones and tablets have made it easier for consumers who wish to book hotel rooms on the go. A mobile-friendly website and secure transactions are some of the many things consumers look for in a hotel’s website. Integrating a hotel property management system gives hoteliers the power to control their actions and stand apart from their competition.
What are cloud-based hotel reservation systems?
Small and mid-sized hotel owners can benefit largely by opting for a cloud-based hotel management system. Cloud-based reservation systems are accessed over the Internet. These provide great flexibility to the hotelier with its varied plans and pricings that can be scaled up as needed. Such systems are extremely appealing as it cuts down cost of staff maintenance and IT support. The service provider monitors it 24X7 with an expert team in place.
This highly secure software empowers even independent hotel owners to work seamlessly and collaborate with various teams. Hoteliers only need to pay for the kind of service used.
Providers of cloud-based solutions have a support team who are available at all hours to fix issues. Cloud-based systems score higher than typical on-premise systems because of the integrations and benefits offered – all at the fraction of a cost without the need for managing the expenditures for maintenance. Manual entries are now a thing of the past making cloud-based hotel reservation systems a must for your business needs.
Millennials are very demanding as travelers and expect convenience while booking their travel. Hoteliers that do not match up to the expectations will soon be left behind with the competition getting tougher every year.
What are the benefits of using software for a hotel reservation?
Increase Direct Bookings:
Online hotel reservation systems are a boon for travelers who can book within the comfort of their home. After all, when hotel brands provide secure online bookings that protect the financial information, travelers no longer have to worry about their booking procedures. Online hotel reservations make it easier for travelers to book at all hours, anytime, access their booking status and more. A direct booking gives users the advantage of the hotel’s cancellation policy as well. Many hotel brands do not seek an advance amount as a deposit, making it even more advantageous for the user. Hoteliers do not have to part with a larger share of the commission to Online Travel Agencies (OTAs). Your customers who book via OTAs would naturally opt for direct bookings if your website offers the convenience and best available rate to users. It’s easy to create special deals, discounts, and offerings using a hotel reservation system as the rates/offers can be updated on all channels online.
Easily manage room inventory, update rates:
Ideally, the hotel reservation system should give you the flexibility to update room inventory in real-time. When integrated with a good distribution system and a *channel manager, hoteliers can use the pooled inventory model to widen their reach online. They can work with multiple OTAs without the need to manually update details. The software for hotel’s reservation systems makes it easy to work on package deals as per the holiday season, increase/drop room rate as per requirement, and organize all front office tasks on your computer. Information is accessible via a single dashboard. This reduces errors made due to manual entries and further brings down your overbooking problems. The integrated revenue management solution ensures hoteliers can take room rate decisions in real-time.
*A hotel management system when integrated with a channel manager allows hoteliers to manage and distribute their inventory on multiple OTAs in an efficient manner.. Hotel owners can update room inventory information to various booking sites with the pooled inventory model.
Improve efficiency, cut down costs:
A robust hotel reservation system saves your staff’s time. All administrative tasks, reports, and more can be easily done within the system. It’s easy to assign duties and communicate with teams with the reservation software. Team members can pay attention to important duties to improve the hotel’s service – the main factor that draws guests to a hotel brand. Cloud-based hotel reservation systems offer flexible plans with a pay-as-you model, and hoteliers can easily upgrade upon a hotel’s expansion. This service does not require maintenance of IT support teams or hardware.
Hoteliers using a hotel reservation system on the cloud can be at complete ease. These property management systems give you the convenience of a 24 X 7 access. You can view details via your mobile phone at any location across the world. All you need is a computer/mobile handset and a stable Internet connection. Hotel reservation systems that can be used on a variety of devices and platforms such as smartphones and tablets makes it easy for Frontdesk and service staff to manage property operations on the go. Smartphone apps make it possible to run the core functions and make mobile management a breeze.
Moving your hotel property to the cloud offers a large number of benefits. Curious to make the move? What factors are you considering to switch to cloud-based hotel reservation software? How do you cater to the new-age travelers?
The article was originally published in Travel Daily News.