Optimizing the hotel reservation process increases their direct bookings. Read on how hotels increase direct bookings through technological advancements.
The advances in mobile technology and the Internet have made it easier for travelers to search for a hotel and book rooms via online booking systems. With the latest technologies, the hotel reservation process allows hoteliers to gain a competitive advantage over their competitors. Besides, hotels also adapt their websites to respond to hotel reservations and the applications of hotel reservation procedures. It will help hotels manage all hotel reservations from different sources of hotel reservation in a single system, distribute rooms to online channels, and others.
Understanding the hotel reservation process helps hotels maximize their hotel revenue. The hotel reservation process essentially links up to the website, so there are no extra hidden fees incurred for the hotel. Hotel reservation system software allows guests to choose how long they stay, room types, get add-ons, etc. We will go into depth about the hotel reservation process and recent technology in hospitality.
Tourism After Pandemic: On The Way Of Recovering
Global tourism has been one of the most negatively affected fields by the covid-19 pandemic. Across the globe, inbound and outbound tourism has considerably decreased. Hotels, entertainment, airlines, and other sectors have taken a big hit. The tourism sector will bounce back; however, covid-19 is a shock like no event.
- Tourism is one of the worst affected sectors by the pandemic.
- International arrivals have risen by 4% in the second year of the covid-19, with 1 billion arrivals compared to pre-pandemic time.
- About 63% of professors from the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) state the tourism sector will not fully recover until 2024.
The year 2021 experienced a limitation to travel, so UNWTO reported that international visitor arrivals rose by 4% in 2020, below 2019 figures. Looking forward, most experts will have expected a full recovery until 2024 and even later. About one-third of respondents state that international visitors will return to pre-pandemic levels in 2023 while 63% suppose it will take longer. UNWTO predicts that international visitors will grow from 30% to 70% in 2022 compared to 2021. It sounds like a magnificent improvement.
Hotel Reservation Process: Maximize benefits for hotel operations
A hotel reservation process defines how guests can book hotel rooms via online hotel reservation system software without intermediaries. The hotel reservation system software collects the booking information from guests and passes it to the hotel operations.
With the boom of Gen Y travelers, recent reports show that over 700 million travelers will book rooms by 2023. Therefore, the effective hotel reservation process is key to reaching distinguished clients. A feasible hotel reservation process also helps generate a good impression since travelers place bookings without navigating to another site. Keeping the hotel reservation process prevents travelers from navigating from other pages before booking. Thus, outsourcing software development services work with hotels to create software applications to improve the hotel reservation process.
The hotel reservation procedure: 6 significant stages for all hotel guests
Identify sources of hotel reservation
Main sources of hotel reservations include free independent travelers (FIT) and associated travelers (Groups). The FIT seeking overnight accommodations for their trips are an individual, a family, and a group of friends. However, the group refers to a group coordinator booking rooms for special rates, services, and room types. When developing custom apps for the hotel reservation process, offshore development teams will consider significant features that classify different sources of hotel reservations.
People travel for various reasons: personal and MICE. Here are other sources of a hotel reservations:
- Request from Travel Agent
- Request from Corporate Agent
- Request from Airlines
- Booking requests from Institutions
Communicate with hotels
Hoteliers can learn about various reservation requests from guests in many ways. Potential travelers contact hotels via telephone, email, other online channels, and social media, helping connect sources of business and hotels.
Potential guests must know how to contact hotels for lodge management to maximize hotel revenue. Hoteliers receive inquiries from guests through the hotel reservation process. While creating the hotel reservation system software, offshore development teams will add features to support guests connecting with hotels or CTA.
Formulate reservation requests
After receiving requests from guests, the hotel staff must formulate the reservation request and complete a record. The reservation record should include file forms related to specific requests and computerized reservation records in the hotel reservation system software.
The information includes the expected date of arrival and departure, the room type, and the number of rooms. Outsourcing software development services help hotel staff search hotel availability files through the hotel reservation system software.
Accept reservation requests
Hoteliers will accept or deny hotel reservation requests based on the availability of hotel rooms. A hotel reservation acceptance allows receptionists to create confirmation phases, while a turn away causes a few options, for example, recording the turning reason, etc.
The hotel reservation system software sends a notification confirming the block of a room or a group of rooms. Hotel staff will send the confirmation to guests through email, fax, SMS, social media, and even online chat.
The reservation confirmation will establish:
- A check on the reservation request data and which satisfaction of the request.
- An agreement of hotel room rates, and payment method.
- A statement of the cancellation of the hotel reservation procedure.
Modify and pre-arrival activity
When hotel staff accepts and confirms the reservation of guests, it leads to many changes in the reservation record. Arrival or departure dates, number of rooms, details, reconfirmation, deposit status, and number of pax are examples of pre-arrival activities. Any change in the reservation should be informed to the guests.
Besides, an effective hotel reservation process allows hotel staff to search and retrieve the reservation record for modification and cancellation. They need to update any cancellations below details on the reservation record for further reference.
- Name and contact details of callers.
- Reason for cancellation.
- Cancellation reference number.
- Cancellation date.
- Guests or Reservation Agent Name who are in charge of the cancellation process.
Two main types of reservations in hotel: Guaranteed and Non-guaranteed
|Guaranteed Reservation||Non-guaranteed Reservation|
|The hotel has to block the required rooms for guests after confirmation. The hotel agrees to hold rooms for a specific time. Guests send advance deposits to hotels so they will secure the room revenue even in the case of no-show guests.||This type of reservation is provisional, with neither legal process nor any payment for advance deposit.|
Here are some payment methods that hotels apply for a guaranteed reservation:
- Advance deposit: It requires that guests pay the hotel operations amount of money before arrival. This advance deposit is large enough to cover one or two nights. The payment method is in most resorts and city hotels.
- Pre-payment method: It requires guests to pay fully before their arrival. The pre-payment method is the most desirable form of guaranteed reservation.
- Credit card: A credit card is the most common method of payment. It is a customized payment method for commercial hotels.
- Travel agents: Guests pay travel agents in advance for the tour. In case of no-shows, the hotel bills travel agents for payment, and the travel tech companies have to make the payment for hotels.
- Cooperate: Hotels and companies will have a contractual agreement that states that the company will accept the financial responsibility for the show. This type of reservation is common in business hotels and downtown hotels. Thus, software applications should combine various payment methods for hotel reservation.
Related Article: Hotel technology trends 2020: How it helps the hospitality industry defeat covid-19 outbreak
Technology in the hospitality has transformed the whole industry: For 2022 and More
Travel planning trends: Gamification
Using gamification in the tourism and travel industry is not a new trend. Hospitalities leverage gamification through game design elements in non-game contexts. Thus, many outsourcing software development services consider gamification features by interplaying mechanics like challenges, chances, and rewards.
Moreover, gamification for online advertising helps boost data driving, custom loyalty, brand awareness, online engagement, and revenue.
Tours via virtual reality technology
It is hard for visitors to imagine their trip or accommodation before their arrival. Applying virtual reality technology in the hospitality industry helps hotels provide first-person digital tours of their space. For example, Atlantis Dubai offers guests a virtual tour featuring the main features and state-of-the-art amenities.
Contactless for a hygiene hospitality industry
Hotels are working with outsourcing software development services or offshore development teams to use contactless technology. Contactless technology: self-check-in, in-room facilities, and digital keys help with the hotel reservation process. After a pandemic, visitors might expect human-to-human contact services to be quicker, for example, robot receptionists, facial scan check-in, and concierge services.
Chatbot acts as a digital concierge
Hotels need to meet 24/7 guests on-demand, so a chatbot is crucial for hotel operations. The percentage of hotels offering chatbots on their website will rise to 29.2% before 2022 (Stayntouch/NYU Tisch Center of Hospitality Report). Chatbots support guests 24/7 services to engage users, answer questions and meet any requests right away. That’s why many hotels use the digital concierge by working with outsourcing software development services.
Location-based services for hotel operations
The travel and hospitality industry is about customized and localized guest experiences, so hoteliers use location-based services. Hotels use location-based services through smartphones and mobile devices. Guests can access local information: the closest grocery store, the best pub, nightclubs, etc. Technology in hospitality like location-based services does not support the hotel reservation process much; however, it will show how the tourism landscape can change over and over.
The Bottom Line
The article has helped the hotel reservation process to increase direct bookings for hoteliers. With its tremendous benefits, the hotel reservation procedure through six stages helps hoteliers reduce human error, improve efficiency, collect data, and competitive advantages. Having a hotel reservation system software seems to be one of the easiest ways that reap the benefits. Understanding the hotel reservation process is crucial for both hotel staff and guests since the staff can support guests better and guests also feel easy to book a hotel room.
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