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Hotel chains were early to embrace the internet as a cost effective way to reach consumers and many quickly developed their own online hotel booking engine. It allowed many hotel chains to showcase their properties online with pictures and later virtual tours. For the first time consumers were able to actually view the different types of rooms available as well as the hotel gym or restaurant and could get a good idea whether a particular hotel was right for them.
The growth of Online Travel agencies over the past few years has shifted online consumers away from individual Hotel websites over to regional Hotel aggregators where price & availability rule the display. These aggregators use hotel reservation software that provides a quick and easy way for consumers to identify the best hotel based on price and availability. But there is a trend emerging with some consumers who are demanding more, some are looking for more than just a hotel room at the lowest price. Many consumers are looking for a luxurious travel experience or they may have complicated requirements that require personalized attention that only travel professionals can provide.
Many larger agencies or consortia groups have embraced this trend and are now providing their customersaccess to special features and amenitiesalong with their hotel booking. Special amenities such as concierge service and complimentary beverages are now offered for the most valued guests. Today’s frequent traveler is on the go and they have become increasingly dependent on their mobile devices to manage their lives as well. Delivering the content and amenities targeted for a specific group of customers can be tricky at times, but providing it quickly and easily with an online hotel booking engine can be even more challenging.
If you are just getting started, you’ll need to identify the content your customers look for the most and then some quick research on content source options will go a long way to help you find the right source. Whether your clients travel for business or leisure, there are content sources available for any type of hotel from the leisure budget hotel to the full service, high end business hotel.
Once you have identified the content providers that match your client’s requirements, a good technology partner can help you automate the content as well as any include amenities so you can offer it all online. Planning or changing travel plans are no exception, so your online hotel booking engine needs to support these features and benefits not only during the research and shopping process, but the entire booking process as well.
To accomplish this requires integration of hotel reservation software that delivers the information to the specific hotel property identifying a particular VIP guests along with details of any special offers included. For example, as more hotels offer unique amenities for preferred guests such as free internet or access to concierge level lounges, a hotel booking engine needs to make sure this information is sent along with the reservation informing the actual hotel property.
Finding the right hotel supplier to help serve your customer’s needs is important, finding a technology partner with the flexibility to customize that service is even more important.