Online booking engine: the key to the success of the hotel manager
The reality of managing a hotel establishment has fully experienced the great digital transformation of our society. The traditional form, made up of a reception, with back office (reservations and billing) and front office (counter and cashier) divisions, has ceased to respond to this new reality. Today, hotel managers must follow a wide variety of tangible and intangible parameters for the success of their business. And this is only possible thanks to the implementation of a hotel management software, whose heart must be the "online booking engine", booking engine in English.
According to the latest study by the state agency Seggitur, together with KPMG, companies in the tourism sector are only at the basic level of digitization, valued at 31.2% by 2022. 60% of the companies surveyed do not have a "automated reservation management system". Traditional media (telephone and email) still represent three quarters of sales channels. The results of the study demonstrate the enormous potential of the digitization of the hotel business.
The challenges of hotel managers
This digital revolution means the generation of an enormous amount of data in each of the hotel areas. Some of the activities that require efficient information management are:
- Inventory management.
- Pricing strategy.
- Management of the establishment.
- Sales and Marketing.
- Clients and much more.
The real challenge for the Hotel Management is the integration of all these data points in a single platform, their analysis and interpretation, the decision making and objectives and the subsequent control.
Nowadays, practically everything can be measured, which can sometimes generate "bottlenecks" in the creation of the strategy if there is no powerful hotel management software that includes a "booking engine" as a central pillar.
Advantages and Benefits of using an online booking engine
The ease of making a reservation is one of the first steps for a successful customer relationship with the hotel or chain. The reservation process must be fluid, easy and secure. Users interested in booking their vacations or trips will prefer hotels whose booking websites are simple, intuitive and transparent. Another point in favor is the possibility of improving ROI by connecting with more guests and getting more conversions. But there is an intangible aspect that is also very important to increase revenue and we are talking about the customer experience. We must provide all the information related to the accommodation and our policies, in order to offer them value-added services such as promotional services. This will help us to have better reviews from the customers themselves, as well as more and better recommendations in their environments. Using a powerful “booking engine” will also have a positive impact on profitability by reducing commissions and relying less on OTAs and other external channels.
But "an online booking engine" can and should go further. It can provide us with the possibility of evaluating the performance of the different distribution channels of our inventory, where and how to advertise it to increase sales, obtain market and competitor data to adapt the pricing strategy, create and optimize the types of the rooms and their prices, services included and conditions. Its connection with the most relevant providers worldwide is mandatory to reach more travelers interested in our hotel or chain. He An "online booking engine" worth its salt should make it easy to configure our establishment, availability and prices in the selected distribution channels. It is the tool that should allow us to configure rates for direct bookings, offers and promotions, extras and personalized messages to achieve an excellent experience for our customers, to retain them and make them return to our hotel or hotel brand. It should be noted that the integration of a payment and treasury module will make liquidity management much easier and more agile.
Managing online reservations is a challenge for a single hotel, but its complexity is even more apparent when we talk about hotel chains that have several and even dozens of establishments, each with its differentiating proposal and different administration needs. This is where technology shows its full potential and usefulness.
Learn about the best software available - SiteMinder
The good news for all hotel managers is that there is a platform capable of doing all these functions and it is SiteMinder's "online booking engine". It is the market leader and was the winner in 2023 by HotelTechReport ranking. It is used by renowned establishments and hotel chains. It comes with 20 languages and currencies available to attract travelers from all over the world, something vital in today's global tourism. Some of its main advantages, apart from fulfilling the functions mentioned above, are:
- It is designed to grow the turnover of hotels due to its integration with marketing on Facebook and Instagram.
- Offer to create coupons and special offers, along with last-minute deals.
- Its mobile version, since a large part of the searches and reservations are made from a smartphone.
- Reports on the optimal rates for hotel inventory based on demand and season.
- Allows you to manage the relationship with customers - allows us to create personalized messages, remind them to leave a review on Tripadvisor.
- It has high integration capacities with the current systems of the establishment.
- It's very secure - PCI DSS and GDPR compliant.
- It has a 14-day free trial.
- It provides 24-hour assistance and support, along with a large knowledge base.
We want to mention a great and sometimes invisible advantage of using an "excellent online booking engine" and it is efficiency, understood in terms of faster decisions, less workload by eliminating many manual processes and their automation. Technology is the great ally of our business and for Spain it represents a great opportunity and, it must also be said, an obligation for growth. SIteMinder online booking engine is the best ally and software for the hotel business.
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