What is a Hotel Booking Engine?

A hotel
booking engine
is a software application that securely
processes direct online reservations through a hotel website.
It’s a crucial component in the buying cycle where travelers can
find and select a room from a hotel to make a reservation online
using a credit card. It’s basically the shopping cart for a hotel
website.

a hotel booking engine is essentially the shopping cart for a hotel website

Syncing a booking engine with a hotel website gives hoteliers
the chance to diminish their reliance on online travel agencies
(OTAs) by driving and converting more direct bookings without
having to pay commission fees and relenting valuable customer
information.

The ability to make a hotel reservation online has become
increasingly important among guests looking to instantly book a
hotel room and is a feature that even the smallest hotels
shouldn’t ignore. If you’re not taking advantage of an online
booking engine, then you’re potentially missing out on hundreds
of travelers looking for a place to stay in your area.

Find out how an online booking engine works, its benefits,
and the features to look for in a hotel booking engine.

So, how does a hotel booking engine work?

Before we move ahead to the benefits and features to look for in
a hotel booking engine, let’s first look at how a hotel booking
engine works.

An online hotel booking engine operates through your hotel’s
website by processing secure, direct online reservations. The
booking engine is where travelers will complete the online
reservation process after selecting their travel dates, the number
of guests, and the desired room type. Rates and room availability
will display in real-time, so guests are selecting from the most
up-to-date information.

A booking engine typically includes a hotel’s inventory
(rooms, suites, condos, etc.), images of the inventory, and
real-time rates that visitors can pick based on their selected
travel dates. Other features may include special promotions and
deals that your hotel offers, add-ons, and available room
upgrades.

Once a booking is complete, the data provided by the guest will
be sent through the Property Management System (PMS) and can then
be retrieved by the hotel to manage.

How can my hotel’s website benefit from using a booking
engine?

I’m glad you asked! There are plenty of advantages to using an
online booking engine on your hotel’s website. Below are just a
handful of benefits that you can find in a hotel booking
engine.

woman making a hotel booking through her cell phone

First:

Having a booking engine synced with your hotel’s website
promotes a seamless transition through the traveler’s buying
journey.

Let’s say a traveler has landed on your hotel’s website
after sifting through the results on the search engine. There, they
admire the photography, amenities, and room types your hotel has to
offer. When they make the decision that your hotel has all the
bells and whistles they’re looking for, they can quickly and
securely book instantly through the online booking engine without
leaving your hotel website’s domain.

 

It gets better:

Your booking engine works with a PMS to display real-time best
available rates, specials, and available inventory to prospective
guests, all without having to manage multiple systems. Typically,
these categories can also be used as a search feature on the
booking engine, so visitors can search by dates, unit types,
specials, and occupancy to find the best accommodations to suit
their needs. This makes for a simple stress-free booking process
for guests.

 

Also:

When those travelers book directly on your website through the
booking engine, not only is the information they provide stored
safely and securely, but that information is now yours to use in
the future to
increase repeat guests and build customer loyalty
.

 

Don’t forget:

Including a booking engine on your website can also have a major
impact on third-party websites like Facebook or ad platforms like
Google Hotel Ads. What does this mean? Travelers can make an online
reservation directly through these platforms with proper
integration, giving you another step up above the competition.

What features should I look for in a hotel booking engine?

Not all booking engines are created equal. 

That’s why it’s imperative that you use a booking engine
that can accommodate the services your hotel offers and includes
the functions and features that can store and promote your
hotel’s inventory.

While there are many features to consider for a booking engine,
there are a few that you need to keep top-of-mind, including:

  • Mobile-friendliness
  • The ability to be embedded directly into your existing website
    so the entire booking process takes place within your own
    domain
  • Integration and compatibility of analytics software like Google
    Tag Manager and Adobe Analytics
  • Upsell and urgency opportunities through special promotions,
    packages, and room upgrades during the buying cycle

As mentioned previously, there are many features to consider
before adding a booking engine to your hotel’s website. Get more
details about the hotel booking engine
features
you should know.

The Complete Rundown

Booking online has become the easiest, quickest, and most
convenient way for travelers to reserve a hotel room. Not only does
including a booking engine on your website make the traveler buying
process seamless, but using a responsive, fully integrated booking
engine can increase direct bookings through your hotel website
while reducing your reliance on OTAs. 

The benefits of optimizing an online booking engine with your
hotel’s website are abundant. Doing so is taking a step in the
right direction for taking control of your occupancy, promoting
your hotel, and leaving a positive impression on travelers.

Got Direct Bookings?

Contact Fuel today to start increasing your hotel’s direct
bookings. Get a complimentary marketing evaluation and a free
consultation.

Booking hotel through advertising

The post What
is a Hotel Booking Engine?
appeared first on Fuel Travel.

Source: FS – All-Hotels-Blogs
What is a Hotel Booking Engine?