Top 11 Features to Look for in a Hotel Booking Engine

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Himanshu Singh

Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: May 21, 2021

Hotel booking engines are an inevitable tool for every hotel that wants to increase the percentage of its direct reservations. We all know how these websites work.

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Any user can just browse through the hotel booking engine page and directly reserve rooms online through the hotel’s official website. Nowadays, since almost all travelers are internet savvy, having a detailed idea about the ideal booking engine is indeed necessary.

A completely optimized booking-engine technology will facilitate conversion by offering an easy-to-use and hassle-free booking experience. So, in order to choose the perfect tool for your business, you need to be aware of the features that you require to check in a hotel booking engine. But first, let’s start with the three most important factors.

Must-Have Features of Hotel Booking Engines

1. Is the software integrated with hotel metasearch sites?

Almost every traveler, in fact, one of two tourists, will take the help of metasearch when they browse Google to search for online hotel bookings. Moreover, if you consider the current, millennial generation, the percentage of metasearch users increases manifold.

Hence, direct hotel booking engines must always be integrated with metasearch. Only then, hotels will be able to survive in this competitive market – by advertising their rates on this highly-trafficked channels.

2. Is the hotel booking engine mobile-friendly?

Gone are the days when travelers used to book hotels from desktops. The busy, contemporary crowd does everything on the go through their smartphones.

Hence, mobile hotel bookings cannot be ignored. Therefore, any hotel booking engine must be optimized so as to convert mobile traffic into direct bookings. This translates to the fact that the content on the website should translate smoothly onto all types of mobile gadgets. 

3. Is the hotel booking engine customizable?

The ideal hotel booking engine must be customizable with the hotel’s logo, images, and descriptions. This is not only necessary to promote brand awareness but also to lead to more conversion and maintain the reputation of the hotel online.

The potential traveler will know what to expect during his stay at the hotel and hence, will ensure a seamless experience for the travelers. Additionally, the booking experience is smooth and simple. When the hotel’s logo is clearly visible, the user knows where he is doing his reservation. This can also lead to a long-term relationship between the hotel and the customer.

Hence, for enhanced guest experience and customer relationships, any hotel should personalize its booking engine so that it displays the logo, images, and descriptions. 

Also, Read: 5 Best Applications of Big Data in Hospitality

4. Tapping into the international market

Foreign travelers contribute substantially to the total revenue of any hotel. Hence, the comprehensive hotel booking engine should be well equipped with different currencies and should display its content in several languages.

Only then, the hotel will be able to generate conversions from the international market.

5. Integrating with the in-house property management system and channel manager

A channel manager is defined as that system which enables hotel owners to have a firm control over their distribution channels. On the other hand, a property management system ensures that the regular functions are carried out in a streamlined manner.

Such functions also include the reservation process. Hence, the hotel’s booking engine should be integrated with both these essential tools.

6. Ability to book via social media platforms

Nowadays, many bookings are also done through social media channels like Facebook. With extensive social media reach, hoteliers can make sure that they can enable direct bookings via these pages.

Hence, the ability to book through social media should be another important feature in the hotel booking engine.

7.User-friendly interface

A hotel booking engine must have a simple and seamless user-friendly interface. This will enable users to easily navigate through the website and they will opt for a simpler interface than a complicated one.

Additionally, the website should also load quickly on mobile devices.  Adopting these steps means that the traveler will be able to make reservations fast and on the go.

Moreover, the entire booking process should consist of minimum steps without long, unnecessary forms. Else, the customer will lose his or her patience and simply look for another website.

Also, Read: Top 10 Essential Marketing Tips for Hoteliers To Increase Hotel Bookings

8. Offline options

Yes, it is true that hotel booking engines are mainly created to facilitate online hotel bookings.

But if you have the option of offline, on-desk reservations as well, you will be easily able to carry out the bookings via the back-end of the system.

9. Effortless room management

When you choose a hotel booking engine, check that it comes with the feature of easy management of rooms. You should be able to easily add or remove items from the system.

Additionally, it should quickly update the website, with the latest details such as available amenities, current status on availability, and room a reallocation facility.

10. Integration of payment gateways

Online booking engines should be embedded with secure payment gateways so that customers can complete their reservations by paying through their debit cards or credit cards.

If the gateway is not reliable, customers will lose confidence in your hotel as a brand. Also, please note that the system displays discounts and offers for new as well as old customers as and when the necessity arises.

11. Displaying images and reviews

Displaying clear, attractive pictures of your hotel is another way to attract travelers. This can include images of your hotel, hotel rooms, amenities and services.

Additionally, reviews are a really important factor to consider since most of the guests consider them when making a reservation. The presence of good reviews increases the chances of online booking.

Wrapping it up

Whenever you choose the ideal hotel reservation system, you should prioritize the features that are actually required by your hotel. The perfect tool will not only ease your regular tasks but it will also entice customers to directly do online bookings rather than resorting to third-party websites.

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Himanshu Singh is a Marketing Specialist at SoftwareSuggest, He is well versed in software platforms like eCommerce, project management, document management. He is also interested in domains like Machine Learning and Semiconductors. In his spare time, he enjoys Guitar, Badminton, and Photography.

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