March 14, 2009 - Mumbai.
A hotel website without a booking engine is like food without salt – bland, and undesirable! A booking engine is the key is a hotel website’s success, as it allows the guest to make an easy and hasselfree reservation, in no time. In the past few decades, technology has seen tremendous growth and has completely changed the way business works. There was a time when hotel booking was possible only on phone; but today with the advent of technology, one can book a hotel room at the comfort of their home or office. Hotel booking engines have made hotel booking a convenient and smooth affair.
Choosing the right booking engine for your hotel website is extremely important as it is a quick and easy way of developing your online business and increasing profitability. When choosing a booking engine for your website, you must consider the following:-
Thorough Market & Industry Research
A good booking engine will enhance your business prospects to a great extent, as more and more people will be able to make a quick and hasselfree reservation in your hotel. In order to select the booking engine that will best suit your hotel business, you must conduct a thorough research of all the booking engines available in the market, evaluate their pro and cons; compare their strengths and weaknesses and then make a final decision.
Evaluating the Budget
Choose a booking engine that best suits your budget and at the same time delivers services that live up to your expectations. Make sure the amount you spend on a booking engine is worth the effort and you get the desired results, at the best deal possible.
Many of you must have come across food stalls where the food looks delicious, but when you see the place where they prepare the items, it is unbearably unhygienic. Similarly, a good hotel website with a shoddy and substandard booking engine will simply drive guests away!
While selecting a booking engine for your hotel website, keep certain things in mind such as – Does it look attractive? Does it blend well with your website? Is it customisable? And does it have all the features you are looking for?
Multi-lingual & Multi-currency
Everyone knows what its like to be in a foreign country, and not knowing its language. You feel lost and frustrated. Similarly, a booking engine that is not multilingual and does not have multiple currency options will draw fewer people to your hotel. Therefore, it is important for you to choose a booking engine that has the multilingual and multicurrency feature that will allow your guests to reserve rooms in their local language and pay in their local currency. The ideal booking engine will have the capacity to present itself in a variety of languages and accept a variety of currencies, making it accessible to a larger potential customer base.
Choose a booking engine that has a range of online customization tools. This will enable you to duplicate your website’s look and feel and add branding to your booking engine. A good booking engine will seamlessly integrate with your website, so that when a guest is making a booking, he doesn’t have to think twice about the security of his payment details.
Wide Range of Payment Options
Your booking engine should offer a wide range of payment options without you having to invest large sums of money to develop your own payment network. Lack of payment options is one of the key reasons behind abandoned reservations, as not all customers are comfortable with limited payment options. Therefore, the more payment options you offer the more customers you gain.
Easy to Use
In this fast paced life, everyone wants things done quick and hasselfree. A booking engine involving a labyrinth of steps to complete the booking process will instantly put-off the guest. Choose a booking engine that follows the K.I.S.S rule (Keep It Short and Simple) and you will realise that it will work wonders for your business.
Images of Hotel Property
A booking engine including clear images of your hotel property enables the guest to enjoy the experience of making a booking in your website. An image of the room type, next to the room description in your booking engine can really make a difference as the customer will know exactly how the room looks and will feel more satisfied while making a reservation.
Easy Adaptability with Market Trends
Your booking engine should be backed up with a good technology development team; who are aware of the current activities taking place in the industry and can easily adapt to the market changes, otherwise it will quickly become an outdated tool.