How are independent hotels using booking and distribution technology to achieve their business goals?

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Even on opposite sides of the world, hotels have the same basic business goals to optimise distribution, drive bookings, and create a healthy revenue stream.

The avenue towards these objectives may vary strategically but the most successful properties have at least one thing in common: they all use sophisticated hotel technology and software.

In a travel landscape where distribution and booking technology is so prominent, any hotel not using the latest tools at its disposal is at a significant disadvantage.

Within an industry where time very much equals money, manual processing becomes an extremely expensive enterprise. Automation and integration are the buzzwords for any technology provider, but that’s because they truly are the key to achieving hotel business goals.

So how exactly are hotels using technology to establish a sustainable business? Read on to learn more about distribution and booking tools.

Online distribution & channel management technology

One of the main issues hotels face without the help of distribution technology such as a channel manager is overbookings.

If a hotel has a really healthy occupancy rate and is receiving a lot of reservation information it can be impossible to manually enter it quickly enough before another customer has also made a reservation on the same room.

The use of a channel manager that integrates with the hotel’s property management system will automatically record the reservations and update inventory accordingly, meaning there is no need for hotel staff to stress or spend undue amounts of time on manual processing.

Channel management tools also allow a hotel manager quick and easy access to an overview of all bookings on a single platform. This means a hotel can increase its visibility by easily being able to manage an increased number of online distribution channels such as online travel agents like Expedia. Instead of the five it had before, it could now have an ideal 15-20 channels active in order to accept bookings.

The use of distribution technology ultimately improves all facets of the business because your staff have time to focus on vital needs like guest experience or implementing new amenities.

Direct bookings technology

When hotels distribute their rooms through online travel agents the bookings they accept come at the cost of a commission to the booking channel.

This is only fair but the fee can be as high as 15% and put a strain on the overall profit the hotel makes from each room. It makes sense that hotels will want to attract as many bookings direct through their website as possible. For this they need a reliable, optimised, and integrated booking engine that will form part of their channel network.

An online booking engine that provides a fast and easy two-step booking experience for the guest will go a long way to increasing hotel website conversions for any of a hotel brand’s properties, and again saves a lot of man hours.

It also allows a hotel to have more control over its rates. With a modern booking engine hotels can set promotions, craft packaged deals, create last-minutes rates, and use urgency messages to attract more customers.

There are countless real life examples of global hotels using the above technology to dramatically increase their bookings, revenue, and take more time to pay attention to the needs of guests. To learn about this and see quantifiable results, download SiteMinder’s Hotel Success Stories Collection for free.

 

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