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Hotel technology: Your property’s complete guide to hotel technology systems and solutions

  Posted in Resources  Last updated 11/03/2024

What is hotel technology?

Hotel technology is a solution which allows hotels to achieve their most important goals, including automating everyday processes, optimising distribution, driving bookings, creating a healthy revenue stream, analysing data, providing an amazing guest experience, and more. 

The most successful properties have at least one thing in common: they all use sophisticated hotel technology and software.

Hotel technology is an ever-growing, ever-changing, concept which has really only established itself in the last decade or two, meaning there are still thousands of hotels across the world that haven’t adopted a wide-ranging technology strategy. This is why so much opportunity exists for hotel businesses and technology developers alike.

This blog will take you through everything you need to know if you’re a hotelier looking to adopt technology for the first time, or upgrade your current systems to a best-in-class provider.

Table of contents

Why is smart hotel technology important?

Smart hotel technology is becoming increasingly prevalent, with huge strides being made in the past decade or two. It’s an ever-growing area that holds huge potential for operators who recognise that there needs to be ever greater levels of detail put into managing various aspects of their accommodation business.

According to Statista, the top five reasons hoteliers worldwide use technology is to:

  1. Improve guest experience (24%)
  2. Grow profits (18%)
  3. Future-proof the business (16%)
  4. Gain a competitive advantage (15%)
  5. Grow topline revenue (11%)

Once, the priority may have been to increase occupancy and periodically increase rates to grow revenue, but occupancy is fast being left behind as the key metric with which to measure success.

Accommodation providers today are faced with a multitude of key metrics within every department of the hotel and they must keep technology top of mind when considering strategies for:

  • Distribution and inventory management
  • Revenue management and pricing
  • Direct bookings
  • Property management
  • Guest experience
  • Market intelligence
  • Business insights and performance
  • Website conversion
  • Sales and marketing
  • Brand reputation
  • and more…

Those hotels that still subscribe to traditional, manual, methods of management are at a significant disadvantage. Leading hotels have recognised that smart hotel technology is not an expensive gimmick, but something that can effectively address modern industry challenges and not only make management of the accommodation business easier, but pave clear paths for business growth.

Essentially, smart hotel technology unlocks the endgame for hotels: revenue.

Growing revenue is going to require growth across multiple departments in the business – often through a trickle down process that isn’t only about optimising room rates.

For example:

  • Growing revenue might mean improving brand reputation
  • Improving brand reputation means enhancing the guest experience
  • Enhancing the guest experience might mean physical property improvements
  • Or a simplified and flexible booking process
  • Or personalised communication
  • This might mean investing in a tech platform with an online booking engine feature
  • Which then means integrating with additional or existing systems
  • And this introduces valuable partnership opportunities
  • To open up new revenue streams

Growing a hotel business relies on connecting every web of this complicated matrix, and that’s often the sticking point for many properties. There’s a lot to get right, and a multitude of data available to do it.

Smart technology effectively tackles the struggle of bringing it all together.

Frequently asked questions about technology in hotels

What technology is used in hotels? 

All kinds of technology is used in hotels, including technology that only staff interact with but also technology that is solely in place to enhance the experience for guests.

Mostly, hotels use cloud technology and the internet of things (IoT), which allows for speed, automation, integration, and ease of use.

Examples can range from property management systems, which hoteliers use to run their business day-to-day, to smart devices such as remote controlled heating and lighting which guests use to customise their comfort.

What is the effect of using technology in a hotel? 

The effect of using technology in a hotel is that the hotel will become more efficient, deliver a superior guest experience, and will earn more revenue than a hotel that is relying on outdated, manual, methods of management.

Using technology in a hotel allows for many crucial tasks to be performed quicker, easier, and more accurately.

It also provides hoteliers the opportunity to access more data with which they can base important decisions on, which ultimately improves the outcomes of the strategies they are employing.

Why is hotel technology becoming more important? 

Hotel technology is becoming more important because travel is growing, the industry is becoming more competitive, and guest expectations are changing.

As the industry expands, hotels need to look for ways to cash in and capitalise on the opportunity. At the same time, consumers are becoming more and more used to relying on technology to speed up their lives and make things more convenient for them.

To stay afloat in the modern market, hotel technology is becoming increasingly necessary for hotels, as they seek to gain and edge on the competition and match the preferences of their target guests.

What can we expect of future hotel technology?

For hotel owners and managers, future hotel technology will continue to revolve around how to maximise revenue based on sophisticated sets of data and analysis. This will also include greater focus and enhanced capabilities when it comes to personalised services and automated processes.

Artificial intelligence will almost certainly have a part to play, both behind the scenes and guest-facing, since its ability to process large amounts of data at speed and provide valuable outcomes is predicted to outstrip that of human capability.

For guests, hotel technology will be about how their expectations can be met and exceeded. What can technology do to delight and surprise them, or make their stay ultra convenient and therefore luxurious without needing to burn the budget on a five-star resort.

Use the best hotel technology to unlock more revenue at your property

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Understanding the hospitality technology solutions of today

Automation and integration are the buzzwords for any technology provider, but that’s because they truly are the key to achieving hotel business goals.

For hotels looking to implement superior hospitality experiences, there is a whole range of technology solutions that can be used to impact both backend processes and front-facing operations.

Some of the hotel technology you’ll hear about most includes:

Online distribution technology  

Online distribution technology will help you effectively and efficiently market and sell your inventory to a wide net of potential guests. Examples include channel managers, which use automation to help you list your rooms on more booking channels and streamline inventory management.

Direct booking technology 

Direct booking technology enables you to bypass the commission fees of third-parties such as and instead deal with the customer directly. Examples include online booking engines, which integrate with your website and allow guests to book and pay directly with your business.

Revenue management technology 

Revenue management technology helps you set pricing strategies, review and forecast performance, make tactical decisions to maximise revenue, and more. Examples include revenue management systems, which can automate data collection and analysis as well as make strategic suggestions.

Property management technology 

Property management technology keeps you in control of the everyday running of your business. Examples such as property management systems allow you to use one interface to manage things like reservations, your booking calendar, guest profiles, housekeeping, maintenance, and more.

Business intelligence technology 

Business intelligence technology keeps you up-to-date on market conditions and your local competition. Examples such as SiteMinder Insights allow you track competitors, view and analyse performance, and maintain rate parity.

Website and SEO technology 

Website and SEO technology help you optimise the amount of visitors and potential guests you can attract to your brand. Examples such a hotel website builder can give you an SEO and mobile optimised website quickly, allowing you to compete on Google and create valuable content for travellers.

Guest-facing technology 

Guest facing, or in-room, technology directly affects a guest’s experience at a hotel. There’s an enormous amount of products for hotels to work with depending on their budget and property type. Many of these, such as free Wi-Fi or streaming and entertainment, may qualify as necessities in the minds of today’s consumer. 

Marketing technology 

Marketing technology is useful for boosting brand awareness, enticing travellers to book with you, and creating a strong relationship with your customers. Examples might include guest engagement tools, which make it easy to communicate with guests and personalise the offers you send to them or their in-stay experience.

Hotel technology in hotels: Operating on the cloud

Cloud technology is now the dominant force in online distribution. Not only does it help hotels generate more bookings, but it can improve almost every aspect of running a successful hotel business.

Cloud technology can be an especially useful and affordable tool for independent hoteliers who don’t have large budgets.

Here are six benefits of using cloud technology, like the examples we listed above, at your hotel:

  1. Cloud technology is cost-effective

Upfront costs are always low with cloud technology because you only pay for what you need in regards to storage and computing power. Hardware, energy, and operational costs are also reduced because the financing of that infrastructure falls to the provider. There’s also going to be no maintenance costs involved because no damage will be done if your hardware breaks down. Simply log on with another device and continue working.

  1. Cloud technology saves time and increases productivity

Processing is much faster with cloud technology and the automated nature of cloud-based processes helps your hotel do more, in a shorter period of time. It can automate reservations, emails, inventory updates, payments, and even housekeeping. The flexibility of the cloud also means you can operate your property management system from anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection and a device.

  1. Cloud technology is secure and safe

Data is always stored securely and remotely rather than in a physical location, meaning there is far less risk of your data and records being compromised or lost. It’s also compatible with any device, since any updates or apps can be done within the software. Look for a technology provider that is PCI DSS compliant.

  1. Cloud technology is a powerful processor

The actual processing and computing with cloud technology is faster because it utilises connected abilities that weren’t previously possible on a single computer. This makes it much easier to track, collect, and analyse metrics such as booking data.

  1. Cloud technology improves staff collaboration

With cloud-based hotel systems you can implement strategies to make your staff more responsive, freeing them from the confines of the front desk to give quicker and more personalised service to your guests. This reduces downtime and keeps your guests happy and willing to return in the future.

  1. Cloud technology helps you develop and deliver on your business strategy

Because you can use this technology to collect and analyse a vast amount of guest data, you can easily develop relevant loyalty programs and pricing plans that will maximise both your guest acquisition and retention. The more you know about your guests, the more accurately you can market your hotel.

hotel technology
A modern push button “do not disturb” sign in a hotel room

What are open hotel technology services and why do they matter?

Open hotel technology services refer to a system that is ‘open’ to being accessed and interacted with by third-party integrations. The open nature is established by the publication of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), which allow for external access.

The developers of open platforms can also add features to the system on an ongoing basis, constantly enhancing its functionality, expanding the ecosystem (think third-party hotel apps), and improving user experience.

This is in contrast to a ‘closed’ system, which is usually characterised by the provider limiting access and connection to a fixed range of services and technologies. There is a distinct lack of freedom and flexibility for hoteliers using closed systems, and not much room for growth. 

It’s vital to be plugged into an open, evolving, ecosystem to adapt to change and meet challenges with the right solutions. Of course, ‘open’ here refers to access and connectivity. Not just anyone can happen along and help themselves to valuable data. Data will be available in an open format, but only to authorised users.

Benefits of an open technology platform for your hotel

As we know, hoteliers today are flooded with challenges that include staff shortages, unpredictable revenue, managing multiple service providers, optimising distribution and sales, ensuring guest satisfaction, handling maintenance and admin, and trying to run a profitable business overall.

Open technology is how hoteliers can ensure they take the right path and adapt to the needs of guests today and business operations, instead of being quickly left behind by their competition. An open platform unlocks doors for your hotel to explore that you didn’t even know existed, allowing you to seamlessly plug-in additional third-party solutions to your existing tech stack.

This greatly increases your ability to implement strategies and services that increase revenue and efficiency at your property.

It also removes the barrier of associated costs that have traditionally come with wanting to customise or add to your technology. Open technology reduces risk and cost by allowing you to access ‘plug and play’ features that can be used in a way that suits your needs.

Open platforms will also benefit your hotel by enabling you to:

  • Develop unique functions and services at your hotel to improve both back and front end operations
  • Centralise data sources to help with analysis and informed decision making
  • Gain operational flexibility and freedom via increased connectivity
  • Collaborate with and learn from other industry experts and professionals
  • Adopt tech solutions much faster and with less cost
  • Solve communication failings, both within your internal operations and between you and your guests with seamless integrations
  • Gain vital holistic visibility of your business, so you can identify issues, gaps, and opportunities for growth
  • Upsell to guests and increase your revenue per guest
  • Give your property access to meaningful solutions without prohibitive expenses or hoops to jump through

Whether you’re looking to simplify your day-to-day, sell more rooms, boost revenue, enhance guest experience, or hopefully all of these – an open platform is how you can achieve your goals stress-free, and at low cost.

The use of information technology in the hotel sector

When you weigh everything up, IT can be just as important to your hotel as beds, the minibar, and room service etc. Only once your property is operationally smooth can you really focus on optimising the guest experience.

Here are some examples of the ways that IT continues to improve the hospitality and tourism industry:

Selling your brand
Usually a traveller’s first experience with your hotel is a visit to your website. They’ll view galleries and reviews, along with rates and any other content you have prominently displayed. It is vital for a business to effectively utilise online advertising, social media, blogs, and promotions to help convince, and convenience, their customers.

Internal Systems
Computer systems allow for much quicker, easier, communication on a larger scale. It allows chains to manage their properties in multiple locations much easier. They also help keep staff on the same page and make it easier to access information, with guest requests, housekeeping information, and reservations all kept in one place. If things on the back end are working, you have more time to perfect the front end – the parts guests see.

Mobile functionality
So many travellers search and make travel arrangements on the run from their mobile devices now. This might be a smartphone or a tablet. Larger home PCs are a lot less common. It’s important that hotels can enable this need on their website. IT systems also enable hoteliers themselves to manage their property from mobile devices.

Information technology’s greatest impact can be seen in the form of speed and accuracy. Speeding up property management tasks and point of sale service helps reduce labour costs and ensure a more seamless customer experience.

What is the role of IT in the hotel industry?

IT plays a major role in developing and maintaining competitiveness within the industry. Since a lot of success depends on a business’s ability to access and analyse the latest data – and act on it – IT systems are big players.

IT helps meet the demands for timely and accurate information by customers and hotel managers alike. It’s a massive enabler, evidenced by the industry trend of IT systems that work cooperatively to assist managers to deliver quality service to their customers and to enhance operational efficiency and control costs.

If hotels don’t master the right IT systems, they’ll struggle to manage and utilise the data at their disposal. As investment in IT is basically now an indispensable component of tourism and hospitality business strategy.

Areas where IT has affected the realm of hotels:

  • Reservations Systems
  • Mobile Communication
  • In-Room Technology
  • Organisation
  • Coordination
  • Booking systems

These stats can help you understand just how important IT is in the industry

  1. Two-thirds of guests want to check-in on their smartphone
    Guests want check-in to be as painless as possible. If they just travelled from somewhere, especially if they came from overseas, the last thing they want to do is wait a long time to get into their room. It also means you don’t have to deal with a crowded lobby.
  2. More than half of hotels are planning to ramp up IT spending
    This means a lot of your competitors are making shrewd investments. You can’t afford to fall off the pace in the face of something guests clearly expect from you.
  3. Three-quarters of guests want customised offers or loyalty programs
    IT systems can really help you build guest profiles, keep track of preferences, and make personalised offers. Note special requests, room service orders, and other data so that when they check in again down the line, you can surprise your repeat guest with a thoughtful gesture.
  4. More than half of all hotels are operating in the cloud
    This is growing all the time. It’s a mass abandonment of old methods such as books and spreadsheets. Using systems like channel managers is now starting to be referred to as standard operating procedure – meaning those who aren’t have found themselves unaligned with the industry.
  5. Half of business travellers factor free Wi-Fi into their decision to book
    Clearly W-iFi is a must for corporate travellers and if it isn’t complementary, there’s no excuse in their eyes. A small matter like this can cause large amounts of friction for guests if you aren’t catering for them. It’s an easily solved problem that could be impacting your online reviews and reputation.

When and how should your hotel adopt new technology?

It’s vital to know what technology is worth investing in, and what will just be a gimmick burning a hole in your hotel’s budget.

Will the technology attract more guests and increase bookings? Or will the higher price of rooms outweigh the pull of cutting-edge gadgets?

Some hotels have gone all out to give guests ultimate convenience, leaving no stone unturned in the hope that a ‘five-star’ experience will persuade travellers to book. Others have been more circumspect, preferring to rely on proven technology systems that are more measurable. After all, what use is a robot in your hotel if you don’t have a sound distribution strategy to ensure travellers are actually finding your hotel?

Let’s take a look at some of the most impressive technology implementations in hotels today and discuss the value of each, before looking at some guaranteed revenue boosters.

The world’s most innovative hotel technology solutions

Keyless door entry

This type of technology allows hotel clerks to use NFC, RFID, or Bluetooth to pair guests’ phones with electronic room locks and eliminate the need for a physical door key.

While convenient, it is expensive and not currently standardised across the industry. There are also some potential pitfalls. What if a guest had forgotten their phone charger but can’t get back into their room because their phone is out of battery? What if you are travelling with multiple people? Is a key zapped to all their phones?

Ultimately it doesn’t seem like this technology would be a significant extra incentive for guests to book at the hotel, at least for now, considering it would come with a higher price tag for hoteliers.


There are many examples of robots in hotels that can greet and check-in guests, handle luggage, provide information, and perform concierge duties.

The benefit of robots is that they’re a huge novelty at the moment and could be a driving force for bookings. They also don’t require wages, meaning the hotel can eventually spend even more money on enhancing the guest experience. The downside is if anything goes wrong, it may take a lot of time and money to fix, and prove inconvenient for a guest who then has to wait for a real person to come and help them. There’s also the risk of alienating some guests with large scale uptake of robotic technology because there are many travellers who still enjoy the human touch.

The efficiency and range of uses for robots will only increase as time goes by. With artificial intelligence on the rise, hotels should seriously consider investing in this technology. However, the next few years should be approached with caution.


Some hotels are using geolocation apps to track guests through every part of the hotel. For instance, if a guest is near the gym they may receive a text message offering a special service or discount. Likewise if they’re relaxing near the poolside bar etc.

While it may seem like a smart and cutting-edge strategy, it’s quite possible guests will find this invasive and annoying. On top of that, building and running these apps is expensive and doesn’t add all that much to your business. It’s certainly not going to be a big booking incentive.

In-room technology

Here are five examples of in-room technology guests will love:

  1. High-speed wifi for your hotel guests

To many this may seem like a no-brainer, but the reality is some properties still aren’t providing guests with the service they desire. Guests spend a lot of time in their room researching options for dinner, shows, attractions, bookings etc. If they’re experiencing slow internet, they’ll be quickly frustrated and your hotel will be dealing with a lot of complaints. Guests expect speeds to be on par with what they use at home.

It’s also important to make sure Wi-Fi is free. Charging a fee for the internet is often a big factor in travellers choosing one hotel over another.

  1. Hubs of technology to boost your room experience

Hot on the heels of fast internet is the need to make sure all devices are powered and usable at all times. Guests want adequate power stations to charge multiple devices, they want space to use their computer if need be, and they want docks for their phone or music player to provide their own entertainment.

Things like charging stations, small desks, and docks are easy to implement and guests will be very appreciative of them.

  1. Netflix and YouTube for guest entertainment

The ability to cast and stream from devices like mobiles, laptops, and tablets to a bigger screen in the hotel room is essential. This might mean Netflix or other streaming services, YouTube, Spotify, or even a web browser.

Guests may want to use this feature simply for entertainment or they might also want to work via the television so ensure you can have this available

  1. Smart technologies for guest comfort and luxury

This is where you can afford to get a little more complex. The right smart technology can offer guests a lot of convenience and a sense of luxury.

Smart thermostats allow guests to use an app to adjust the temperature in the room. They can do the same with smart lighting, dimming or brightening the room from their phone. This can even extend to changing the position of the bed, or opening and closing blinds.

Mobile door keys are also a piece of technology that’s being perfected at the moment and when optimised will give guests a much more streamlined stay to combine with mobile check in.

  1. Texting services for hotel concierge and services

Giving guests the option to use texts or messaging apps to communicate with the hotel will satisfy their need for feeling pampered. By 2021 the number of people using messaging apps to communicate will reach 2.5 billion.

At the touch of a finger they can elicit information and make arrangements with a concierge, order room service, book amenities, provide feedback or inform staff of an issue. At no point do they have to leave their room or wait on hold during a call.

Many hotels are outfitting rooms with tablets or iPads to allow guests to adjust room temperature, order room service, request housekeeping, adjust the lighting, control the TV, and more.

This is probably going to be the biggest influencer on bookings when it comes to guest-operated technology in a hotel. All of this is relatively affordable and provides a level of control and convenience guests really enjoy experiencing on their trip.

Staff technology

Improving staff efficiency can have a flow-on effect across the business. Saving man-hours and improving guest experience will save time, money, and potentially boost return bookings. Connecting staff to portable devices such as the iPod Touch will allow staff to be more responsive to guest and general hotel needs.

Again, this is relatively cheap but can have a lasting positive effect on the profitability of your hotel so it’s something all hotels should be executing.

Tech gimmicks

Some technology is perhaps too smart for its own good, to the point where it becomes superfluous. Here are some examples of technology that may not be worth it:

  • Luxury shuttle services – Some guests may pay more to be driven to the airport in a Teslabut many won’t, and the price and upkeep of expensive shuttle vehicles won’t help your hotel.
  • Bathroom televisions – The logistics of this is difficult to start with, but concealing a flatscreen behind the mirror seems neither practical or convenient.
  • Clever buttons – For example, a button to turn the shower glass from clear to frosted and back again just seems pointless and if it’s adding money to the room rate, would a guest really want to pay for that?
  • Heat-sensors – These can be used to alert a staff member if a room is empty or not, so they can perform housekeeping duties. A do not disturb sign and a simple knock are probably still functional ideals, especially if you’re taking a budget into account.

Hotels need to think carefully about the problems that need solving and what they’re hoping to achieve with the technology they invest in.

Your specific goals will dictate your ultimate decision, but in general, here are some of the more important objectives you should consider…

  1. Will it give my hotel global reach?

Guests won’t be able to book with you if they can’t find you, so the first concern you should raise with your technology provider is if they can make you more visible on a global scale.

Generally, the two main methods for increasing your awareness is to connect to online travel agents (OTAs) and global distribution systems (GDSs).

  1. Can it lower the cost of my guest acquisition?

Any technology you invest in should do one thing for certain; save you time. You should be saving on man hours by eliminating manual data entry and no longer doubling up on tasks.

It’s vital that your technology partner can gift you seamless integration with world leading hotel technology systems such as central reservation systems (CRSs), property management systems (PMSs), and revenue management systems (RMSs).

  1. Will technology drive more revenue at my hotel?

As stated above, OTAs will give you the opportunity to increase your occupancy and therefore your revenue – but only if you have a channel manager that offers pooled inventory, rather than allocated inventory.

Pooled inventory allows you to give every channel, including your own website, access to all your rooms at once and if a booking is made, the total available inventory will decrease automatically across all channels.

Allocated inventory means that a specified number of rooms is allocated to each channel and once they are booked, no more can be pulled from the total inventory and the availability won’t update on other channels, creating the risk of overbookings.

  1. Will it give me higher profit margins?

One way to increase your hotel’s profit is to drive as many bookings directly through your hotel website as possible, to avoid commission fees from OTAs or other third party booking channels.

Your website needs to be optimised for search engines, designed attractively, function with a quick load time, set up for mobile and social, and most importantly possess a booking engine that can complete bookings in a two-step process.

Your booking engine should also be customisable to fit your hotel’s brand and be integrated with your other systems like your PMS. Direct bookings will not only increase your profit but may encourage return business because travellers become familiar with your brand when they visit your website. The most important requirement your technology provider should address is that a booking needs to be made in no more than a few clicks of the guest’s mouse.

What is the best hotel technology?

The best hotel technology is hard to define, given hoteliers will have different needs and preferences based on their particular business. However, there are a number of crucial systems and tools that all hotels should consider using. Choosing between providers comes down to research.

One thing we can say is that integrated hotel technology – technology that has all your required features in one location – is the way to go. 

This is both a simpler and more sophisticated way to run a hotel business, thanks to a greater amount of control and insights being available to you.

Some of the features of platform that offers this may include:

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 in 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.

A good channel manager uses pooled inventory and allows you to automate the management of the online travel agents (OTAs) you connect to. Availability, rates, and inventory can be updated in real-time so you can basically eliminate the risk of overbookings, saving time on manual processing and recording.

Booking engine 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 directly 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 and Google Hotel Ads 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-minute rates, and use urgency messages to attract more customers.

The best booking engine will provide a seamless online experience and take no longer than a few seconds or a couple of clicks to process a guest’s reservation from anywhere in the world.

Your booking engine should integrate with your website and branding as well as other systems like a channel manager, a property management system (PMS), central reservations system (CRS), and payment gateways to retain the ease of operation both you and your guests desire.

Not only will a good booking engine enable commission-free bookings but it will also allow you to nurture your customer through the whole trip cycle; pre, during, and post-stay. You can set up email notifications, offer extras and promotions, and integrate with social media and mobile platforms.

Hotel website technology

Every hotel needs a beautiful, functional, website that is optimised for mobile and SEO. This ensures guests are finding your website and staying there to make a booking instead of looking elsewhere. If your website is not well designed, loads quickly, and is responsive to all devices, people will soon look elsewhere. However, hiring a designer or trying to build a website yourself will be time consuming and costly, not only in the first instance but every time it needs updating.

This is why you require technology like an intuitive website builder and editor that will have you up and running in less than an hour and can be updated in an instant – as often as you like.

The benefits of using website builder software are wide-ranging and include: custom themes and templates, SEO indexes are taken care of, mobile integration is optimised, seamless partnership with your booking engine, it can act as a content management system (CMS) for your blogs and photos, and it’s multi-lingual.

Business intelligence technology

Real-time pricing intelligence will let you watch and analyse your competitors and make smart choices about your own rates, to optimise your revenue management. Hotel revenue management can be a complex undertaking, especially in a market that is becoming more complicated by the minute due to continued growth in both hotels and channels. Real-time access to revenue management metrics is a priceless addition to your pricing strategy.

With the right tool you’ll be able to keep track of your competitors but more importantly access a range of rules and notifications so you never miss a change in the market. You can also pull reports and forecast demand to make the best possible decisions for your pricing strategy.

With a versatile and intelligent tool you’ll have rate visibility and the capability to meet your revenue targets while using affordable revenue management software.

Global distribution technology

Connecting to a global distribution system (GDS) will put your hotel on a more diverse and broad range of booking ‘maps’, to give your hotel the best chance of being found by as many people as possible. A GDS gives you access to a virtual marketplace to showcase your wares to hundreds of thousands of travel agents across the world.

It grants the opportunity to offer bundled packages with airlines and car rentals to further incentivise agents to advertise you and travellers to book with you.

A GDS can also be updated in real-time and acts as a reliable middleman, saving you time and hassle.

With a GDS you need to be sure you’re getting value for money. Are you getting access to a big enough network? Does it integrate with other common hotel systems? Are there commissions and what are the contract agreements?

Marketing automation

Marketing automation platforms automate the lead-to-sale process. For hotel operators, this means 1:1 communication with potential hotel guests to educate, engage and book. When integrated with your CRM system sales and marketing are on the same page. By allowing you to build out your campaigns, EDMs, and landing pages all in one place with relevant and personalised content across a variety of online channels – marketing automation software provides the missing link in your email marketing strategy.

Some of the key benefits of using a marketing automation platform include:

  • The ability to create and experiment with different emails and landing pages to improve CTAs and lead generation.
  • The ability to nurture your leads (guests) by running automated lead-nurturing campaigns with multi-touch communications to enhance conversion opportunities.
  • A lead scoring model that will allow you to match your hotel’s offerings to the unique criteria of your guests and prospects – which in turn will give you greater insights into your guests’ behaviour to create more targeted communications and promotions.
  • Detailed reports showing the performance of emails, conversion rates, and return on investment (ROI) broken down by campaign.

Your marketing automation platform’s tracking and reporting metrics are an invaluable resource to help you fine tune the performance of your email and nurture campaigns, increase conversion rates and bookings, as well as improve your overall business processes.

Beyond this you should pay close attention to:

  • Social media platforms
  • Email tools
  • Apps targeting promotional offers
  • Systems to improve customer communication

This all before you even think about buying a fancy keyless door lock or installing a smart TV in your room. Get the basics right and then assess your budget to give guests the stay they really need and want. Guest feedback is vital – listen to what your guests are saying. If you have never received any complaints about your bathroom, maybe you don’t need to spend money on heated floors. Instead you could update the entertainment system that a few guests have mentioned seems a little out of date.

By Dean Elphick

Dean is the Senior Content Marketing Specialist of SiteMinder, the leading technology provider delivering hoteliers unbeatable revenue results. Dean has made writing and creating content his passion for the entirety of his professional life, which includes more than six years at SiteMinder. Through content, Dean aims to provide education, inspiration, assistance and value for accommodation businesses looking to improve the way they run their operations achieve their goals.

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