Most hoteliers operating in the competitive hospitality industry would agree that a hotel’s website should be the most profitable channel and bring in the most amount of bookings. Considerably cheaper to maintain than distribution across other channels (such as OTA booking sites), online reservations via your direct website will increase revenue per booking for your hotel.
The best way to ensure you receive more direct bookings is to incorporate a hotel booking engine on your site. An online booking engine gives people the freedom to self-serve, meaning they can easily check rooms, availabilities and rates in real-time. There are many different booking management systems out there, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Have a look at How to choose the best booking engine in the marketplace for a list of what to look for in a booking engine.
There are a number of benefits of using a hotel booking engine, including a 24/7 service, a reduced workload, an insight to booking data and an increase in revenue per booking.
Works ‘round the clock
One of the main benefits of having a booking engine is that it works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Without it, you’d have to rely on walk-ins and phone reservations during working hours. Having an online reservation system do the job for you means you’re open for business at all hours, making it ideal to attract more potential bookers that live in other timezones. What’s more, it allows them to make secure payments using their credit card, all while you’re getting in those well deserved hours of sleep after a busy day.
Reduces your workload
Besides working when you’re not, booking engines significantly reduce the workload of your staff. Because availabilities and rates are synced and updated with each booking, you can focus on optimising your time to be more focused on providing excellent customer service to your guests.
Collects smart insights
An online booking engine usually includes different tracking tools that allow you to gather data on how guests are booking rooms. These should ideally integrate with your Google Analytics, Google Ads and eCommerce platform, allowing you to get an understanding of how your booking engine is affecting your website traffic, conversion rates and ROI. This information can help you see what packages you sell the most, and areas to focus on to help grow your business.
Maximises total booking revenue
One of the key benefits of using a booking platform is that it makes selling packages, room upgrades and special offers much easier. By giving guests the option to enhance their stay through selecting items such as airport transfers or spa treatments, you are automatically upping your chances of increased total booking revenue. A booking engine also lets you opt for different pricing strategies, including charges per stay, night or person, giving you the freedom and flexibility to adapt your offer based on what works best to increase hotel revenue.
How to set up a hotel booking engine
Setting up your booking engine is easy, it’s choosing the right one for your hotel that’s the hard part. As a global partner of Sabre, we’re very proud to offer our own state of the art booking engine, REZbooker SBE. Designed to help independent hotels and small chains convert online traffic to hotel guests, our booking engine is device responsive, meaning it renders intelligently based upon whatever screen size the booker is using. (And with over 58% of web visits coming from a smartphone, being mobile-friendly is more important than ever in 2019.)
Fully customisable, REZbooker SBE allows you to reach international bookers by enabling them to select their native language and preferred currency. What’s more, you have the option to individually style all colours, fonts and headers to ensure it seamlessly blends with your own hotel website. Have a look at the full list of the benefits you’ll receive with REZbooker SBE for more information.
While the setup process varies depending on which booking engine you choose, there is no complex set-up required for REZbooker. All rates and inventory are managed via CentralREZ, our central reservation system. From there, you can either choose to load rates just for the booking engine or also opt to add it to additional distribution channels, such as the GDS. We set up your preferred analytics tracking for you and make sure you get periodical performance reports to track conversion rates.
Choose the best booking engine for your hotel
Whether you’re choosing a booking engine for the first time or are looking to switch your provider, choosing the best service to meet your hotel’s needs is extremely important.
We provide quality distribution, representation, marketing and consultancy services to more than 1,500 hotels in over 100 countries. By selecting REZbooker SBE, you choose to give your customers a customised and optimised shopping solution and a simple booking process, wherever they are. Find out more about REZbooker SBE or get in touch to discuss setting up your personalised booking engine today.
HotelREZ Hotels & Resorts was founded in 2004 by Mark Lewis, an experienced hospitality industry professional and entrepreneur. Over the course of over a decade, the company has grown to be one of the leading hotel representation companies dedicated to marketing and connecting independent properties with bookers worldwide. HotelREZ now provides distribution, revenue, sales consultancy and marketing services and support to more than 1,500 hotels, apartments and hotel groups in over 100 countries including private label GDS chain code solutions. HotelREZ Hotels & Resorts is a SAAS company. HotelREZ also incorporates the global World Rainbow Hotels, the world’s only GDS enabled LGBT global hotel consortia representing some 1200 hotels in 230 destinations across the globe.