An online hotel booking system is one of the most essential things that you should have in your property management system. Such a system not only indicates that you are serious about the business but also that it is a sure shot way to reach the top. When you are deciding upon an online booking system you have to consider how much you are willing to pay, the degree of IT you can handle as well as the size of your hotel.
Over the years the hotel booking system has seen massive changes. The way a room was booked 10 years ago is no longer followed today. Especially with the Internet coming into the picture, things have changed drastically making it possible to book rooms in real time from remote locations. Various kinds of Hotel Booking Systems
• Phone enquiry:One of the traditional forms of booking a room is via the phone. In this system what happens is that you call the hotel and find out whether they have rooms available. If they have and if they take in phone bookings, you book a room according to your convenience. This was a very popular form of making room reservations some years back. However the drawback of this for a guest was that every hotel didn’t entertain phone bookings. On the other hand, the hotels too were hesitant to make such bookings as there was always a high probability of cancellations.
• Web-based enquiry: When Internet was just becoming popular; hotels started building websites to promote their properties. Internet then was a good platform to let million of people know about the business.
Though bookings could not be done online, information about the hotel, number of rooms available, tariff plans etc were all mentioned in the site. A prospective guest could view the site; get all the information and mail the hotel seeking a booking. E-mail bookings made it necessary that the guest and the hotel stay in touch with each other atleast a couple of times till the booking are confirmed.
• Extranet service:A somewhat automated process, the extranet service is a step forward from a static website. In this system what really happens is that a guest can view live updates of number of rooms available once he logs into the site (the log in details are provided by the hotel). This information is constantly updated by the hotel’s administrative staff. You can book a room using this service but the booking doesn’t not get confirmed until the administrator confirms the process. Thus you may have booked a room via this service but it will not be updated in the website until the hotel updates.
• Internet-based booking system: With many web based property management system into the market, this has become the standard practice of booking hotel rooms today. The booking happens in real time with the need of the hotel staff to manually keep a tab on the process. The entire process is automatic from the bookings, to monetary transaction and the database getting updated.