Integrating a Hotel Booking System to your Website

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Every small accommodation provider would benefit from having a well-integrated hotel booking system. Without one, you will fail to get more direct online bookings through your most profitable channel – that is, your website.

What is a hotel booking system?

Guests will be able to instantly secure online reservations with a hotel booking system. It is a software application that allows you to sell your rooms through your own website, and third party sites that your hotel is listed on (eg. Facebook).

Hotels of all sizes have had to adapt to the increasing demand for online bookings. Consider that a third of all spending on travel – to the tune of $145 billion – goes through online booking (source).

Today’s hotels are expected to have booking systems in place, because it’s more convenient for guests as well as staff. Instead of having to wait for you to be at your desk, guests can quickly check your availability, book and confirm their stays – all without speaking to you.

Why do you need it to integrate with your website?

Your booking engine should seamlessly integrate with your website so that guests who want to book online have a consistent booking experience.

It should do this by:

  • Matching its look and feel. Make sure your booking engine clearly displays your logo and matches your website’s colour pallette. This ensures that when your guests are on your booking form, they won’t feel as if they’ve left your website because it matches your theme and branding.
  • Ensuring all of your guests’ data gets pushed across when they fill out all of their details in your booking form. If the correct data doesn’t get pushed through (eg. the dates entered or number of guests were incorrect), then you may end up with very disgruntled guests.
  • Processing guest payments smoothly. Part of integrating your booking system well is making sure that your guests’ sensitive data is protected at all times, and that the payment is processed securely.

What else does it need to integrate with?

Your hotel booking system should also integrate with your front desk system and channel manager. That way, you will be able to see when bookings come in, and all your online channels will reflect the correct number of available rooms.

Without well-integrated systems, you will spend hours updating multiple websites for rate and inventory changes. Each time a booking is made over the phone or on your website, you will have to rush to update your availability on the third party distribution sites being managed by your channel manager.

(If you’re currently looking for a hotel booking engine, download our interactive buyer’s guide – it is a workbook containing everything you need to make the right selection for your small hotel.)

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