A hotel website’s booking engine is the software application being used to secure online reservations.
There has been such an increase in accommodations being booked online that even the smallest of hotels can no longer ignore the need of an online booking engine.
Your booking engine will allow you to sell your rooms through
Your booking engine can take credit card details and work with an online merchant service or integrate with a Payment Gateway to process deposits and payments.
Instead of having to manually input online bookings, your booking engine automatically processes them, safely storing all of your guest’s data.
Travellers see it as being more convenient, because they can safely make their reservation at their leisure instead of having to wait till you’re at your desk.
Watch how Little Hotelier distributes your rooms to the world with the Best Booking Engine
When guests arrive on your website, they should be able to easily search for which rooms are available, at what rate, for the dates they are interested in.
Your booking engine should show this to them in an easy to understand view, much like the calendar being used on OTA booking sites.
Your booking engine should allow you to customise the theme of your calendar so it matches the look and feel of your current website.
Consistency is key – otherwise they might feel uncomfortable making a booking due to a lack of confidence in the legitimacy of your booking page.
Your guests need to feel like their sensitive data is safe in your hands!
This means that guests should be able to make the booking on your website – without being redirected to a third party website (like PayPal) for online payment to occur. It makes them feel safer booking with you.
To do this, SSL encryption is a must. Any kind of statement or badge that confirms your security standards should be displayed on your payment page so that there is nothing preventing guests from entering their credit card details.
When your booking engine doesn’t sync with your channel manager, your booking sites don’t have access to live room inventory, allowing your guests to book a room that was actually unavailable.
In this scenario, you can try to schedule your guest in for another date – but within that time you received another booking that wasn’t updated on your calendar! So the cycle continues. You have to contact the guest that just booked, apologise profusely, and repeat the process.
A booking engine that integrates with your channel manager ensures that your room inventory across all your online channels is automatically updated. This means everyone is on the same page! You don’t have to spend all of your time on admin work and your guests are never double booked.
Modern hotel booking engines support integrate with channel managers and front desk systems.
Small hotels don’t need the added hassle of using separate systems for each. Find an all-in-one hotel reservation system that is suited to small hotels, like Little Hotelier is.
Make sure the software you choose lines up with the needs of your small property, especially in terms of flexibility and cost. Some solutions will enforce contracts, and structure their pricing based on a percentage of commission per booking, but it is difficult to grow with such a pricing model.
On the other hand, systems like Little Hotelier operate off a no contract, fixed monthly fee, which makes it easier for you to budget your expenses.
Make sure you take a free trial of each of the systems you look at – they are standard in the industry. If no free trial is available, at least request a demonstration of the product. You want to play around with it to make sure that it is truly the easiest and most comprehensive solution for your small property.
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