The impacts of online booking concept in the hospitality industry
The hospitality industry is constantly changing due to the introduction of innovative technologies and changing customer behaviors. Among them, online booking concept has a high impact on the travel patterns, starting from an initial research phase to the entire staying experience. Also, it has created venues for lots of new businesses.
1. Online Travel Agency
The origin of OTAs dates back to 1996. It has made a profound change on the way we travel and plan trips.
The focus of OTAs is to smoothen the guests’ entire booking process and helping them in selecting the right room with the best price.
Because of its easiness and a huge investment in marketing, OTAs gained traction among guests and soon supplanted the traditional travel distributors.
OTAs acts as a connecting bridge between hotels and guests. It helps hotels to maximize their audience by reaching new markets. With OTAs, hotels can attract new guests. However, hotels need to pay hefty commissions for each booking they receive through OTAs.
2. Hotel Booking Engine
Booking engine exists for more than decades. It is a great tool for hoteliers to convert their website visitors into guests.
Online booking system helps hoteliers to increase their direct bookings without paying commissions to OTAs. Plus, hotels can get their guests’ data and analyze their booking behavior.
Therefore, it is advisable for hoteliers to implement a booking engine on their website.
3. Metasearch Engine for Hotel
Metasearch engine is becoming popular in recent years. The role of metasearch engine is to make the guests’ research process simple and find the best price of the hotel by comparing all the booking platforms in a single place.
For hoteliers, using metasearch engine can increase their direct sales. It lets them advertise on the platform. This way, hotels can increase visibility with less investment.
Some of the notable Metasearch engines are Google Hotel Ads, TripAdvisor, Trivago, etc.
Google released new updates in the Google Maps applications. Using this, guest can explore nearby hotels and book rooms directly from their mobile devices.
It is a big boon for hoteliers to increase their business visibility by optimizing their GMB (Google My Business) profile.
4. Sharing economy
Sharing economy is also known as peer-to-peer travel accommodation. Airbnb, the pioneer, started this concept as a research product. Later on, by understanding the scope of this study, they developed the concept of building a platform where accommodation providers can register their property. Guests, in turn, can reserve their room easily from this platform.
5. Mobile Apps
Self-service is on the rise. Today’s guest desires to take entire control over their stay. Guests feel convenient to order food or asking for extra amenities with tools like AI assistant, chatbots, etc.
With growing mobile technology & changing guests’ expectations, hoteliers are developing or integrating third-party mobile applications to build their guest journey better.
With these useful applications, guests can check availability and book their desired room, do check-in, and other tasks on their own.
6. Online reputation
In the age of OTAs, online reviews play a major role. It influences the guests’ booking process.
97.7% of consumers read other travelers online reviews. Among them, 77.7% of consumers consider that online reviews are the deciding factors on where to stay.
It is also observed that 53% of consumers won’t book a hotel that has no reviews. [ source : Hospitality Net ]
Hence it is vital for every hotelier to maintain a good reputation.
A few years ago, only a few brands were well-recognized. But today, with the concept of online booking, small and independent hotels are also capable of increasing their brand awareness and reaching the global audience.
With the help of internet, guests can access the awash of information provided on these platforms. It helps them in making better decisions like finding the best hotel with the best price.
The breakthroughs in technology and business models are helping guests in making their stay pleasant. For hoteliers, it provides the opportunity to acquire new guests and serve them better.