Not all hotel booking software is the same. You need a solution that integrates with other key systems, helps you manage OTA’s efficiently, and also provides great marketing features. We’ve reviewed and worked with more than one and here write about the best solutions for hotels and inns.
Below is a recent webinar we did for Hoteliers and Innkeepers on “Smart Ways To Book More Rooms” in conjunction with Checkfront* — an innovative cloud booking service with some unique marketing features. (see also our post on Hotel Marketing Q & A)
*Webdirexion has a marketing agreement with Checkfront because they offered the best solution for our clients in our opinion. Do contact us for a comparison table of three popular booking companies.
Join us for a webinar with PAII – Professional Association of Innkeepers International— next week on Sept. 30th at 10:30am PST/1:30am EST on “Top 10 Online Marketing Recommendations for Inn Websites” – » Register online (it’s free)!
The debate rages on about AirBnB versus some hotel industry trade associations and city governments. A lot of innkeepers and hoteliers we talk to continue to resent AirBnB. That’s understood. But it still looks like this “disruptive” technology play is here to stay, so what can we learn when we take a look at the big picture? Are there opportunities for smart, progressive BnB owners?
Let’s focus on Seattle inside the city. In future posts we’ll consider smaller rural areas, but a review of three different map sources of data for Seattle is quite revealing in this major metropolitan area, to start with:
Look at the pure density of rooms and homes being rented out in the emerald city. AirDNA produces this map and counts 3200+ AirBnB properties available in Sept. 2015 for Seattle, WA.
Smaller properties of 6-20 rooms can be reluctant to maintain a presence and room inventory on OTAs like Expedia and TripAdvisor. But are they shooting themselves in the foot? Both the “Billboard Effect” and the “Pay to Play Effect” do indicate that you’re leaving money at the table.
The Billboard Effect: Did you know that industry studies show using OTAs increases room reservations — at your own site? According to an article on Hotel Business Review, “…Cornell Professor Chris Anderson found that a hotel’s direct bookings increased from 7.5 to 26% when listed on Expedia, perfectly illustrating the impact that the billboard effect has on a property’s direct bookings.”
It works like this… a prospective guest sees the generic site they create for you on Expedia or Hotels.com or TripAdvisor (your “billboard” on that platform), then leaves the OTA site to book at your own site, assuming you are set up for smart on-site booking and mobile ready. (more…)
When it comes to online reservations at various OTAs — which should you get more heads in beds?
There are a lot of OTAs — Online Travel Agencies (like Hotels.com) — out there for Innkeepers and Hoteliers to consider in their marketing mix. There are also GDS’s — Global Distribution Systems — that give you access to the Google Hotel Booking network among other things. How best to make an informed choice, and should you use these channels at all?
Our Webdirexion Hotel Marketing Solutions philosophy is that while you should seek to maximize bookings at your own website, the OTAs and GDS’s are the devils you must deal with — and pay the 15% (or higher) commissions. Why? Industry statistics show that most hotel searches begin at the search engine (usually Google, of course), and then about 20% of searches continue at an OTA with about 20% at your own site. (more…)
Cloud-based hotel management software: a primer for hoteliers & innkeepers
Facilitating online bookings is getting easier with smart cloud based systems.
Increasingly, hoteliers and inn-keepers are turning towards cloud-based software solutions to manage bookings and inventory, set rates and parameters, and integrate with third-party applications and online travel agencies (OTAs). Here are a few things to know about cloud-based hotel management software and systems.
What is cloud-based hotel management software? Cloud-based hotel booking software refers to software used by hoteliers primarily to facilitate room bookings and manage rates and inventory — often across channels. Data is stored and backed up in the cloud (as opposed to a static server or a virtual private network), allowing users easy access to data and systems without the need to invest in hardware. Larger properties may need to consider a PMS (Property Management System) or POS (Point of Service Software) for integration and management of gift shops, coffeeshops, and other departments in a Hotel. (more…)