Cloudbeds is a cloud-based hotel management solution suitable for small to midsize hotels, vacation rentals, hostels and B&Bs. Key features include front office management, central reservations, housekeeping management, online booking... Read more
RMS Hospitality offers a comprehensive hotel reservation solution, with tools to help users learn the system including videos, webinars and online forums. Since RMS is Web-based, users can access their data from nearly anywhere. Read more
Innkeeper’s Advantage is an integrated cloud-based reservation and hospitality property management solution designed for bed and breakfasts, boutique inns and more. Key features include front office management, marketing management,... Read more
Hotelogix by HMS InfoTech is a cloud-based hotel management solution for hospitality businesses. The solution provides applications such as front desk operations, Point of Sale, housekeeping and more. Users can access the other modules... Read more
roomMaster offers a system that's been around for 20 years & fits the needs of any size hotel from small B&B to large resort. The software has great reservation and reporting functions and can be linked to Expedia and Booking.com. Read more
Maestro PMS is a hybrid hospitality property management solution by NORTHWIND that provides users multiple modules that help them to manage guest service and operational activities. The solution can be deployed on-premise or hosted... Read more
Hotello by Mingus Software is a hybrid hotel property management solution, which provides businesses in the hospitality industry various tools and functionalities that help them to manage their front office, accounting, marketing and... Read more
Designed for the cloud and developed in San Francisco, Frontdesk Anywhere’s property management system was built for independent hotels, resorts, and management groups. There is nothing to install or download; only Internet access... Read more
GuestPoint, developed by Centium Software, is a hotel management solution with reservation management functionality for small to mid-sized hotels. The system offers an Internet booking engine and reservation tape charts. Read more
eZee Absolute from eZee Technosys is a cloud-based solution designed to help hotels of different sizes and types in handling their day-to-day operations. The solution has a property management system with multi-property support, allowing... Read more
eZee FrontDesk is an on-premise hotel management solution that caters to hotels, motels, resorts, vacation rentals and more. It offers a range of integrated modules, which includes tools for front and back office management, group... Read more
ResNexus is a cloud-based hotel and property management solution that helps boost reservations, improves business practices and provides a booking engine for guests to make their own reservations. It offers modules for online booking,... Read more
STAAH ConvertDirect Booking Engine is a cloud-based booking solution for hotels, bed and breakfasts, motels, campgrounds and resorts of all sizes. It offers conversion tracking, a mobile-responsive interface and a rate-tracking tool. ConvertDirect... Read more
Here's what we'll cover in this guide:
Hospitality professionals seek to make the reservation and booking process as fast and accurate as possible, so they can maintain a real-time inventory and maximize occupancy at their properties. From boutique hotels and bed and breakfasts to large hotel and resort chains, hotel reservation software (or “central reservation systems”) can help management achieve these goals. These systems streamline everything from online reservations to the distribution and marketing of hotels across multiple sales channels.
This guide will outline the most common features and functions found in hotel reservation software, and the factors you should consider when shopping for a system.
Hotel reservation systems perform several functions related to online reservations, including managing rates and inventory and storing customer profile information. These systems also interface with various sales channels to ensure your hotel’s inventory and information is available to guests no matter where they reserve a room. These channels include:
Finally, most reservation systems can interface with a property management system, which is used to manage other areas of a hotel’s daily operations.
Here’s a list of the most common capabilities of hotel reservation software:
|Reservation tracking||Enter and track reservations in a “tape chart”: a color-coded grid of reservations hoteliers can modify to reflect changes in availability. Some systems, like more robust travel agency software, include the ability to track where reservations originate (e.g., from the hotel website or an online travel agency).|
|Rate management||Adjust rates and determine which rates are available to certain guests during certain times of the year or during promotions.|
|Customer data profiling||Manage phone numbers, payment information, membership status, statistics on past stays and other information about guests.|
|Internet booking engine||Many hotel reservation systems can enable online booking from your hotel’s website, turning your site into a veritable booking engine—an essential function today.|
|Global Distribution System integration||A GDS is a network that stores the rate and inventory information of hotels connected to it by a central reservation system. Online travel agencies also access the GDS, and use the information to ensure consistency for customers when booking online. Connecting a hotel to these networks with hotel reservation software allows guests to book rooms on systems other than the hotel’s system. Though the technology is aging, four major GDSs exist today (Worldspan, Amadeus, Galileo and Sabre) that are still used by most hotels.|
If you are in the market for hotel reservation software, here are a few factors to consider during your search:
Choose a system that fits the size of your hotel. Hotel reservation systems can vary in the number of rooms, number of properties and room types they support. Select a system that accommodates your hotel’s needs: choosing one that is designed for larger hotels when your business is a small bed and breakfast, for example, could make the reservation process more complicated than necessary. Large resorts, on the other hand, may require dedicated resort tools to meet their needs.
Consider GDS integration. Hotels should still consider GDS integration when choosing a hotel reservation system to ensure that rooms and rates appear correctly on the several thousands of sales channels GDSs link to.
Evaluate usability. Choose a system with an interface that is easy for you to decipher and that gives your hotel the most exposure to sales channels. More importantly, since the systems allow for online bookings, you should pick one with an easy-to-use customer interface. A simple, intuitive interface can mean the difference between a completed guest transaction and a failed conversion.
The biggest challenge for the hotel industry today is wrestling revenue back from online travel agencies, which have attracted travelers with reduced rates from hotels. Keep these trends in mind when comparing hotel reservation systems:
Online travel agencies. With the advent of the Internet, traditional travel agencies were undercut by airlines and hotels that could now offer direct sales to customers through their websites—avoiding the fees required to be listed with an agency.
Online travel agencies (OTAs) developed their own Internet presence by connecting to the GDS. These websites, such as Expedia, Priceline and Orbitz, focused their services on sorting and and comparing hotel rates and inventory to make planning easier for travelers.
OTAs charge hotels 10 to 25 percent in commission fees for being listed—but neglecting the millions of dollars generated through those websites is not an option for the vast majority of hotel managers. By using an appropriate hotel reservation system and increasing your online marketing strategy, you can drive more bookings directly from your website.
Metasearch engines. Other websites, such as Kayak and HotelsCombined.com, scour through the OTAs’ independent search engines to bring users a live inventory of hotel rooms across multiple OTAs. They allow users to sort these results by price, rating and other filters. These sites redirect travellers to the hotel website or OTA for the final purchase, and generate revenue through advertising and listing fees.