Hotel booking can be carried out over the Internet in various ways. Hotel aggregators list hotel prices and often have hotel reviews, and they will also be enabled with hotel booking functionality. Hotel booking can also take place in a package deal with a travel agency – this may include flights and other facilities in the package.
When it comes to cancellations of package holidays and deals of this kind, you are sometimes less likely to get money back due to the fact that the whole “package” must be considered when the deal is done with the travel agency. The hotel’s own website will also be able to accommodate booking and the taking of reservations. Prices may vary from each source – often the hotel’s web site can offer less value than other sources. A simple phone call can also be made to make a hotel booking.
The hotel’s reservations system is computerised today. It usually contains database technology that centralises the various details of hotel bookings, taking into account allocations and factoring in demand. When demand increases, the rates may be updated accordingly and hotel room and suite prices may also rise automatically. The hotel reservations system may also electronically send any new information about hotel prices to other sources such as travel agencies, and their own systems will be updated accordingly. The computerised hotel booking system often operates two ways, collating data on the most successful sales channels. So – for example – if a particularly successful hotel aggregator gets more reservations than any of its rivals, the hotel itself may be willing to lower its rates for that particular aggregator when negotiating future rights or a new contract over the presence of the hotel on the site.
Often, reservations systems in hotels will have a reporting system. This will spit out any number of regular reports that can be run on a daily or weekly basis or over any other regular time period. However, additional reports that could help to show – for example – where profits are highest within the hotel’s business. Among the reports that could appear daily include those that pertain to expected arrivals, for example. This means that the arrival of hotel guests may be welcomed with a personal touch of some kind, and improves customer service a great deal.
There may also be summaries that detail how successful hotel booking has been for the hotel on a given day. This is not central to customer service or impact on hotel guests, but it may in fact work in or against the hotel guest’s favour in terms of costs and charges and services provided by the hotel.
There may be patterns noted over the course of a similar monthly report, that a particular day of the week or a specific period of a given month is likely to enjoy higher bookings than others. This kind of reporting can be a very serviceable tool when it comes to expectations of business. For example, if booking for the Christmas period for a given year is high in November, the same may be expected the following year. If the tourism industry is going through a slump in November, the reservations system may be able to rely on matrices or algorithmic technology to predict how badly the hotel itself will fare. This is a central means by which the hotel can attempt to cut costs in order to stay profitable.
These automated and computerised processes may indeed impact on hotel booking prices – for example, hoteliers may feel the need to reduce or increase prices as their hotel is undergoing a slump or demand is particularly high.