Within a relatively short timeframe, technology has quickly reshaped some of the hotel industry’s most essential functions. For example, look no further than direct booking. The fully automated digital process that travelers utilize today previously required various manual steps to complete each reservation. Here’s a quick look back at how independent hotels previously managed direct booking.
Phone calls and walk-ins
Booking a hotel room years ago required much more effort and guesswork than travelers and hotels experience today. Prior to the internet, travelers had to rely on travel agents or personally research hotels located in their destination and then call the front desk to inquire about availability, rates, etc. before completing their booking. In some cases, travelers simply walked into hotels to inquire about vacancy and rates after reaching their destination. For hotels, every booking inquiry had to be cross-referenced against their physical inventory ledger and reservations boards to confirm availability before they were able to accept new guests.
Email and “Contact Us” hotel website page
With the launch of the digital age, travelers and hotels began to move away from manual booking functions. Instead of phone calls and walk-ins, travelers began emailing hotels directly or through the “Contact us” page on their websites. With easier communication, as well as developments in booking software, hotels were able to streamline the time and effort needed to process and confirm reservations.
Online booking engine
The development of sophisticated hotel technology, specifically the online booking engine, completely changed the direct booking process by removing the guesswork for travelers and hotel operators. With real-time digital connectivity, hotels can offer travelers the ability to view availability, rates, rooms, etc., book a confirmed reservation, and complete payment all within minutes and without the manual assistance of hotel team members.
Mobile booking allows travelers to plan on the go and make “in the moment” travel decisions. Optimized to provide a high-quality user experience, mobile booking engines offer the same functions and features as traditional booking engines so travelers can confidently and easily book hotel rooms.
If your independent hotel’s online booking capabilities need a boost, let innRoad’s team of hotel technology experts help. Simply click here or call 1.855.INNROAD today.