The emergence of electronic media and World Wide Web is making the world a global village. Making a hotel reservation years ago was done through travel agents or visiting the hotel personally to make the reservation. Hotel reservation websites have made making a room reservation easy, time-saving and convenient.
The internet has a great influence on the tourism, travel and hotel industry. People nowadays plan for vacations and search for the available accommodation facilities through the internet.
The most important things to consider while choosing the appropriate hotel accommodation is the price of the hotel and its location. Many hotel search engines sort the search results by price. This helps you easily identify the hotel that charges the best price considering your budget.
The hotel location is important because you can choose the hotel that is located in a point of interest .The internet provide sample information about the hotels available around the suggested destination such as the facilities and the amenities available at the hotel. Therefore, travelers compare the different hotels available and choose the one that has the best hotel room deals. They then book a hotel room over the internet in the hotel chosen.
Online Hotel Booking Engines
are websites that help you to book a hotel room via the internet. Most of the hotels have an online booking system that allows customers book a hotel room online. This helps the customers avoid the trouble of traveling to the hotel to book a room.
Advantages of an online hotel booking engine
1. It has made booking a hotel room easy and convenient. Customers can search their preferred hotel room through the hotel search engine and book the room at the comfort of their home. Good hotel booking engines attract many customers.
2. The hotel makes more profits through online hotel booking engine. This is because, if a hotel does not have an online booking engine, their customers will have to book through travel agents who tend to charge the customers more. The hotel also has to pay some fee to the travel agents as a commission and this reduces profits made by the hotel.
3. The online hotel booking engine displays the true and accurate information about the hotel rooms. Therefore, the information you get on the website about a hotel room is the true information. However, if a hotel room is already booked, information about the room will not be displayed.
4. You can do other reservations through hotel booking engines apart from booking a hotel room. Travelers can also make reservations for spa services through the same hotel booking engines.
5. It increases the direct sales of the hotel. Booking through hotels website without the involvement of a third party is less expensive hence attracts more customers leading to increased sales.
Online Travel Agencies
Online Travel Agencies (OTAs). These are web based online reservation systems that assist travelers to book hotel, airline or car rental reservations.
Some of the best OTAs are:
This is an ideal travel agent if you are looking for a budget hotel and less expensive family hotels. You can also find hostels and campgrounds through this travel agent. However, it lists more hostels and camping grounds than hotels, therefore, there are not many options provided.
Booking.com is one of the best and well known Online Travel Agency. Booking.com concentrates majorly in hotel accommodations. It is easy and convenient booking a hotel room with Booking.com, as you just enter your desired destination and traveling dates, and the results are displayed. You can choose to filter the search results by using the filtering tools on their websites.
Once you find the preferred hotel, you click on it to view more information about their hotel rooms and you can book straight away. Booking.com also have a mobile application that you can use on your mobile phone to make a hotel reservation.
If you are planning to travel to Asia, Agoda.com is the best option. It provides certain prices on hotels in Asia with most prices being the lowest prices. The main limitation of Agoda.com is that it provides lesser results outside of Asia than other OTAs.
is another Online Travel Agency that can assist you to find and book a hotel room online. They offer great discounts hence you can save a lot of money on your hotel room if you book through them. They also have customer loyalty programs that rewards their regular customers.
Hotels.com also offer for travelers looking for accommodation last minute. They have a mobile application that you can use to search and book hotels conveniently using your mobile phone.
Benefits of using OTAs
1. Extensive hotels and hotel room’s databases. OTAs give a wide range of hotel and hotel rooms giving you a wide range to choose from. You can compare the different hotel rooms provided and choose the one that best suits your accommodation needs
2. Discounted price. Most hotel booking websites give the lowest prices and special offers to customers making reservations through them.
3. Guest reviews. These help the customer have an insight of how the hotel is like by reading what other previous customers felt about the hotel.
The best online hotel booking sites should provide you with:
• Sorting features. For instance, you can sort your search by amenities provided, price, star rating and location of the hotel and choose the hotel that suits your specifications
• Details of the hotel. The online hotel booking sites should help you identify the star rating of the hotel, the location of the hotel and the services provided at the hotel
• The booking process. Online hotel booking sites should help you understand the process of making a room reservation at the specified hotel.
• The best online hotel booking websites will give you a clear picture of the hotel that you are looking for. It will provide you with full information about the hotel rating, the amenities available and the images of the rooms.