Reservation System: Latest Trends in Reservation Systems

An effective reservation system has to employ the latest technology to allow hoteliers to gain a competitive advantage over their rivals and remain at the forefront of emerging trends, says Phil Benson.

Note: Read our top tips for your Central Reservation System (CRS) here.

There has been a continued increase in hotel bookings through the internet over the last few years and now mobile bookings, using devices like Smartphones, is beginning to take off in certain markets as today’s consumer becomes more comfortable with the internet, social media and ecommerce mobile technologies.

New Reservation System Technology

The advances in mobile technology and availability of broadband have made it easier to search for a hotel and book through an online reservation system. Although mobile applications are unlikely to revolutionise a hotels reservation system to the same extent that the internet did, it may have an impact on hotel revenue management and the concept of implementing price structures.

The majority of transactions will still be carried out using the internet, but Smartphones and other mobile technologies will play a pivotal marketing role as research using these devices is on the rise. Hotels must adapt their websites to respond to this development by adopting the use of booking engines and developing marketing strategies to include mobile technology.

“Generation Y grew up with these types of technologies and the Baby Boomers are embracing ecommerce and social media in ever increasing numbers,” said Trust International vice-president of sales Europe, Said Heinrich Kessler.

“As social media use explodes, guests are seeking customer reviews and validation from third party influencers, such as bloggers, as part of their decision making process. Many guests visit 11 websites before making their booking decision, so online content, including user generated content, is clearly influencing decisions.”

A Central Reservation System

Mobile booking is increasing, but this is just another important distribution channel to add to Global Distribution Systems (GDS), Internet Distribution Services (IDS) and other social media platforms. New booking channels are continually evolving and one system that has developed in recent years is a Central Reservation System (CRS), a tool used to reach the GDS and IDS with data from a single system.

Hoteliers use a CRS to manage their online marketing and sales, allowing them to upload their rates and availability for all sales channels. This eases the task of online distribution for hoteliers, as the CRS will do everything to disseminate hotel information to sales channels including traditional travel agencies and newer online agencies.

CRS can also offer a two-way interface, which allows the CRS database to exchange information and communicate with the Property Management System (PMS) at each hotel on that file.

This helps hoteliers to control all reservations that come from different sources in a single control system, distribute rooms favourably to different online channels and analyse the contribution each sales channel provides to revenue, identifying the most efficient ones.

This information can prove invaluable – especially in the current climate – to ensure a business is staying ahead of competitors and running as economically efficient as possible.

By Phil Benson

Note: Read our top tips for your Central Reservation System (CRS) here.


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