Let us find your solution Best 10 Hotel Booking Engines 2021 | Find Reviews, Pricing, Buying Guide
Helping thousands of hoteliers make better buying decisions every month
Marriott
Denihan Hospitality Group
Fairmont
starwood
The Standard
Ace Hotel
Kimpton
Accor Hotels
Ace Hotel
Ace Hotel

What is a hotel booking engine? A hotel booking engine is essentially the shopping cart equivalent for a hotel website and it’s sole purpose is to drive and facilitate online bookings via a hotel's website (i.e. direct bookings). A good online booking engine is optimized for conversion by providing a seamless booking process where your guests can view rates and room types and complete a booking as simply as possible. An effective booking engine should map data directly into your property management system through a channel manager in real time. It should take credit card payments in PCI and P... Read the full Booking Engine software overview

10 Best Booking Engine

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Hoteliers voted Cloudbeds as the #1 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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Cloudbeds Booking Engine

HotelTech Logo score
HT SCORE
100 out of 100
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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Mybookings is Cloudbeds’ commission-free booking engine for your website and Facebook page. Our booking engine works for hotels, hostels, b&bs, vacation rentals, and more. We ma...

Geography: Regional
Geography: Global Verified Customer Support: Yes No
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2021 Winner HotelTechAwards
Hoteliers voted Cloudbeds as the #1 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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Hoteliers voted Bookassist as the #1 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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Bookassist

HotelTech Logo score
HT SCORE
99 out of 100
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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Bookassist is The Direct Booking Expert™, working with hotels to build their brand online, drive direct business to their branded website, capture bookings with world class book...

Geography: Regional
Geography: Global Verified Customer Support: Yes No
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Hoteliers voted Bookassist as the #1 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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2021 Winner HotelTechAwards
Hoteliers voted SiteMinder as the #1 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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SiteMinder Booking Engine

HotelTech Logo score
HT SCORE
98 out of 100
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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SiteMinder’s intuitive booking engine is designed from the ground up to optimise every step of the direct hotel booking experience - from attracting travellers to converting the...

Geography: Regional
Geography: Global Verified Customer Support: Yes No
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Hoteliers voted SiteMinder as the #1 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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Hoteliers voted Avvio as the #1 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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Avvio - Booking Engine

HotelTech Logo score
HT SCORE
95 out of 100
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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Avvio works with hotels and accommodation providers - from boutique independents to luxury global accommodation brands - to enable them to engage effectively and intuitively with ...

Geography: Regional
Geography: Global Verified Customer Support: Yes No
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Hoteliers voted Avvio as the #1 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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Hoteliers voted Net Affinity as the #1 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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Net Affinity (Booking Engine)

HotelTech Logo score
HT SCORE
95 out of 100
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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Our booking engine is built for the independent hotel. We keep the guest's experience top of mind, integrating cutting-edge conversion optimisation technology into the booking en...

Geography: Regional
Geography: Global Verified Customer Support: Yes No
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2021 Winner HotelTechAwards
Hoteliers voted Net Affinity as the #1 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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2021 Winner HotelTechAwards
Hoteliers voted Profitroom as the #1 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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Profitroom Booking Engine

HotelTech Logo score
HT SCORE
92 out of 100
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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Profitroom Booking Engine is a booking system that guarantees an increase in direct bookings. It makes it possible for rooms, offers, and packages to be sold directly through the ...

Geography: Regional
Geography: Global Verified Customer Support: Yes No
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2021 Winner HotelTechAwards
Hoteliers voted Profitroom as the #1 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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2021 Winner HotelTechAwards
Hoteliers voted D-Edge as the #1 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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D-EDGE - Booking Engine

HotelTech Logo score
HT SCORE
90 out of 100
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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Our booking engine is made to maximise direct bookings. Your hotel's website should be your most profitable sales channel. Our booking engine will boost your conversion rate and t...

Geography: Regional
Geography: Global Verified Customer Support: Yes No
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2021 Winner HotelTechAwards
Hoteliers voted D-Edge as the #1 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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2021 Winner HotelTechAwards
Hoteliers voted Mews as the #1 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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Mews Booking Engine

HotelTech Logo score
HT SCORE
85 out of 100
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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Drive direct bookings and reduce website abandonment by giving guests a simple, effortless booking experience. The ready-made Mews Booking Engine works as both a widget and a stan...

Geography: Regional
Geography: Global Verified Customer Support: Yes No
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Hoteliers voted Mews as the #1 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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2021 Winner HotelTechAwards
Hoteliers voted RoomRaccoon as the #1 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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Booking Engine by RoomRaccoon

HotelTech Logo score
HT SCORE
84 out of 100
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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RoomRaccoon All-in-one Hotel Management System includes a beautiful Booking Engine. A booking engine is an essential tool for your website in order to receive direct bookings. Sta...

Geography: Regional
Geography: Global Verified Customer Support: Yes No
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2021 Winner HotelTechAwards
Hoteliers voted RoomRaccoon as the #1 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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2021 Winner HotelTechAwards
Hoteliers voted Simplotel as the #1 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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Simplotel Booking Engine

HotelTech Logo score
HT SCORE
82 out of 100
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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Trusted by 2000+ hotels, Simplotel's Booking Engine that completely matches your website design has successfully helped hotels of all sizes in increasing their direct bookings. Wi...

Geography: Regional
Geography: Global Verified Customer Support: Yes No
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Hoteliers voted Simplotel as the #1 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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Recent Booking Engine Articles

How Does Hotel Booking Software Work?

by
Hotel Tech Report
6 months ago

The growth in technology tools for hotels has complicated life for hoteliers. While it has always been important to bring potential guests into the conversion funnel, there are now many ways to both capture and convert lookers to bookers. When considering the different ways to bring prospects into your hotel’s funnel, it can be helpful to start with the goal and then look at technologies that accomplish that goal. This approach differs from other common vendor evaluation processes in one key way: it puts the goal first rather than the category. Generally speaking you always want to start closest to the conversion event and work your way higher and higher in the purchase funnel.  This means that you should start by analyzing your hotel's booking software to make sure that you don't have leakage (i.e. low conversion rates).  Next you'll analyze your website and direct channel and lastly you'll explore ways to bring more visitors into that funnel once you've sealed up any holes. In this method, we advise analyzing data across your business from channel mix to conversion rates to identify problem areas.  Once you've identified these problems, prioritize starting at the bottom of the funnel and work your way up.  We'll then explore the tools that can help solve each of these problems (hint: some tools may solve the same problem in completely different categories).  We'll start by clearly explaining the different types of hotel booking software.  We'll then outline the four main objectives of any hotel marketing strategy, we'll then dive into which software categories and providers can help shore up issues within each objective. With an increasing number of guests choosing online booking - up to 80% of guests under the age of 30 - a well-informed hotelier should have a solid understanding of the hotel booking software landscape. The term “hotel booking software” can refer to a few different types of software, which can be confusing for hoteliers who might not work in the technology space on a regular basis. In this article, we’ll introduce you to the five main categories of hotel booking software: OTAs, Central Reservations Systems (CRS), booking engines, channel managers, and property management systems (PMS). By the end of this blog post, you’ll know the ins and outs of each so you can maximize your property’s online reach and make the right technology decisions for your hotel.   Central Reservations System: Manage Rates & Inventory It’s a good rule of thumb to diversify your mix of reservation channels, so most hotels don’t rely solely on OTA bookings. Large hotels and chain hotels often use central reservation systems (CRSs) to manage bookings made through their own reservations teams. CRSs allow various reservations agents to view real-time rates and availability and create, edit, or cancel reservations in one centralized system. A hotel wouldn’t use a central reservations system alone, though. The CRS would receive rates from a revenue management system, exchange availability data and reservation details with a property management system, and possibly also integrate with a channel manager to distribute inventory to third-party channels like OTAs or the GDS. CRSs deliver the most benefit to hotels with reservations teams or which are part of a brand or chain with off-site reservations offices.   Booking Engine: Drive Direct Bookings Besides booking through reservations staff, guests can also make reservations on hotels’ own websites - but in order for that to be possible, the hotel website needs a booking system to sell hotel rooms called a booking engine. Hotel booking engines display real-time rates and availability, house the booking process and gathering of guest details, and integrate the confirmed reservations with the hotel’s property management system or hotel management system. Some property management systems include integrated booking engines, and some hotel-specific website builders also come with booking engine capability. But even if your existing tech stack includes a built-in booking engine, it’s worth doing some extra research to find the most user-friendly booking engine. Glitches or slow loading speeds can make guests change their mind about booking at your hotel, and, on the flip side, a great booking engine with upselling and customization capabilities can increase your conversion rate and your RevPAR.   Channel Manager: Facilitate Bookings on 3rd Parties Direct reservations - whether through a reservations agent or your hotel’s website - usually don’t lead to a full house every night. A savvy hotelier leverages third-party channels to maximize online exposure and develop varied segments of guests. In order to work with third-party channels most efficiently, hotels use channel management software. Channel managers often support connections to hundreds of third-party sites that range from big OTAs (Booking.com and Expedia) to smaller niche sites (HostelWorld and Mr & Mrs Smith) and wholesalers (Hotelbeds). Manually updating rates and availability on hundreds of sites is impossible, so a channel manager makes it easy to keep all of your distribution channels accurate and up-to-date. Some property management systems include integrated channel management functionality; if not, be sure to choose a channel manager that supports integration with your PMS so reservations can sync seamlessly.   Property Management Systems: From Hotel Bookings to Guest Experience Management A property management system is at the core of your hotel tech stack. It houses all of your reservations, guest profiles, billing information, room statuses, and more. Small hotels often opt for a combined PMS with a channel manager and booking engine referred to as hotel management system.  This helps to streamline hotel operations in a simple and easy to use management solution and reservation software combined - which can be more cost-effective.  Nearly all hotel departments use the PMS on a daily basis: front desk agents check-in guests, housekeeping teams learn which rooms need to be cleaned, finance teams manage billing, leadership teams look at reporting and trends. Without any booking engine or channel management capabilities, a PMS is only considered hotel booking software if we think about reservations booked manually by hotel staff. But most PMSs include modules for additional functions; some PMSs even include CRS, channel management, and booking engine functionality. If your hotel uses a PMS that connects directly to OTAs and has integrated an CRS, channel manager, and booking engine, that PMS might be the only system you need.   Online Travel Agencies (OTA): 3rd Party Booking Extranets Out of all those reservations booked online, many of them come through online travel agents or OTAs.  The smallest hotels and guest houses (under 10 rooms) often lack direct bookings in their channel mix at all while major hotel chains command a larger share relative to the OTAs. You can think of these digital marketplaces as an Amazon for travel; travelers can use various criteria to search through available hotels, flights, rental cars, and more, then complete the booking process through that marketplace platform.  Guests often choose OTAs due to the perception of better pricing on travel products and streamlined package offerings which help to automate a lot of the itinerary management processes. OTAs offer significant benefits to guests, such as loyalty programs, credibility, and the convenience of having all the available options at your fingertips. Guests complete their booking on the OTA and receive a confirmation from the OTA, at which point the OTA sends a notification to the hotel with the reservation details. Those reservation details integrate with the hotel’s property management system or travel to the property management system via a channel manager - more on that later! For hoteliers, OTAs also deliver plenty of benefits. OTAs give hotels visibility among massive audiences (Booking.com receives well over 200 million monthly visits, for example) and access to marketing channels that would be cost-prohibitive if the hotel tried to get similar reach independently. Many hotels also experience the “billboard effect,” in which travelers find a hotel they like on an OTA, and then they search for that hotel’s direct website to complete their booking. However, all this marketing exposure comes at a cost; most OTAs charge commissions between 15% and 20% on each confirmed reservation.     Goal #1: Optimize Website & Hotel Booking Software Conversion When it comes to getting more direct bookings, it’s all about the hotel website (and booking software or IBE). After all, a hotel with a buggy website and poor user flow will scare off many potential guests who seek a trustworthy booking experience. Direct booking tools promise growth in direct bookings by increasing conversions on a hotel’s website through price check tools, real-time guest messaging, smart segmentation, and pricing optimization. These direct booking tools offer a mix of capabilities, so it’s best to evaluate each according to how your hotel prioritizes direct bookings. Booking engines are a necessity for selling rooms directly. Without a modern and intuitive interface that’s optimized for conversion, guests will go elsewhere out of frustration or suspicion. Look for a booking engine or hotel booking software with real-time inventory updates; otherwise, you risk double booking across channels. Reputation management is more than just an operational tool: it’s also handy for marketing. Most hotel reputation management solutions have the ability to feature previous guest reviews on your website; doing so can dramatically boost your conversion rate. Virtual tours can help conversions. When potential guests consider a hotel, they want to be certain that the property is as advertised. Consider investing in a virtual tour to give guests piece of mind.   Goal #2: Drive More Traffic to Your Hotel Website With Paid & Social Once a website has been optimized for direct bookings and conversion, the next step is to entice more potential guests to it. There’s a blended approach to making this happen.   Content marketing is one of the most affordable ways to engage potential guests and to bring them to your website. With great content, you’ll have an engaging website to attract visitors, as well as plenty to post on social media. Be sure to make your content relevant to your guest profile. Social media is a challenging place but can deliver results when done right -- especially for distribution of the great content you’ve created! Social media is also a goldmine of consumer insights. Leveraging social media tools can bring you closer to your customers. Influencer marketing continues to be a growth area for hospitality marketers. Inviting influencers to experience the property, or paying them to post about the property, appeals to hotels looking to reach particular demographics. These influencer marketing tools should factor into the mix, helping identify the right influencers and tracking the success of your campaign. Digital marketing agencies are assets for those hotels that have enough budget to engage subject matter experts. Hotel digital marketing vendors use their experience across clients to build high-impact campaigns that can be quite intimidating to deploy solo.   Goal #3: Drive Retention and Return Visits According to research from Bain & Co., the company that invented the Net Promoter Score, increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%. Statistics aside, it really comes down to customer acquisition cost for hotels. With each booking channel taking a large commission for bringing in a guest, it can be extraordinarily lucrative to re-engage former guests. Loyalty programs are helpful assets to organize and track a comprehensive loyalty program for independents. The best technology will give you insights into your guest profiles, and help you craft the best offerings to each group.  Read our article reviewing independent loyalty programs to decide if this option is right for your hotel or properties. Email marketing is a critical piece of the loyalty puzzle. When evaluating email marketing tools, you want to be sure that it integrates with your existing loyalty program and hotel CRM tools.   Goal #4: Develop a Well Balanced Omni-Channel Distribution Mix Third-party websites and metasearch are important pieces of any hotel revenue management strategy. As part of a cohesive approach that includes direct bookings, wholesale, and groups, these channels are valuable tools to shore up low demand periods and achieve overall revenue targets. Metasearch and ad tech bring advanced reporting, bidding and inventory management to your third-party distribution strategy. These metasearch tools help hoteliers wrangle the complex web of metasearch campaigns, as well as integrating in real-time with existing systems to maximize profitable bookings without overbooking. Review management software performs a critical function: it monitors your hotel’s reviews for potential operational issues. Catching poor performance before it affects the guest experience means better reviews -- and a higher ranking in search results on OTAs and metasearch sites.   ** Want to get started today? Run an internal SWOT analysis for your hotel's marketing department to identify weaknesses and opportunities then use that analysis to inform where you invest resources.  Rather than comparing only direct booking tools to one another, for example, this process focuses on the desired outcome -- and then compares tools across categories that may help your hotel achieve that outcome. With this outcome-based approach, you'll have stronger odds of successfully matching with the correct vendor for a specific issue.   What else would you like to learn about hotel booking software? Let us know!

Hotel Tech Report Recognizes TravelClick for Top-Rated iHotelier® Booking Engine 4.0™ with 2018 HotelTechAward

by
Hotel Tech Report
2 years ago

February 12, 2018 – Hotel Tech Report, the premiere global research platform for hotel technology globally, announced today that it has named TravelClick, a leading global provider of data and revenue-generating solutions for hoteliers, as the recipient of a 2018 HotelTechAward for its top-rated iHotelier® Booking Engine 4.0™, based on data from thousands of hoteliers in more than 40 countries. Over 100 of the world’s elite hotel technology products competed for a chance to win this prestigious title.   “The booking engine is a critical component of any hotel’s direct booking ratio and channel profitability,” added Jordan Hollander, Hotel Tech Report co-founder. “What makes TravelClick’s Booking Engine 4.0 so unique is that it not only provides an intuitive, responsive user experience across all devices, but it also guides guests seamlessly through the booking path with interactive message displays and clear calls to action. It is truly a must-have for hoteliers to be successful.”   “This award is a testament to the significant investments that TravelClick has made in our recently relaunched iHotelier central reservations system,” said Curtis Brewer, Senior Vice President, Reservations and Web Solutions, TravelClick. “We’ve made it our mission to bring a next-generation e-commerce experience to hoteliers all over the globe so that they are better able to maximize direct bookings and recapture abandoned guests at the same time.”   A Brussels- based corporate Director of Distribution told Hotel Tech Report that “conversion rate results, aesthetics, flexibility of layout and functions, system support and the logic of the booking flow” separate TravelClick’s iHotelier from the pack.   Hotel Tech Report’s HotelTechAwards platform leverages real customer data to determine best-in-class products that help hoteliers to grow their bottom lines. To learn more, head to: https://hoteltechreport.com/company/ihotelier-by-travelclick/.   ### About Hotel Tech Report Hotel Tech Report (www.hoteltechreport.com) is the premiere global research platform for hotel technology globally. We help buyers save time identifying the best technology products to run their hotel properties by easily comparing vendors based on unbiased reviews from verified users. HotelTechReport's global community consists of hoteliers spanning 40+ countries with representation from every major hotel brand and thousands of independent hotels.  Our platform connects these hoteliers with hundreds of the world’s top hotel technology suppliers with billions of dollars in market capitalization. About TravelClick TravelClick offers innovative, cloud-based and data-driven solutions for hotels around the globe to maximize revenue. TravelClick enables over 38,000 hoteliers to drive better business decisions and know, acquire, convert and retain guests. The Company’s interconnected suite of solutions includes Business Intelligence, Reservations & Booking Engine, Media, Web & Video and Guest Management. As a trusted hotel partner with more than 30 years of industry experience, TravelClick operates in 176 countries, with local experts in 39 countries and 14 offices in New York, Atlanta, Barcelona, Bucharest, Chicago, Dubai, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Myrtle Beach, Orlando, Ottawa, Paris, Shanghai and Singapore. The Company also provides its hotel customers with access to a global network of over 600 travel-focused partners. Follow TravelClick on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Recent Booking Engine News & Community Updates

HotelRunner Selected as "Best Overall Performing Provider" by Booking.com

HotelRunner
1 month ago

The leading sales channel management platform and B2B network for the travel industry, HotelRunner has been awarded Best Overall Performing Provider by Booking.com, one of the world's leading digital travel companies, a very prestigious award within Booking.com's 2020 Connectivity Partner Achievement Awards 2020.  HotelRunner has long collaborated closely with Booking.com to increase the revenue of its property partners through digitalization. The partnership has seen HotelRunner crowned Premier Connectivity Partner for three consecutive years since its inception including 2021, Preferred IT Partner for four years before that, Top Connectivity Performer in 2018, and Connectivity Advisory Board Member for more than two years. Despite the many pandemic-related challenges facing the hospitality and tourism industries over the last year, HotelRunner has continued to achieve extraordinary success with Booking.com, offering operational, technological, financial, and educational support to ensure their accommodation partners remained connected, continued to develop their businesses, and invested in the future of their properties. HotelRunner exceeded every performance benchmark set, including quality of service delivered, agile support provided, increase in bookings via Booking.com, and the technology infrastructure required to integrate Booking.com APIs successfully in 2020. Eddy Veldhuizen, Director Connectivity Partnerships at Booking.com, said "The partnership programme is the foundation of how we want to collaborate with providers and what we expect them to deliver. The partnership programme has three levels, and we are delighted that HotelRunner has been at the highest level (the Premier partnership) for many years. This means that both Booking.com and our accommodation partners are working with the best of the best. This year, more than ever, we value the dedication and hard work of HotelRunner and are glad they are committed to growing together." Riza Kaynak, Director of Demand Partnerships at HotelRunner, said "Our long-standing partnership with Booking.com and the dedicated and hard work of both companies, especially during the pandemic, are very valuable to us. As HotelRunner, we are thrilled and proud to receive the Best Overall Performing Provider title within the scope of Connectivity Partner Achievement Awards 2020. With the common goal of maximizing the performance of our properties on Booking.com, we ensure that all necessary technology is developed, integrated with our platform, and made available affordably, and we increase the bookings and revenues of our properties by initiating the creation of new business and integration models. As we did during the pandemic, we will continue to work shoulder to shoulder for the success of our joint properties in the future. We look forward to making a difference in the travel technology industry and reaching outstanding achievements together with Booking.com in 2021." Aiming to bring together the right property with the right guest audience in the right market and increase the revenues of the accommodation properties on its platform exponentially with every innovation it undertakes, HotelRunner continues to lead the industry thanks to its successful strategic partnership with Booking.com. As a result, they serve as the pioneers of the industry in terms of connectivity experience, powerful technology, and innovation. HotelRunner, which has more than 41,000 accommodation partners from 193 countries of all types and sizes including boutique hotels, chain and resort hotels, bed and breakfasts, bungalows, and villas, will continue to increase the revenues and performances of its joint properties and the newly acquired ones. The company will cooperate closely with Booking.com to make sure the accommodations get the most out of this partnership in the upcoming period. Hosting more than 50 million transactions a day, offering an end-to-end platform to the entire world with dozens of different products and services, and working to offer new markets to both property and agency partners with strategic partnerships, HotelRunner will continue to lead the industry globally with innovative products and features and new acquisitions, which will be announced in the upcoming period.

HotelRunner Recognized as Top Connectivity Provider by Expedia Group

HotelRunner
1 month ago

The Expedia Group Connectivity Partner Program recognizes and rewards top connectivity providers for maintaining high-quality software connections and helping lodging partners grow their business on the Expedia Group platform. HotelRunner, the leading sales channel management platform and B2B network, today announced their status as an Elite Connectivity Partner, the highest designation available in Expedia Group's Connectivity Partner Program. The Expedia Group Connectivity Partner Program recognizes and rewards top connectivity providers – including channel managers, property management systems, central reservation systems, and other vendors – for maintaining high-quality connections and helping lodging properties grow their business on the Expedia Group marketplace. The Elite Connectivity Partner designation is awarded to an exclusive group of top-performing Expedia Group lodging connectivity providers, including HotelRunner, who offer the highest-quality software connection to the Expedia Group marketplace and comprehensive functionality. To be eligible for Elite status, Expedia Group connectivity providers are rated on several technical and performance criteria to ensure they: ● Enable a wide range of tools and capabilities in the Expedia Group marketplace. ● Provide a quality Expedia Group connection with a reliable user experience. ● Streamline the Expedia Group onboarding experience with high-quality support for properties. ● Maintain a strong portfolio of high-performing properties in the Expedia Group marketplace. “Our Elite Connectivity Partners are leaders in the industry, demonstrated by their innovative technology, efforts to ensure their customers perform on our platform, and clear understanding of traveler needs,” said Lisa Chen, Vice President, Global Lodging Connectivity & Solutions at Expedia Group. “By choosing to work with HotelRunner, an Elite Connectivity Partner, lodging property managers can be confident in a high-quality connection that will empower them to perform at their best in the Expedia Group marketplace.”   Ali Beklen, Founder and Managing Partner at HotelRunner said, “We have a strong and constantly growing partnership with the Expedia Group. On our way to achieving the Elite Connectivity Partner status, we have connected thousands of new properties to the Expedia Group, and we have worked together intensively to ensure that our existing properties benefit from this partnership in the best and most beneficial way possible for them. We are delighted that HotelRunner's state-of-the-art technology and dedicated team have been awarded by the Expedia Group worldwide. We look forward to the new era of our partnership." As a part of its designation, HotelRunner will work together with the Expedia Group on the new tools and features, also piloting and integrating these into their platform. HotelRunner team will also work directly with Expedia Group’s leadership team, providing feedback and helping shape future products and technology solutions.   ABOUT EXPEDIA GROUP Expedia Group, Inc. companies power travel for everyone, everywhere through our global platform. Driven by the core belief that travel is a force for good, we help people experience the world in new ways and build lasting connections. We provide industry-leading technology solutions to fuel partner growth and success, while facilitating memorable experiences for travelers. The Expedia Group family of brands includes: Expedia®, Hotels.com®, Expedia® Partner Solutions, Vrbo®, Egencia®, trivago®, Orbitz®, Travelocity®, Hotwire®, Wotif®, ebookers®, CheapTickets®, Expedia Group™, Media Solutions, Expedia Local Expert®, CarRentals.com™, and Expedia Cruises™.

It’s Voucher Season – Don’t Miss this Critical Revenue

Bookassist
6 months ago

The season peaks in December with many hotels generating up to 80% of their total voucher revenue over the Christmas period. And in the current market with extraordinary pent-up demand, there’s never been a bigger opportunity. Future peak dates include Mothers’ day and Valentine’s day, both of which fall in the first quarter of 2021 so now is the right time to get set up for voucher sales.  Take advantage of the spike in online shopping trends The fight for consumer spend has moved decisively online. The pandemic we are living through has clearly accelerated the switch to online and has also led to more people shopping online for the very first time.   Businesses too expect to do more sales online with 80% expecting to purchase more online post-pandemic than they did before the pandemic. It’s clear that now, more so than ever, people are primed to buy online. Start generating cash flow for your hotel now! Vouchers provide essential cash flow even when hotels are still closed to guests. Gift vouchers should be used to sell the full range of products and services offered, from overnight stays to spa services and restaurant visits. Vouchers –  the gift of flexibility Vouchers allow people to dream now and stay later, with the flexibility of making a booking only when they are ready to do so. People are clearly eager to travel again once it is safe to do so, and that pent-up demand will likely lead to an explosion of travel, especially local travel.    Hotel gift vouchers give everyone that special something to look forward to. And with cash vouchers now valid for longer in many countries (5 years in Ireland) it’s a great time to be the recipient of a gift voucher. 10 tips for voucher sales success 1. Top of the list has to be risk reduction. In this climate of uncertainty you really need to reassure your customers and reduce any risk for voucher purchases.   2. Create a dedicated landing page for vouchers. This page will grow organic authority over time. Promote all of your vouchers on this page and entice guests to buy a voucher. Build up a segment of people who are interested in voucher offers by including a sign up form. Here’s a few great voucher landing page examples:   3. Invest advertising budget to promote your vouchers through PPC and retargeting campaigns. 4. Get your targeting right. You must be relevant to the audience you’re targeting, so give it thought. Target the domestic market with relevant packages, target people who have bought vouchers for your hotel in the past and target previous satisfied domestic guests and people you have used your services (spa, restaurant etc.) via a direct newsletter. Target your local community, they want to support local businesses. These people know your hotel and are more likely to purchase vouchers for friends, colleagues or family members.  5. Social media is key to promoting positive WOM (word of mouth). Push your voucher offers on all of your social platforms, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin etc. Consider targeted and localised advertising to make sure you are reaching the right people. Think about launching a competition to promote your vouchers: Gift vouchers make a great prize! 6. Avail of psychology tactics to create a sense of urgency, FOMO (fear of missing out) and social proofing. The first 100 customers get a special deal of €X. Special offer on vouchers just for the month of November. X hours or X days to avail of an offer –  (countdown timers work well in creating urgency in buyers). X number of local companies have bought vouchers for their staff for this hotel.  €X value voucher for a cost of €X-20%. Rather than discounting you could instead offer added value. Add in house credit as an incentive. The more they spend the more in house credit they have to spend. 7. Push vouchers for Black Friday and Cyber Monday this November People are already searching for deals so it’s good timing to offer a discount on cash vouchers or additional perks on package vouchers as an additional incentive.    8. Encourage your customers to get Christmas sorted in one easy transaction. Bookassist’s voucher solution allows customers to purchase several vouchers in a single transaction and each voucher can be sent to a different recipient at the same time. How about suggesting to your corporate clients that they give the gift of a hotel voucher to staff in lieu of a Christmas party and at the same time support their local community? And how about suggesting to your domestic leisure guests that they plan a reunion with family members? They could buy a voucher for each other and then book out a floor for additional safety.  Be sure to remind your corporate clients of any tax free incentives that may exist to purchase gift vouchers.   9. Be creative in your set up of package vouchers to promote all of your services, rooms, restaurant, spa, club membership etc. Remember you need to be relevant and that means appealing to the domestic market right now. Team up with local businesses to offer a unique experience. Increase the relevance of your offers and share the marketing effort. Everyone wants to support their local community.   10. Finally, you really should embrace vouchers as part of your overall sales and customer loyalty strategy. Reward loyal customers with the gift of a voucher and incentivise potential customers to spend more by incentivising them with a gift to receive a gift voucher for additional hotel credit. A little gift can go a long way!    Don’t miss this critical revenue opportunity. Start promoting your vouchers today.    Not yet set up to sell online vouchers? Contact us to find out more.

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Booking Engine Category Overview

What is a hotel booking engine?

A hotel booking engine is essentially the shopping cart equivalent for a hotel website and it’s sole purpose is to drive and facilitate online bookings via a hotel's website (i.e. direct bookings). A good online booking engine is optimized for conversion by providing a seamless booking process where your guests can view rates and room types and complete a booking as simply as possible. An effective booking engine should map data directly into your property management system through a channel manager in real time. It should take credit card payments in PCI and PSD2 compliant ways by integrating with a payment gateway.

Read our article: What is a Hotel Booking Engine? for more detail

 

How can a booking engine improve profitability and efficiency?

  • Increase Direct Revenue: Using a Booking Engine can result in an uplift in direct bookings through your own website. This brings many benefits, the most significant being a decrease in the cost of acquisition per booking. 
  • Efficient Management & Distribution: Using an integrated booking engine ( which integrates with PMS & Channel Manager) can reduce the time management required to update multiple platforms, eliminates the need to manually input bookings into your PMS system and allows you to control your inventory distribution. 
  • Smarter insights: Access to Booking Data, allowing you to better understand your guests, what and how they like to book along with data to better improve your product offering in line with the customer’s needs.

 

What are the metrics that I can use to convince ownership that we should invest in a new hotel booking engine?

  • Direct Booking - OTA ratio Before signing on with a new IBE provider make sure you have data on your ratio of direct bookings - OTA bookings. Track success by trying to hold as many other variables constant and watching the change.
  • Booking engine conversion rate: Ultimately the best measure of success is knowing how many people came to the booking engine and of those, how many ended up booking rooms. When switching providers, this is a true test of success. 
  • Time to completion: Go into your local coffee shop and offer to buy people coffee for completing a quick task. Request that they go on your hotel website and tell them to book a specific room type on a specific date. Time them from start to stop then ask them how easy it was to book. Repeat this for 20-30 people for maximum results and take diligent notes.  This is similar to how you want to improve the guest experience on property by shortening the time required to check-in.  Online reservations through your booking system are no different, a great guest experience means a great booking experience and that your guests can make a hotel reservation without hassle.  Your reservation system is the first touch point in the guest journey so it's critical that the relationship starts off on the right foot.

 

What are the most important features of a booking engine?

  • Channel Manager Integration: To ensure that your room inventory across all of your online channels is automatically updated and to prevent issues like overbooking, it’s vital that your booking engine integrates with your channel manager.  When a room is booked via an online travel agent you'll want to ensure that it isn't still available on your direct channel. What is a channel manager?
  • Mobile Booking & Social Media Compatibility: It is absolutely essential that your booking engine works seamlessly on mobile and is compatible with the social media websites that your hotel is listed on. 
  • Data Collection: Your booking engine should provide you with transparent, in-depth insights that will allow you to find demand and booking patterns. Google Analytics isn't robust enough and your booking engine should collect actionable data that passes through to your CRS.
  • Flexible to Your Hotels Needs: Does the booking engine display the languages and currency that your guests are familiar with? Does it provide online voucher redemption or does it offer wedding and corporate booking modules? These are some questions to determine if the booking engine is flexible to your hotel’s needs.  While you shouldn't demand a fully customizable booking engine, you should be able to make it fit the look and feel of your hotel website for consistency.
  • Set up, Service & Support: Perhaps the most important point of all is service i.e. how you are looked after by your provider. What is their set up, ongoing support and training like? Do they make you feel special? Is your business important to them?
  • Commission-free bookings: It's okay to pay a fee for bookings that come through third party distribution channels like Expedia and TripAdvisor but you shouldn't have to pay for ones that come directly through your own hotel reservation system, it should be zero commission.  For independent hotels your booking engine should drive your most profitable bookings.
  • Promotions and real time optimization: The best booking engines today leverage machine learning to deliver targeted promotions based on web visitor behavior that ultimately streamline the reservation process.  They leverage promo codes to target based on geography and web traffic origination source, etc.  Many booking engines in the hospitality industry today even allow special offers like e-commerce platforms where hoteliers can offer upsells and add-ons to a booking.  These next gen all-in-one IBEs deliver incredible user experience and make it extremely easy for guests to see exactly what the benefits are of various room rates. This is where you can excel in your direct sales channel when competing with OTAs .
  • True partnership: a great hotel booking system provider is more than a "vendor", they'll be the coach that bridges the gap between hotel managers, hotel operations teams and the world of data, analytics and UX design to help you succeed.  These best of breed partners act as an extension of the team for accommodation providers they work with.

 

What makes a great hotel booking engine?

Hotel management takes constant iteration and improvement to succeed due to the hyper competitive nature of the business.  The best booking software and hotel technology providers are also iterating which over time leads to better performance.  Load speed is one of the most critical factors when considering a booking engine as it has an extremely high correlation to conversion rates.  Additionally, mobile is increasingly important each year and it’s where guest in many markets prefer to book.  If your mobile experience is poor, expect them to book on an OTA.  Also expect your PPC (e.g. Google AdWords) campaigns to be less effective.  Optimization features allow for personalized offers and tactics similar to what you see on OTAs.  Things like dynamic pricing, geo-targeting, integrated rate match and rooms remaining widgets materially increase conversion.

 

What is the typical pricing for a hotel booking engine?

Most booking engines and hotel reservation software today are commission-free and run on a subscription (SaaS) model.  After all, you shouldn't have to pay a commission on bookings through your direct channel; however, some smaller properties like guesthouses and vacation rentals opt for this model to offset expenses slow months.

 

How long does it usually take for a hotel to implement new a booking engine?

Implementation timelines depend on the provider you decide to work with. A Cloud based online booking system can be set up very quickly, so the implementation time is often determined by how much resources the hotel can allocate to the project. Other tasks that often need to be completed during the set up phase: 

  • Domain setup - your IT company will need to assist with this 
  • Search Box needs to be added to your website - Depending on who hosts your website, either your new provider or hosting company can do this for you. 
  • Training - Often this is completed via online mediums and resources centers Connectivity of existing channel manager / payment systems
  • Population of hotel profile and inventory

 

How do I know when it’s time for my hotel to move onto new a booking engine?

Compare the average to your current hotel booking system provider and calculate the change in booking volume holding all else equal.  This can help in projecting ROI.  If your booking engine doesn’t have seamless connectivity with your PMS, CRS and Channel Manager it is likely to have material limitations.  That’s not a deal breaker but make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into.

 

For info on hotel booking engine trends, questions that you should ask vendors and more download the 2021 Hoteliers Guide to Booking Engines

 

FAQ

What is the best hotel booking engine?

According to HotelTechReport’s rankings, which are based on real user reviews and software specs, the best hotel booking engine is Cloudbeds, which was voted #1 at the 2021 HotelTechAwards. Other top booking engines include Bookassist, SiteMinder, NetAffinity, and AvvioSabre Synxis and TravelClick's iHotelier are also popular hotel booking systems.

 

How do you make a hotel booking engine?

Making a hotel booking engine can require significant engineering work; a connection between your property management system must be created to feed rates and availability to the booking engine, and the booking engine must be able to feed reservation details back into your PMS. Although you’ll need ample resources to build a proprietary booking engine, you’ll be able to fully tailor it to your needs.

 

How do hotel booking systems work?

A hotel booking system, or booking engine, is the software that allows guests to make reservations on the hotel’s own website (direct reservations). A great hotel booking system should make the reservation process quick and easy with a beautiful user interface, accurate rates and availability, and integrated payment processing.

 

What is the distinction between channel manager and booking engine?

A booking engine allows travelers to reserve hotel rooms on your hotel’s website. A channel manager feeds your hotel’s rates and inventory to third-party distribution channels, like Booking.com and Expedia, then synchronizes reservations from those channels into your hotel’s property management system.