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

Hide add-on products
Info
Add-on products are ones that must be purchased with another product and aren’t available on their own.
Winner Badge
2021 Best Hotel Software
Hoteliers voted Cloudbeds as the #1 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
Learn more
Compare

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.
Learn more

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
Winner Badge
2021 Best Hotel Software
Hoteliers voted Cloudbeds as the #1 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
Learn more
Read Cloudbeds Reviews
Finalist Badge
2021 Finalist HotelTechAwards
Hoteliers voted SiteMinder as the #3 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
Learn more
Compare

SiteMinder Booking Engine

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.
Learn more

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
Finalist Badge
2021 Finalist HotelTechAwards
Hoteliers voted SiteMinder as the #3 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
Learn more
Read SiteMinder Reviews
Finalist Badge
2021 Finalist HotelTechAwards
Hoteliers voted Avvio as the #3 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
Learn more
Compare

Avvio - 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.
Learn more

Avvio have been pioneering innovation in hotel booking engine design and functionality since 2002. In 2017 Avvio created allora.ai, the world’s first AI booking engine, allora.a...

Geography: Regional
Geography: Global Verified Customer Support: Yes No
Finalist Badge
2021 Finalist HotelTechAwards
Hoteliers voted Avvio as the #3 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
Learn more
Read Avvio Reviews
Not sure which BOOKING ENGINE is right for your hotel?
Get free recommendations
Finalist Badge
2021 Finalist HotelTechAwards
Hoteliers voted Bookassist as the #3 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
Learn more
Compare

Bookassist

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.
Learn more

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
Finalist Badge
2021 Finalist HotelTechAwards
Hoteliers voted Bookassist as the #3 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
Learn more
Read Bookassist Reviews
Finalist Badge
2021 Finalist HotelTechAwards
Hoteliers voted Net Affinity as the #3 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
Learn more
Compare

Net Affinity (Booking Engine)

HotelTech Logo score
HT SCORE
96 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.
Learn more

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
Finalist Badge
2021 Finalist HotelTechAwards
Hoteliers voted Net Affinity as the #3 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
Learn more
Read Net Affinity Reviews
Finalist Badge
2021 Finalist HotelTechAwards
Hoteliers voted Profitroom as the #3 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
Learn more
Compare

Profitroom Booking Engine

HotelTech Logo score
HT SCORE
96 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.
Learn more

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
Finalist Badge
2021 Finalist HotelTechAwards
Hoteliers voted Profitroom as the #3 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
Learn more
Read Profitroom Reviews
Finalist Badge
2021 Finalist HotelTechAwards
Hoteliers voted Simplotel as the #3 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
Learn more
Compare

Simplotel Booking Engine

HotelTech Logo score
HT SCORE
93 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.
Learn more

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
Finalist Badge
2021 Finalist HotelTechAwards
Hoteliers voted Simplotel as the #3 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
Learn more
Read Simplotel Reviews
Finalist Badge
2021 Finalist HotelTechAwards
Hoteliers voted D-Edge as the #3 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
Learn more
Compare

D-EDGE - Booking Engine

HotelTech Logo score
HT SCORE
91 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.
Learn more

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
Finalist Badge
2021 Finalist HotelTechAwards
Hoteliers voted D-Edge as the #3 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
Learn more
Read D-Edge Reviews
Finalist Badge
2021 Finalist HotelTechAwards
Hoteliers voted innRoad as the #3 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
Learn more
Compare

innRoad Booking Engine

HotelTech Logo score
HT SCORE
87 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.
Learn more

Your Booking engine is the face of your property, innRoad helps make the best first impression with your potential guests.

Geography: Regional
Geography: Global Verified Customer Support: Yes No
Finalist Badge
2021 Finalist HotelTechAwards
Hoteliers voted innRoad as the #3 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
Learn more
Read innRoad Reviews
Finalist Badge
2021 Finalist HotelTechAwards
Hoteliers voted Mews as the #3 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
Learn more
Compare

Mews Booking Engine

HotelTech Logo score
HT SCORE
86 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.
Learn more

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
Finalist Badge
2021 Finalist HotelTechAwards
Hoteliers voted Mews as the #3 Booking Engine provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
Learn more
Read Mews Reviews
Load More

Recent Booking Engine Articles

How Does Hotel Booking Software Work?

by
Hotel Tech Report
9 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.

Load more

Recent Booking Engine News & Community Updates

Bookassist Booking Engine is 21 Years Young!

Bookassist
2 weeks ago

Time flies. After going live with our first hotel on August 8, 2000, we received the first booking late on the evening of August 11, 2000 – after 3 days of wondering nervously if there was indeed anyone out there on the internet looking for a hotel to book! How times have changed as that new-born baby eventually grew to adulthood. And I couldn’t be more proud. We always take the time every year to celebrate our “Szebesta Day” on August 11 as the real birthday of Bookassist, and my thanks to Dr Szebesta for continuing to graciously lend his name to the event! Milestones, birthdays, they are times for celebration. But also for reflection. After the last 18 months of unprecedented turbulence that we’ve all just lived through, I want to use this landmark event as an opportunity to firstly pay tribute to the wonderful staff at Bookassist, an incredibly dedicated and professional team and really great people, for continuing to stick with the dream and for staying focused on what we can bring to our hotel partners as the hospitality industry begins the road to recovery. I also want to personally express my gratitude to each and every one of our clients, many of whom have been through the toughest period of their professional lives, for sticking with us and for continuing to put their faith in the Bookassist team and their skills. We intend to be with you every step of the way toward recovery and future growth, and we promise we will keep delivering. Twenty one years ago there were few, if any, innovating in the direct booking space as Bookassist was. Twenty one years ago many hotels had no idea of the potential for direct booking and that they could be fully in control of their own online presence. Since that time we have continued to innovate with award-winning services, with web design accompanying our booking engine launch, followed by digital marketing services as old as Adwords itself, a first mover into mobile booking in 2010, GDS distribution, a pioneer in metasearch, and more recently our advanced Bookassist Intelligence platform. All focused on making bookings more profitable for hotels. At Bookassist we had from day one a singular belief that hotels would ultimately embrace direct booking and would eventually put it at the core of their business strategy. We believed we could make a difference. We believed that if we did our job well, and above all were always honest with our clients, we would survive and we would prosper. We still believe all those things, and indeed we are still here and stronger than ever. We are very proud to have played a part over the last two decades in pushing the hotel sector forward towards less dependence on intermediaries and stronger direct business. Here’s to the next 21. -- Dr Des O’Mahony, Co-founder and CEO of Bookassist

Cloudbeds Partners with Rakuten Travel Xchange to Extend Reach

Cloudbeds
1 month ago

Cloudbeds, the fastest growing hospitality management platform today, announced a partnership with Rakuten Travel Xchange, the hotel wholesale and travel technology division within the Rakuten Group. The collaboration connects Cloudbeds with Rakuten Travel, the highly ranked OTA in Japan, and 400+ B2B partners connected worldwide through API connections, travel agent portals, and websites. The unique and diverse distribution channels allow Cloudbeds to extend its reach to the extensive Rakuten Travel Xchange customer base through a single connection. In addition, Rakuten Travel Xchange adds the Cloudbeds inventory of properties that use its award-winning technology platform to manage all aspects of their business, from booking engines to payments. “We are always seeking high-value partners to complement our expanding platform, “says Anna Tsujihata, Head of Hotel Contracting and Connectivity, of Rakuten Travel Xchange. “With Cloudbeds now part of our global distribution platform, we expand our offerings to travelers seeking unique properties with superior guest experiences.” “As global travel reopens, we want our properties to be available to the largest customer base possible,” says Sebastian Leitner, VP of Partnerships for Cloudbeds. “By partnering with Rakuten Travel Xchange, a major global player and distribution channel in Japan; we significantly increase our global footprint. We are excited to partner with them.” The announcement comes as the pandemic wanes and travel demand is increasing. Since the beginning of the year, Rakuten Travel Xchange has seen bookings increase month after month, with strong demands coming from the United States and Mexico in particular. As restrictions have started to lift in other markets, travel in these geographies has followed similar trends. What is clear is that there is a large amount of pent-up demand. Rakuten Travel Xchange is seeing this demand in real-time across its global distribution network.   About Rakuten Travel Xchange Rakuten Travel Xchange is a hotel distribution service providing travel retailers around the world owned by the Rakuten Group, Inc., a global leader in Internet services. It enables accommodation partners to distribute their inventory through an extensive global distribution network that includes Rakuten Group’s branded sites, other online travel agents, wholesalers, airlines, app-only players, loyalty programs, and an assortment of offline retailers including travel agents and call center operators.

New SiteMinder Report Uncovers An Evolved German Traveller, Why It’s Essential Hotels Prepare

SiteMinder
1 month ago

A new report by SiteMinder, the world’s largest open hotel commerce platform, sheds light on an evolved German traveller with significantly more demands and higher expectations of the hotels where they stay. SiteMinder’s Changing Traveller Report 2021: Germany Edition, based on the survey responses of more than 900 Germany holidaymakers, has found that while the majority (58.04%) plan to travel as much or more than prior to Covid in the coming year, almost all (94.91%) now have the same or higher expectations of their accommodation provider. The findings follow SiteMinder’s announcement earlier this month that Germany’s hotel booking momentum had overtaken the global average on the World Hotel Index, for the first time in over 275 days to mark a welcomed step in the local sector's recovery. However, while growing enthusiasm for travel is positive news for a hospitality sector that supported 2.4 million jobs prior to the pandemic, SiteMinder says the findings also illustrate the need for local hoteliers to work smarter in order to meet the heightened standards of their customers. “Now is a critical time for accommodation providers to be elevating their offering, with higher booking volumes growing in parallel to an increase in customer needs,” says Clemens Fisch, Regional Director DACH & EMEA at SiteMinder. “When contemplating the future state of their business, hotel operators must consider their customers’ full experience, from the first touchpoint with their property, to the last. How seamless is it for them to book via the website? How are they checking in? How are they paying? And, importantly, how easy is it for them to recommend the property to their family and friends, after they leave? Hoteliers who lean on technology to help answer these questions, are those who will ultimately be rewarded through this period of recovery and beyond.” Positively for German accommodation providers, SiteMinder’s report points to the many travellers who support their personal data being used to better their stay. More than four-fifths of Germans (81.91%) are not opposed to their personal data being used to improve their visit, which SiteMinder says provides a further opportunity for hoteliers to meet the new level of standards that are now expected. “Increasingly, we are seeing the importance of personalised communications and experiences as a way of creating loyalty among our hotel customers,” says Fisch. “As hotel booking momentum increases locally, those businesses that have made the decision to take a step closer to their customers and analyse their personal data, to gain actionable insights, will win more business. Technology is an investment that will pay dividends.” The results largely mirror those of UK and Spanish travellers, where 96.74% and 98.15% respectively have the same or higher expectations of their accommodation provider, compared to prior to the pandemic. In those countries, 60.86% and 69.64% respectively plan to travel as much or more than prior to Covid, in the coming year.  

Load more

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.