These days travel is being sold over the internet than any other consumer product. The internet booking system is said to be the fastest growing segment of hotel bookings owing to the internet being a perfect medium for selling travel as it enables you to fetch a vast growing network of suppliers and a wide pool of diverse customers to a centralised market place.
In fact, the travel market place is a global area where billions of buyers, be it the public or end user or travel agents come forward looking for travel services and its sellers.
Nevertheless, any argument of internet being used as a distribution channel for travel needs to begin with an understanding of presently available electronic available infrastructure – the global distribution system that we all comfortably know as GDS.
GDS have been actually among the first e-commerce companies in the world to facilitate B2B e-commerce in the md 70s. The technology has evolved since then beyond ones imaginations. Even though technology has offered the hoteliers numerous ways to sell a room, it seems to be nearly impossible for a hotel operator to understand, forget intelligently manage the available channels for selling those rooms. In fact, there are several average small hotels that have tie ups with these software but most likely be showing out of date rates and incorrect availability of rooms.
Communicating and coordinating with all these channels in order to keep them updated with right inventory and correct prices needs daily manual intervention and phone calls to start off. Also, verifying the accuracy of these channel’s rates and availability is important but rarely automated. Most of the times the hotel operators do not even know where or how the rooms are being sold or at what rate until they get a booking confirmation.
The tangled wires of reservation systems are not likely to be detangled anytime soon. But for easy accessibility of hotel reservations on the internet, many hotel websites have started using their own reservation systems. But unfortunately, many operators of small to medium sized hotels are far from realising the true potential that internet can offer to their business and still accept bookings through fax, form and telephone.
So, hotels looking forward to boost their room sales intelligently, improve margins and maintain a reputed brand identity in the face of online distribution who would happily turn the hotel rooms into the lowest price commodity should consider integrating a real time reservation system in their website for the ultimate benefit of their visitors as well as the hotel.
Since commodities tend to look and taste the same, would visitors want a box that they will rent if the price is right or a room experience they would like to visit again and again.