The internet has made the world a smaller place. For hoteliers, the online world is abuzz with opportunities. But, this welcome disruption doesn’t come without its own set of challenges and – luckily – handy technology solutions. Hotelogix’s Kashmira Lad explores.
The importance of internet is no longer a secret in successful marketing of a property. In the past five years, revenue from online bookings for accommodation and travel packages has grown by 73% according to Statistic Brain. Whatever the size of your accommodation, be it a bed & breakfast or a hotel chain, if you want a global reach you cannot ignore the World Wide Web.
The age of internet and rising online property bookings has brought all-round cheer, but also a great number of challenges for small and mid-sized property owners who have not yet scaled up with the latest in hospitality technology. Among the persistent issues property owners face are:
- Management of room bookings and distribution across multiple channels.
- Errors due to manual booking processes.
- Inability to manage room inventory across multiple Online Travel Agencies (OTAs).
- Inability to manage room rates and receive timely reservation/cancellation updates via OTAs, increasing number of housekeeping tasks, report generation, bill management, and more.
In addition to these, increased bookings also results in greater workload on teams. While guest experience is of prime importance, the hotel staff is often bogged down with core organisation duties, leaving little or no time to attend to guests’ demands. Where does that leave the brand reputation of a property and the services hoteliers lay an emphasis on?
These pressures combined with heated online competition among hoteliers have seen property owners gravitating towards technology that helps them save time and money. Hence the reliance on a property management system (PMS) and online distribution technology, both designed to make room management easier.
Far from being complicated, these technologies are a welcome relief to busy hoteliers. Once interlinked your property management system, channel manager and other related technologies work as a cohesive unit, bringing efficiencies into the process. They eliminate the need for manual entries or use of traditional server-based models and the hassles that go with the maintenance and support.
Here’s what you should know about these key technologies.
Property Management System (PMS)
A next-gen PMS such as the cloud-based Hotelogix makes it easy for hoteliers to manage their daily operations within a single dashboard. Room reservations, billings, guest information, guest preferences, POS management and much more can be executed upon installation.
A pay-as-you-go system without the need for IT maintenance team or hardware, all you need is a stable internet connection. This level of automation frees up the staff’s time to focus on guest experience – one of the most important reasons why a guest will choose your property to stay for the next visit. Once the connection is completed, a PMS is also known drive direct bookings via a channel manager like STAAH.
A channel manager like STAAH connects seamlessly to your PMS and completes the digital distribution connection. A cloud-based platform, it is the perfect solution for hoteliers bogged down with the demands of distribution, including rates and inventory management, reservations and cancellations. Its two-way XML integration ensures that as soon as a booking is confirmed, it is updated on your PMS via the channel manager and across every distribution platform you use. This keeps all information in sync and can prevent overbooking if used correctly.
The STAAH and Hotelogix integration benefits common partner properties that are looking to expand their online reach and process bookings with minimal effort and error.