You want to create a hotel booking website, so now what? In this article a market consideration is presented, along with how hotel booking websites work, business models, trends and software functionalitу. In addition to creating a hotel booking website, the development of a mobile app is also discussed.
The Market Observation
From, Smartertravel.com – two-time winner of “Best Travel Website,” there is a following list of the top hotel booking websites:
Each site has a rewards program. Some offer members-only prices, which attracts frequent travelers. The websites suggest rental cars or flight tickets, in addition to offering complete travel packages.
How Do Hotel Booking Websites Work?
There is no common booking system for all hotel booking websites. However, many integrate either OTA (online travel agency) channels or PMS (property management systems) and channel managers software. These systems are used to automate the operations of booking accommodation.
An Online Travel Agency (OTA) is a type of sales channel. It is the easiest system to understand. It lists the property on websites so that guests can search for and book the property.
Property Management Systems (PMS) are also known as a property’s front desk system, which allow manage the daily operations of the property, including:
- Process reservations
- Manage guest check-ins and check-outs
- Manage guest booking details
- Track the inventory and rates
- Send automatic emails
The Channel Manager’s primary function is to maintain and rate the inventory across multiple booking websites in real-time. This means that no matter where a booking is made, the risks of being overbooked are mitigated. Channel managers allow for travelers to choose any website they feel comfortable with.
How Do Booking Websites Make Money?
There is no particular business model for each booking hotel website, but each uses advertising, agency or merchant models.
This model implies that the source of income is from advertisements. Display-based advertising can be used via banner ads. Additionally, the website can be paid for clicks redirecting visitors to your partner sites.
Hotel booking sites let hoteliers list rental accommodations on their websites. For a commission on each successful sale.
An OTA buys rooms from hotels in bulk and then sells the same with a retail margin. OTAs tend to combine agency with merchant models for broader market coverage in different countries.
Affiliate partnershipThis is the way to earn money by connecting a website to a world’s popular hotel booking platform. A detailed description of the terms of cooperation is always presented on a company’s website. Before making a decision about becoming an affiliate partner, all that information should be taken into consideration. The partnership programs of such famous companies as Booking.com, TripAdvisor, Agoda, are described below:
Booking.com offers the opportunity to integrate the content from its website to yours and pays a commission for each booking made through it.The integration allows choosing either worldwide or local properties which will be displayed on your website. The partner platform maintains an earning management system which gives an extensive analysis of the work effectiveness. This analysis helps to balance efforts and earnings. Booking.com partnership program has also a scalable range of payments. It depends on the number of bookings made via your website. It starts with 25% of Booking.com’s commission, but not of the purchase price. TripAdvisor works only with Commission Junction (CJ) publishers. And the payment goes straight from CJ monthly. The payment is based on the level and quality of the traffic sent to TripAdvisor. Agoda offers access to 925,000+ properties worldwide and high commission on bookings. Joining the Agoda Affiliate Program is totally free, but you must have a website before signing up for this program. Agoda provides its affiliates with tools to integrate to a website and the range of the tools varies from the easiest to more advanced. Your domain will be registered in Agoda database and activated for tracking. Every 24 hours the affiliate system is synced with the booking engine and register all the affiliate’s bookings.
Hotel Booking Software Trends
This ensures that hoteliers and OTAs can offer competitive prices for different periods or seasons. It also helps to predict the demand variation throughout the year. Travelers, in turn, can choose specific dates to get affordable accommodation.
Some customers need an instant response to questions. Providing booking services with assistants is a benefit. The assistants will guide the customers in looking for deals or with the booking process.
Companies can add more features to diversify services. Today, customers can book excursions and seasonal activities for their vacation. OTAs may even offer local companies’ tours.
Blockchain is new to the world of technology. There is much excitement around it, due to its novelty. Though its usefulness and success cannot be predicted. But it will not go unnoticed by the tourism industry. Smart contract usage will give more confidence to travelers. It can eliminate the risks of bad deals or other dishonesties.
Shifting To Mobile App
Most websites do not provide a well-adapted interface to phones, phablets, tablets, etc. Furthermore, due to the positive growth of the online travel market, the number of relevant apps have also increased. Mobile applications can perform the same functions as websites. More user-centric personalization could make a better impression on potential customers.
Proper software can run and analyze different aspects of a business. A hotel booking website should provide a broad capacity of functions either for travelers and lessors. Wisely chosen software may even increase work efficiency. By automating different operations and services. If we take into account hotel booking websites, we can point to two terms: ‘front-office’ and ‘back-office.’
Front-office is the first thing customers interact with. It creates the first impression. Front-office should have a satisfying, welcoming and user-friendly interface. Beyond that, it can include such functions as:
- Multilingual support
- Map integration
- Discounts, sales, and express deals
- Hotel reviews with rankings
- Personalization (previous searches and bookings)
- Recommendations (related requests from other customers)
Back-office integrates the software to administer the websites. It manages all reservations, bills, and accounts, as well as controls enterprise productivity. Included tasks and systems are:
- CRM controls interaction with customers
- CMS is used to upload and manage websites’ content
- Consumer loyalty program management
- Customer support
- Room availability management
How To Create A Hotel Booking Website
When it comes to creating a website, it is worth to analyze already existing successful projects. Any distinctive features of your website will benefit you for the future advertising campaign.
Make a list of features which should be implemented to your website. If the web application will be developed from scratch, its a good idea to divide the list of alleged features into three groups: must have, could have, and can be added later. It will help you to plan your budget better at the beginning.
Think of the style of your website and keep examples on your mind.
To analyze your requirements is one of the first steps of the development process.
The next step is to look for a reliable software development company or a proper source to create a hotel booking website.
The pros and cons of each way to create a hotel booking website are given below:
Custom development is the best way to create a unique project that corresponds to particular needs.
Fully custom software
After-sale support and updates
Time and energy losses
Software development cost
Free or less expensive than custom development
Easy to integrate
Lack of extended tech support
WordPress is a free online and open-source content management system. It does not require any design or coding skills. Free templates for a hotel booking website can be downloaded here and premium here. The full customization guide can be found here.
Customizations require coding
Website Builder does not require any code editing. It has many templates and tools that help you to build a website. If a move to another host is necessary, the website will need to be rebuilt. Examples include Ucraft.com that allows for the use of a domain name, Weebly.com that has advertisements and Webstarts.com that has a drag-and-drop interface similar to wix.com.
No coding skills required
Cheap and fast
No design skills needed
Poor customer service
If a business is online, it increases the probability of being noticed. Mobile devices have become a part of our daily life. Now, people can share and learn information on the go, interacting directly via push notifications. Notifications can instantly keep customers informed about services, products and features. That is a hotel booking mobile app should be considered.
How To Create A Mobile Booking Application
There are two ways to create a mobile app: either through custom development or via an app builder.
Mobile application builders include Getapp.com, Buildfire.com, and Appinstitute.com. App builders can save money and time. Most of the operations are performed in a drag-and-drop fashion. There are also drawbacks through, including: feature and tool limitations and private information leakage due to the third parties involved.
A custom mobile application is developed according to the business’s specific needs. The project is entrusted to a professional and skillful team. Any features can be added or removed and the app data is secured. By adding analytic tools, the end-users’ preferences can be tracked to make competitive offers.
How Much Does It Cost To Create A Hotel Booking Website Or An App?
A business analyst can best determine how much will it cost for a custom web or mobile app. However, none will provide a set price, because it depends on the requirements. The following approximate prices are given below for web and mobile application MVPs (minimum viable products), based on $25 per hour:
|Hotel Booking Website MVP||iOS MVP||Android MVP|
Front-end $6,000 – $8,000
Back-end $4,500 – $6,300
Design $2,000 – $4,000
Testing $1,600 – $2,200
PM $1,100 – $1,500
Total$15,200 – $22,000
iOS $5,000 – $6,000
Back-end $4,500 – $6,300
Design $2,000 – $4,000
Testing $1,500 – $1,900
PM $1,000 – $1,300
Total$14,000 – $19,500
Android $6,500 – $7,800
Back-end $4,500 – $6,300
Design $2,000 – $4,000
Testing $1,700 – $2,300
PM $1,100 – $1,400
Total$15,800 – $21,800
The drawbacks and benefits of booking websites and mobile applications have been thoroughly explored. The creation methods as well as the pros and cons were also presented. If you are interested in developing your own booking project, the VironIT software company’s experienced and skillful team can help. Contact us for more information.