Nowadays, more than ever, competition is hot in the online booking industry. The reason is that people have access to huge amounts of information thanks to comparison websites, search engines and OTAs (online travel agencies). As a result, people use more than one booking engine for planning their trips and choosing which hotels to stay in.
According to PhoCusWright, a global travel market research company, travelers often visit 2 to 4 websites before making decisions in the following 3 booking stages: destination selection, shopping, and purchasing.
One of the challenges that hotels face is how to find the time and energy to manually update multiple online channels. The Property Management Systems (PMS) can a very effective solution.
The PMS is a comprehensive software tool that is used by hotels to cover important areas, like coordination of the front office, sales and marketing operations.
For example, functions like guest bookings, materials management, quality management or point of sales can be automated with the help of PMS software and now, many systems also offer booking engine integration.
In the market, there are a lot of different PMS software available, that offer integration with your website but one of the best ones, based on our clients' experience, is the Opera Property Management System.
Integrating your website’s booking engine with the PMS ensures that all the information about rates and availability can be instantly exchanged over this two-way connection: from the hotel PMS system to your online booking engine.
Whenever a hotel room is reserved through your online booking engine, the hotel’s PMS system also gets updated, which means that the days when you had to manually enter such reservations are over. In the same way, if real-time rates and availability of rooms change, this information is automatically sent from the PMS to hotel’s booking engine. As a result, hotel management will be able to maximize the room inventory and revenue without the fear of overbooking.
There are three main benefits hotels can get by integrating the Opera PMS with the hotel website booking engine:
Time and savings
According to Michael Kinloch, the director of Sales-Pacific at SiteMinder, which is a world class hotel distribution technology, this two-way integration can save hotels valuable time. Effective usage of time is crucial for a hotel management in the ever evolving hotel industry. Two-way integrations can greatly decrease the cost of acquisition: for every automatically populated booking, the hotel gets more free time that can be used to provide better services for the customers and improve the overall guest experience.
Though you may think that purchasing a hotel PMS and integrating it with the booking engines is costly, it is not the case. Of course, at first, when it’s time to purchase and implement the system, costs cannot be avoided, however, you should pay attention to the benefits that you are going to get in the long run. As a result of this integration, your hotel rooms will be promoted and found by many guests, which will increase the number of your customers, which, in turn, will increase the profits for your hotel.
Probably the most beneficial reason for making use of this integration is the increased efficiency that your hotel will experience. You will be able to manage your room rates, inventory and availability directly from the PMS and receive guest reservations directly into your reservation system. Integration between the PMS and your booking engine can also account for particular options and preferences to be sent automatically to the PMS, which helps hotels generate more revenue from their websites and ease the process flow between the hotel’s website and other central databases. Interface integration will completely automate and streamline online distribution, therefore increasing the overall efficiency of hotel’s operations.
There are, of course, many additional benefits hotels can get, such as getting revenue that would have otherwise been lost as a result of cancellations, or increasing revenue by maximizing online exposure thanks to automated inventory and rate updates.
However, not all of the Property Management Systems are effective in the same way. Before making the final decision, you need to carefully examine the system and understand the benefits and costs of implementation.
The hospitality industry is continuously changing and being agile and flexible is crucial in order to catch travelers’ attention and be successful in the market. Two-way integrations between booking engines and hotel PMS’s like Opera will definitely be used by more and more hotels, as time is the most important resource for hoteliers’ and this integration helps save a lot of time.