technology, hospitality, and plumbing…

Top 100 Hotels: 30% Don’t Use a Booking Engine!

In General on August 15, 2010 at 11:59

Tourists In The World by Francesco MarinoI’m fascinated by booking engines. A few years back i was involved in a large project to build a booking engine for Accor in Asia Pacific, and through all the pain of building a usable, profitable solution from this maze of rates and allocations, with availability stretching 700+ days into the future for 200+ hotels, i was captivated by the complexity and challenge of it. It’s also given me an insight into the crucial role of booking engines in an effective online presence for hotels.

After my previous post about what to look for, i wanted to review some popular booking solutions. Where to start? How about the largest (by many counts) travel site, TripAdvisor, and the 2010 Travelers’ Choice Awards? Any list of the top 100 hotels is fairly subjective, but these had been selected by a relatively large group of users, who had been satisfied enough with the whole hotel experience (and i’m assuming the pre-booking and booking process) to give these hotels high scores.

Looking at the top 100 hotels, i saw something that i wasn’t expecting: fully 30% of hotels didn’t have a booking engine. 22% of the hotels use a contact form for booking, with only an email address used on 8% of sites. How was this so? The internet has fed the modern tendency towards Attention Deficit Disorder, with fleeting attention-spans, so surely travellers would not rely on a booking process that didn’t give instant satisfaction! But, here we have it, 30% of hotels with a less than real-time booking solution.

Booking Engine Stats

Still, that means 70% of the hotels used a booking engine. So which ones? Well, here i was on more familiar ground: 21% used a proprietary booking engine (or at least a booking engine so well-integrated that it didn’t give any telltale calls to 3rd party servers).

After that, the most popular 3rd party providers were Synxis (9%) and iHotelier (8%). Following these, no single booking engine provider had more than 3% share.

So, what are the implications?

Well, having a well-integrated or proprietary booking engine allows you a lot of control over how you serve your customers, and there were some excellent examples of booking processes that are sure to provide a great return on investment for the hotel owners.

On the other hand, having a contact form, or email, as the primary method of booking online should not be a handicap. Indeed, it’s better to have a well implemented contact form, or email reservation that is dealt with quickly and efficiently, than going for a budget booking engine — if that booking engine is poorly implemented, and has low usability.

Does this surprise you?

Anthony Green – August 2010

Share Share on Facebook post to pdf

Advertisements
  1. […] Top 100 Hotels: 30% Don’t Use a Booking Engine! (via a.nthonygreen) Posted on agosto 15, 2010 by FabioRossetto I'm fascinated by booking engines. A few years back i was involved in a large project to build a booking engine for Accor in Asia Pacific, and through all the pain of building a usable, profitable solution from this maze of rates and allocations, with availability stretching 700+ days into the future for 200+ hotels, i was captivated by the complexity and challenge of it. It's also given me an insight into the crucial role of booking engines in a … Read More […]

  2. […] solamente alle società di intermediazioni o alle semplici e mail. Sorpresi di questo ? Leggete il post per saperne di […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: