There are several great reasons to include hotel reservation system as part of your travel agency’s overall selling platform. While some of the more obvious reasons such as the positive impact ancillary commissions for hotel bookings can have to your bottom line can be quite compelling by itself, there are several benefits to incorporating a hotel booking engine into your sales process that you may have never thought about.
Think for a minute how much competition there is out there ready to serve your Clients and take their travel dollars. There are countless airline websites, hotel websites and Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) dominating the market to name just a few. All these different players compete for your clients’ travel dollars using various channels and special offers with many providing “one stop shopping” to serve a customer’s complete travel needs. The service and convenience that using a single source for all travel has become so widespread and popular that many customers now anticipate this “total service” from their travel agent. If your travel agent software falls short and does not include access to a hotel reservation system to help you provide your clients with everything they’ll need on their trip, you may risk loosing their business altogether to a competing travel agent or online travel agency that does.
Maintaining the loyalty of your customers will also have a significant positive impact on the success of your business. With so many players competing for travel dollars, strengthening your relationship with customers and creating strong customer loyalty is more important to your business than ever. General wisdom tells us that it will cost you a lot more to acquire a new customer than to maintain a current customer. Keeping your customers happy and serving all their travel needs such as providing them with access to an online hotel booking engine could be key to your success in maintaining their loyalty.
The risk of loosing a customer to a large online channel can also be countered by the unique service and expertise that only working with an experienced travel agent can bring. Maintaining a close relationship with your Client’s and offering the “special personal touch” that only a trusted, “live” travel agent can provide is an excellent way to compete with the giant Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) and reduce your risk of loosing customers to them.
A professional travel agent often knows how to ensure their clients get special VIP treatment upon arrival and can be a valuable resource when finding the right accommodations at the right price. They often have special reduced pricing with specific hotel properties and/or access to unique amenities upon your client’s arrival which are not offered or available to the “average” guest. Working this type of VIP service angle can often help you provide that personal touch and improve your clients’ overall travel experience. A hotel booking engine that allows you to easily highlight or promote when or where special offers are available can be critical to offering special deals to your clients as well.
Finding the right hotel reservation system can be an important decision for your business, finding the right technology partner to work with can be even more important.