Online hotel reservations are quickly gaining popularity as the Internet provides a convenient platform for vacationers and business travelers to orient themselves to their ideal hotel, which will be their sanctuary during their stay abroad. As long as you are armed with a computer connected to the Internet, anyone can have access to a huge database of hotels that you can browse and compare before making an instant reservation with minimal effort.
The information available on these sites is more than sufficient to assist in the decision-making process. We will now look at how the Internet has revolutionized the hotel booking process in recent years.
The evolution of the hotel reservation process over the years
Hotel booking procedures were previously in the hands of predominantly hotels and travel agents, but have evolved quickly to become easily accessible to online users after the arrival of the Internet.
In the past, travelers had to go through hotels or travel agents to make reservations at a hotel by phone or in writing. There was limited information on room rates, services and amenities available to the traveler, except through print brochures or newspaper advertisements that could be easily overlooked. In addition, it took some time to get a response from hotels and travel agents, allowing the traveler less room to make a quick decision about their reservation or change it.
Since the age of the Internet, hotel information has become much easier to access, including the means of booking hotels online through web portals operated by hotels or online travel agents. This allowed travelers to take full control of their hotel booking procedures, including changing their reservation or making a last-minute reservation should the situation arise. In such a situation, they can even enjoy discounts and offers from the hotel and search for the best deals on several websites.
Information on the websites of online travel agencies
Today, hotel information is easily accessible on many online travel agent websites by sharing such information between major hotel chains and online travel agents. This means that these websites are able to promote and market the rooms of various hotel chains for online visitors, thus serving as a powerful advertising platform for these hotels. Such publicity is a win-win situation, as online travel agents are willing to receive commissions for any booking made through their sites. Even thousands of smaller online travel sites go live as information is shared with them by larger agents.
This actually creates a large database of hotel information that all online travel agents can use, providing the traveler with up-to-date information and rates, which means he or she does not have to check directly at the hotel. The more hotels enter these sites, the more information becomes remarkably similar, so some online travel agents may negotiate with hotels to charge specially reduced rates to consumers to force them to book through their website.
Controlled and targeted marketing by booking directly to hotel websites
Unlike the various hotel information available on the online travel agencies' websites, the hotel's own hotel booking websites with attached reservation engines allow for much more personalized and targeted marketing for its guests. With more detailed information on offering it, incorporating more images and using sophisticated web design such as flash animation and videos, it will be easier for hotels to differentiate themselves from the package through their own websites. In addition, guests will also be provided with a secure online payment system, especially if the hotel chain is respected, as well as the removal of any additional booking fees that may be charged by intermediary websites.
Choosing a reliable website for online hotel reservations
As the Internet is home to numerous online hotel booking sites, it is not always easy to find one that is reliable and tailored to your needs and concerns. It is very important to find a website that you can trust, not only when it comes to the reliability of hotel information and the availability of up-to-date room rates, but more importantly, one where you can be comfortable making an online transaction through her. Direct hotel booking websites may come to mind, but I will recommend an online portal that has these features.