Let the list and comparison of hotel management software from CrowdReviews.com help you get the right technology you need to boost your hotel’s reach, booking rates, and customers’ satisfaction.
What Is the Current State of the Hospitality Industry Today?
Hospitality and tourism industry continue to experience a steady growth over the last years. Especially now that technology and social media continue to strengthen, motivate and inspire people to travel. We can also see how immensely the internet affects people, and this is a strong indication of its role to play in uplifting the travel and hospitality industry.
According to Statista.com, it predicts that the global hotel industry revenues will reach 550 billion US dollars in 2016. This is almost 100 billion dollars more than how much it was five years ago. And with the penetration of technology across multiple facets in running the business, particularly in the aspects of marketing and management, there is no stopping for these figures to rise this big as assumed.
It was also found, according to studies in Hospitality.org, that the majority of consumer groups in the hotel industry are the Millenials (aged 20-35 years old). Driven by the influence of the internet, these group considered traveling as a personal need and self-fulfillment. As marketers continue to highlight adventures and memories as essential part of one’s life, we see this “trend” strengthening the industry more. But then, budget constraint is the number one limiting factor for travel, that is why entrepreneurs thought of offering alternatives such as bed and baths, motels, inns, backpacker’s lodge and short-term condo or apartment stays.
The move from information to experiential age proved to be a huge potential for the hotel and tourism industry to flourish more. The internet contributed a lot in exposing people to beautiful places to visit around the globe. And with more people responding to the call to travel, we see how their experiences fanned the flames even more, inspiring others to follow. How the social media enabled them to share their experiences is a huge step taken towards the clamor for the more personalized approach. Today, travel customers are looking for ultra-personalized services, which can be achievable better through technology.
Pressing Challenges for Independent Hoteliers
There is no doubt about how major hotel industry players can cater to the aspects of premium hospitality. The budget for expansion to different countries was almost never an issue, and they are more or less ahead in access when it comes to technological advancements that will significantly improve their services. But what about independent hoteliers and alternative-to-hotel owners? Can the current technology help them thrive in the world of big and more established players?
Independent hotel players’ number one hurdle is a budget in proportion to what the key players can undoubtedly produce. In this industry where there are trust and familiarity involved, most seasoned travelers tend to stick with more established hotel brands that have multiple branches across the globe. Travelers with families in tow tend to look for grand facilities which everybody can take advantage of. However, we see that the trend is slightly curving a bit away from the traditional. The lack of facilities can be compensated with exceptional hospitality and one-of-a-kind experience.
That being said, alternative-to-hotel accommodations can take advantage of technology to provide a complete experience that can create an impact of “good memories” to its customers. While it is ironic to use technology for a personalized approach, it is the insights out of it that will fuel the strategies.
What is the importance of hotel management? It is understandable that travelers would want a memorable traveling experience all the time. Considering the cost of travel and the purpose for it, hoteliers need to fill the gaps to complete it. And they can start by making the bookings seamless and hassle-free. With the availability of affordable and easy-to-use hotel management technologies nowadays, this is not impossible anymore, even to small players.
Part of the hotel industry’s income comes from business travelers. Now that more businesses are expanding investment over globalization, travel has become one of the major recipients. Corporate accounts are popular, and exclusive rates attract business owners to get one themselves. Business travelers would want a kind of service that is a combination of convenience and innovation. And this has become one of the major contributors in expanding the revenues of the hotel industry across the world.
How small players can attract business travelers? It is rather challenging to do so, but with technology, it is not impossible. One way is to offer straightforward and tailored-fit services specifically for business travelers. Hotel accommodation costs can be offered lower since most alternative hotels don’t have too many facilities to boot. With the use of technology and ingenuity in marketing, it is possible for independent hoteliers to attract this consumer group.
Social media is also a powerful tool that helps independent hoteliers to implement enterprise-scale marketing, just like what key players can do. Technology these days are bringing innovation and equality in the market, and one of the major industries that can benefit from it is the hotel industry.
Core Functions of Technology-based Hotel Management Tools
When you try to shop for a technology-based hotel management tool, the market for options can be quite overwhelming. As the owner or manager, you have the sufficient knowledge about your own hotel’s needs and priorities. This will give you a rough idea of your must-haves and non-negotiables.
What are hotel property management systems? Ideally, a hotel management software offers general functions, which will make it effective in rendering its services. Here is a rundown of the core functionalities that you should look for in a hotel management software:
- A property management system
This is a crucial function involved in a hotel’s daily operational activities such as check-in and check-out, billing, room assignment and inventories. This a must feature that you should look for, and it must be robust enough to cater to any volume of guests that your hotel will be entertaining all the time.
- Capacity for global distribution
Hotels are meant to be accessible to any person across the globe. A significant number of travelers looking for an accommodation come from other countries, so make sure that your hotel management and booking system is accessible to them. Managing multiple hotel branches should find ease with the software you use, enabling a smart recommendation system to assist guests in finding the right branch for their chosen travel itinerary.
Global distribution system also mean being capable of connecting to other popular online travel and booking sites like Expedia, Booking.com, and Hotels.com. Without a global distribution system, you are limited with opportunities to expand the reach of your business.
- Online booking engine or portal
A credible and reliable booking engine is an asset for any hotel in business. Not only that it communicates the key information about the hotel such as address, contact information, proximity to places of interests and services, it also facilitates the bookings and payments. It shouldn’t have any problems in facilitating foreign currency payments both online and offline. And it must be safe for customers to entrust their important financial information such as credit card numbers.
- Hotel audit and accounting manager
Any business will only thrive with proper management programs. Especially in financial matters, a hotel management software with accounting and auditing features can help your business optimize its expenditure and resource management. Hotel sales managers can also take advantage of the useful metrics that the software provides, to help them evaluate the market and adjust their prices accordingly. With daily performance logs and regular reporting, the manager can have a better insight on how to maximize the revenues and take advantage of the opportunities such as seasons and holidays.
Advantages of Using a Software for Small-scale Hotels
Almost all trends in the hotel industry are geared towards technology-based enhancements such as personalized services and mobile technology. The good news is that these technologies are readily available to small-scale hotels as well. The software is intended to omit the tedious manual process of managing the daily operations of the hotel, and taking advantage of it could mean significant savings over time and resources and at the same time, maximize your revenues. It is also an important tool to increase customer loyalty, essential in building a brand.
- Increased efficiency in property management
With the help of a software, hotels can effectively supervise the operations of different facilities that enhances the customers’ experience within their hotel premises. When the needs and expectations of the customers are efficiently catered to, you can be assured of an increase in occupancy rates through peer recommendations. Customers nowadays work like that, and an exceptional experience is a key for revenues to climb.
- Overall speed in managing bookings
An automated facility still gives the best outcome in terms of volume. How does a hotel management system work? A hotel management software can able to systematically accomplish bookings by automatically capturing customer data, process and provide back information to the customer. Overall, a fast and quality transaction is noteworthy for customers, which increase their satisfaction and experience with your property.
- Minimize errors
The system of data entry and the log is capable of recognizing duplicate entries and wrong data inputs. With a category system, you can consolidate similar transactions, which can be used for analysis. The reports are important in giving valuable insights on how to improve the services better for a specific group of travelers.
- Real-time monitoring, tracking and reports
Most hotel management software have built-in dashboards to provide a wider perspective over the different Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for better management. Negative impressions in the dashboard can be attended right away since it is viewed real-time to minimize its impact on the operations.
- Daily revenue analysis and reporting
With its strong data capturing and analysis features, you can monitor the performance of your hotel revenues on a daily basis, giving you a practical overview of its operations.
- Integration with other business systems
A hotel management system is able to integrate with your existing business operation systems so that data can flow within your Enterprise Resource Planning software. It is also a good complement to a hospitality CRM software for a complete hotel management suite.
The hunt for the right software or system for your hotel business must not remain a daunting task to do. Whether you are an established hotel business key player or a struggling independent hotelier, you can benefit from the client reviews of hotel management software and vendors listed from CrowdReviews.com.
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