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In this age of online travel agencies (OTAs) that dominate online bookings (and take a good chunk of change away from hotels), some hoteliers may wonder why they should bother with a website. Simple. In a sentence, confirmed reservations are cheaper for the hotel owner if made from hotel websites, guests crave detailed information like photos and videos from a hotel website, and they allow hoteliers to tell their property’s story in their own words. Let me explain.
Studies show that online reservations are cheaper if they come from a hotels own website and online booking engine. They are cheaper than reservations that come from OTAs (which often take a huge commission) and even cheaper than taking reservations by email or phone. The more ways you can automate the reservation process, the cheaper each reservation becomes.
Google reports that the average traveler visits 22 different websites over the span of 9.5 research sessions before making a travel related booking. This means that people may use an OTA to discover you, but they also are likely to search for hotel websites after the initial discovery in order to find better hotel marketing materials and promotions. Simply put, a hotel website will give guests more options and greater opportunity to spend their money directly with you instead of through a middleman.
There is a wealth of misinformation out there about your property, from outdated travel magazines to directory listings to outdated OTAs, all trying to get business heading to your property. Crafting your online marketing with a custom hotel website allows you to own your hotel’s story and tell it your way, not some OTAs way. Hotel websites allow you to describe your rooms the way you want to, talk about local attractions that you think are important, and change things about your property or rates on the fly. Guests will have access to current, up-to-date information from your site because you’re in control of it.
Many sites were created in the late 90s and haven’t been revised or updated since. This was the era of animated gifs, midi music that starts playing when the page loads, tiny websites designed for lower screen resolutions and websites built with Flash®—an outdated technology incompatible with today’s mobile devices, as we discuss here. Today’s web-based technology demands updated web development optimized for search, social media and mobile browsing.
Online search is still the #1 best performing tool for marketing your hotel online. Crafting a hotel website optimized for search engines (SEO) is important to give your property the best visibility you can. Hotel SEO is a huge industry filled with misinformation—what we here at buuteeq like to call Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD). Instead of FUD, which is used to intimidate people into paying a ton of money for dubious SEO services that have unsubstantiated results that could possibly even hurt you, our strategy is to provide ongoing SEO education and deliver Internet marketing optimized for search right out of the box. We explain more about SEO here.
With nearly one-billion active Facebook users alone, not counting the billions on other networks, social media has become a marketing channel we can’t ignore. Every day, people use Facebook, Google+ and Twitter as their primary information discovery tool. If your online marketing materials aren’t optimized for social media, you’ll miss out on this huge segment of the market. We explore some of the specific steps hotels can take to optimize their hotel websites for social on our social media hotels article.
Google predicts that by the end of this year, more than one-billion people will use mobile devices as their primary internet access point. Primary, as in, replacing desktop computers and laptops! Google further reveals that 95% of all smart-phone owners use their devices to perform Google search queries. This means that guests are searching for websites from their mobile devices, and that if your hotel websites are not optimized for mobile, you’re providing guests with a poor browsing experience. Optimize them for smartphones like the iPhone® and tablets like the iPad® to ensure your marketing materials are readily consumed by the billions of mobile browsers. Learn more on our mobile website article.
OTAs take a slice of every reservation they refer to you. That’s your money. The only reason they get a piece is because guests found them first, and your property through them. Having a branded, modern hotel website encourages more direct reservations with you, giving you a larger slice of the pie. Additionally, many online booking engines will skim a bit from the top. Owning your own hotel website allows you to select your booking engine of choice, including many commission-free booking engines.
Travel Agent CMS includes an integrated Online Booking System with a web-based Administration Panel to manage every assigned content category to specific reservation order. The structure of the system is divided into forms per service category which includes Travel Activities, Flights & Rentals, Hotels & Accommodation and Custom Travel Plan. With specific structuring every order is easily tracked with our Online Booking engine which is user-friendly and supports multiple content medias. The Administration system is intuitive and fully supports the end-to-end activities of the travel business including operations and financial aspects.
Travel Agent CMS comes with in build state of the art customer inquiry management system. The Travel Agent Inquiry Cart’s administration panel is build on the Web 2.0 concept that makes it user friendly, operation and management is easily handled by any non-tech users. The Inquiry management system enables you to track individual requests from customers. Quick Inquiry is one of the popular forms integrated in the system which brings the requests into your Inquiry Management queue – so you can go through them one by one and ensure you don’t miss any potential lead. The operator can easily perform all of the tasks without leaving one main panel which gives access to the following functionalities: Track new Customer Inquiries and reservations Follow-up with the customers with the internal messaging system Make invoices & Bills Update booking & reservation status until confirmed Update, Edit and lock booked items Download, Print Invoices and itineraries Start new inquiries with customers
In Travel Agent CMS every functionality is built on the concept of the end-user and simplifying the operational tasks is the number one priority. Our inbuilt Ecommerce facilities get the job done with converting leads to sales. Payment mode like Pay Pal, Google Checkout, Credit Card, Bank Transfer and pay at pick-up are available. The task of creating invoice & bills is as easy as typing numbers into a calculator; the printable and downloadable copies of invoice are generated on the fly.
Travel Agent CMS possesses a powerful bookings management system which enables users to easily filter and update the reservation status of orders. The operator can easily manage the bookings and set the statuses with different levels like Inquiry, In Progress, Payment, and Confirmed. You can easily receive payments online and confirm the booked itineraries directly from the system.
Our content Management system is based on php. Content management system allows you to edit and update your website from wherever and whenever necessary keeping your website dynamic can’t get easier than this. Upload special offers, add enticing images or videos, write your own destination guides and travel itineraries, it’s all possible within one user friendly administration panel. Publish and manage your content for tours & activities, hotels & accommodation, flights, cruises, charter & rental transportation everything can be easily updated and ready for customers without web without a web designer or a tech person.
We understand every users needs in today’s internet experience which is not powered by single language anymore. Our Travel Agent Solutions come with multi-lingual features that let you use as many languages on your website as you wish. You can add as many translated version of your website online as you like without compromising on SEO features with our Travel Agent CMS.
With today’s internet advancement everything is connected and social media networking has become one of the biggest markets on the internet. Search engine rankings have become a secondary result of viral content that reaches the right influencers faster then anything, successful social media campaign will boost search engine rankings significantly. Travel Agent CMS comes with social media sharing options for every published travel services & products. Open ID connect for connecting form any social media networking sites is also available in our tour operator software.
Travel Agent CMS comes along with best of the industry Search Engine Optimization facilities. Built-in site wide and per service/product level SEO options help bring up your search engine rankings faster than ever before. You get the full power to custom edit your URLs, Titles, Meta Descriptions & Keywords of each and every page of your travel website.