03 Nov A Guide On Hotel Booking App Development
Hospitality and travel industry is growing at a rapid pace. It accelerates by a healthy economy in most of the countries along with the demand for corporate travel and stays. Online booking through a hotel booking app has become a major choice for booking hotel stays. In the US alone, about 88% of the people prefer booking a hotel stay through booking app.
It is only due to hotel apps that booking a stay has become so convenient, easy and quick. This has given rise to hotel booking app development in the present and future as it is estimated that the worldwide market volume for online hotel bookings will exceed $174 million in 2022.
If you have dreamt of building a hotel booking app but does not the technical know-how of it then don’t worry. Here is a detailed guide to give you an insight.
What Is a Hotel Booking App?
A hotel booking app is a mobile software that allows its users to make hotel reservations in a convenient, secure and cost-effective way.
- It is convenient because one does not have to surf the whole internet, talk to agents or call hotels for booking a stay.
- And it is secure because it protects a user’s financial information and privacy.
- It is cost-effective because users get several chances of benefitting from loyalty programs, discounts, and rewards.
Beyond Hotel Booking
A hotel booking is at the core of this app but the limits do not end here and with most of these apps, a user can do a lot more like:
- Book a flight, taxi, package holiday, restaurant, cruise, and more
- See new travel destinations, reviews, and ratings and also learn insider’s secrets
Major Players of the Hotel Booking Market
There’s a cut-throat competition in the hospitality industry. Travel agencies, non-traditional entrants like Airbnb and tech entrepreneurs are seeking mobile apps with a hope to have shared in this rising market.
Here, the three major players of market share:
1. Travel Agents:
Online travel agencies are part of this market and they offer more than just hotel search and booking. Some examples include Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, and Priceline.
2. Tech Entrepreneurs:
These are hotel booking aggregator sites whose primary business is hotel data aggregation and booking. Some examples include TripAdvisor, Google Hotel Finder, and Hotels.com.
They are hotel websites that are web and mobile app specifically for a chain of hotels like Marriott, Hyatt, Hilton and Starwood Hotels.
Essential Features of a Hotel Booking Application
Since hotel booking is at the heart of this app, the user generally performs the following steps:
- Search and evaluate
- Select the accommodation
Major features of the hotel booking application are:
The app users will start looking for available accommodation. It is better to provide search option based on several parameters like:
- A destination which includes the city, hotel name, and address
- The date for a preferred check-in and check-out availability
- Number of members including adults and children
- Available number of rooms and the type of accommodation
A user may also search for last minute booking and so it is good to integrate GPS based search. For example, a search based on hotels nearby me will give a list of hotels in the nearby location and filters on the search results allow for adding preferences like the budget, proximity, review score, and reservation policy.
2. View Accommodation:
This allows users to view accommodation details like:
- Overview of the hotel
- Photo Gallery to have a visual representation of place
- Offers to view per-day cost, description, and photos of the rooms
- Amenities like Wi-Fi, and parking
- Review Score from guest reviews and ratings
- Map of hotel surroundings
- Social Media Buttons for sharing the information with others
Users will be able to make payments for booking. A payment gateway leads the user to a safe, easy and flexible transaction via an app. These apps also provide an option to opt out of online payment and pay during the check-in time.
Automatic printable booking confirmation is provided which includes payment details like total sum and payment by night.
Most of the hotel booking sites have free cancellation policy until the last day of check-in. It is practically a deal breaker. Users know that if they change their mind then they can cancel a booking free of cost.
However, this causes complications at the hotel owner side as most of the cancellations to occur one or two days prior to the due date. Therefore, for this reason, most of the hoteliers have an anti-cancellation strategy at their disposal.
Apart from these, several other features also include in the hotel booking app like the recommendation engine, dynamic picture blend, automatic currency change, and instant messenger.
How Does a Hotel Booking Application Work?
A hotel booking engine serves the base of any online hotel business and information relevant to business is stored in the database like:
- Room Rates, Description, and Inclusions
- Hot Deals
This booking engine is integrated to online distribution channels.
Now, let’s take a look at what actually happens when someone books a hotel stay.
Step 1: User Books a Room Online
The user data is transferred to the booking engine through the internet.
Step 2: Room Availability is Updated Instantly
It eliminated the risk of overbooking and loss of the information.
Step 3: Confirmation Email is Sent to User
Once the customer finalizes on a reservation, an automatic confirmation email is sent to their email address with necessary information regarding their booking.
Step 4: Review Requests and Promo Codes Are Sent
After check-out, guests are encouraged to leave a review and share their experience with social networking sites through an automatic email.
APIs to Include in Hotel Booking Application
API brings invaluable content to your hotel booking app like:
- Hotel Meta Search Data
- Hotel Search and Booking
- Places Nearby
- Maps and City Guides
- Ratings and Reviews
- Weather forecasts
- In-app Payments
Mobile apps are surely the new trend for the hospitality industry. Innovation in technology is reshaping this market. Are you also leveraging this benefit? Mention your opinion in comments.