Online Booking Systems For Hotels
If you own a hotel and are looking to either implement an on line booking system or replace and existing one, there are many to choose from on the market but which one do you implement?
The options you have available include;
1. Hosting your own system remotely.
2. Hosting your own system locally.
3. Using a hosting provider remotely.
4. Using a 3rd party system.
These may seem complicated but to explain;
Option 1. This is a product you host usually in the free online booking system same place as your website (but doesn’t have to be). For this you usually need a web host that provides a database service. The most common products use MySQL and will require some technical knowledge to implement. There are free systems available but unless you are very familiar with databases and IT in general, be careful as you will likely not have technical support from the producers. Also note that it is recommended that you get an SSL certificate if you plan on taking credit cards.
Option 2. This is an old fashioned type of system and not recommended. The booking system is installed on a PC in your hotel which is connected to the Internet. The downside to this system is that you need to leave your machine switched on 24/7 and have an active and quick connection to the Internet. Again you may need an SSL certificate.
Option 3. These are companies that host the system for you and take away the technical questions you may have from the options above. The downsides are that you have no control over the company running the service and the cost to use the service. You may also be limited on the look and feel of the booking system.
Option 4. These are an availability calendar installed on your website which links through to your availability on another website. The advantage to this system is that you have availability linked in two places at once, meaning that you have one less system to update. The downside can be the cost. Some providers charge 6% for every booking you make on your own website, plus extra if they sell through other on line providers. There are some free providers again out there so do your research to see if they suit your needs. Note, again you maybe limited on the look and feel.