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Did you know that over 90 percent of modern travelers search for travel information like hotel bookings and reservations online? Additionally, about 52 percent of travelers use mobile devices to discover available food and accommodation services in and around the city they’re visiting.
This recent Adobe research taken from HospitalityNet sheds light on the revolution taking place in the hospitality industry in which almost every transaction and activity have transcended to the digital space.
After all, no one wants to experience hassle during their travels or vacations. People want to effectively make plans that fit their budget and study the relevant information about the destination before they actually get off their couches. This means a hotel booking website is a crucial tool for any traveler in this digital age.
In this article, we’ll discuss hotel booking websites more in depth, and walk you through the proper steps to take when creating one of your own. Keep reading to learn more.
What Is a Hotel Booking Website?
A hotel booking website is a site that allows users to see vast libraries of hotels from various parts of the world. These hotels, however, are not just big conglomerates or franchises. Instead, hotel booking websites feature hotels from several big chains and independent owners alike. The sole purpose of a hotel booking website is to make the booking process more convenient for the traveler with easy payment options, as well as added security and comfort.
Top 3 Hotel Booking Websites
Today, numerous websites and applications are available to ease the process of hotel reservations and bookings with just a few clicks. Here are the top sites that have made a lasting impression on the masses in terms of quality services and recommendations.
Booking.com is an Amsterdam-based digital company whose sole purpose is to connect the lives of millions of travelers with their memorable experiences. Their website and application provide a vast range of food and accommodation services with about 6.6 million listings of various hotels, apartments, and restaurants. Their website also offers no reservation fees with secure booking and 24/7 customer support, as well as the lowest available rates for each available service.
Unlike other hotel booking websites, Kayak collects data and provides results from a number of hotel booking websites with an integrated and user-friendly experience. For any query made by a user, the website collects all the information related to that search and provides them with a list of all the hotels and lodges and their prices provided by different booking platforms, making it easy for a traveler to compare and get the best possible rate.
Starting off as a division of Microsoft, Expedia was purchased t by USA Networks Inc. in 2001, and quickly became one of the most used online travel agencies on the market. On both their website or application, users can buy tickets for various transport options, as well as book hotels and lodges. The platform also sells different holiday packages and exotic vacations at affordable rates by suggesting the right choices as per the demographic.
Popular Features of Hotel Booking Websites
Before you learn how to build a proper hotel booking website, you need to formulate an idea about what a good hotel booking website should resemble. Here are some of the key features that these travel sites boast that contribute to their popularity:
Pay at Property Options
People don’t always prefer to pay using online payment portals for their reservations; some travelers just want to get assured of their accommodations and pay with cash directly on-site. Nowadays, some hotel booking sites, such as Booking.com, allow customers to directly pay at the property without any reservation fees beforehand. This enables customers to plan their trips and vacations properly, while also having enough time to cancel if plans change. If a reservation is canceled, customers won’t have to worry about any monetary transactions or refunds.
It’s comforting for a user to know the quality of the property and service before booking their hotels, and a public review system is the best way to achieve this. Ratings offer an excellent means of discerning the quality of a hotel, as they are completely based on past user experiences. This means that if a customer deals with poor customer service, untidy rooms, or disrespectful staff, the user should have the ability to rate the specific hotel with a negative review. Eventually, this helps to filter only the good options out of the available ones, and also encourages the reviewed hotel to make positive changes in their service to improve their quality for future guests.
A user might want to know all the nearby hotels and restaurants when visiting a particular location for the first time. Therefore, a booking website must have a portal where users can look up different places and get a list of all the hotels and lodges around that area.
Hotel pages are the profiles that appear when a user searches a location and clicks on a property. They display all the hotel information, such as pictures, amenities, and room prices, and are typically integrated with Google Maps API and GPS system to provide the location of the property on the map.
Hotel Booking Website Market Trends
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the travel and tourism industry faced a huge dip due to lockdown restrictions. This caused a significant change in the industry, increasing the feasibility of these online hotel booking sites. Ever since the pandemic, people have started making impromptu decisions on booking just to be on the safe side. As a result, 72 percent of all mobile bookings happen within 48 hours of any travel searches on Google with keywords “today” or “tonight”.
Since some people still fear contracting any infections, they prefer contactless payments and reservations with flexible cancellations and easy refunds, if necessary. Most hotel booking websites incorporate these features to simplify the job of a travel agent with proper transparency and easy access to various travel plans and packages.
Per the report from TravelPerk, this industry achieved a whopping worth of around $433.2 billion in 2021, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 10.58 percent. The figure will most likely reach $690.1 billion by 2026, according to Statista.
4 Steps to Build a Successful Hotel Booking Website
After looking over the key features and market trends related to the hotel booking industry, you must be intrigued to know how to build your own hotel booking platform, especially seeing the huge growth potential it holds.With effective planning and implementation, it is quite possible to even challenge the best in the business, and we have outlined some key steps on how to create a hotel booking website that can help you accomplish this goal.
1. Détermine Niché
Targeting a niche is essential for any application or website development. Since a lot of hotel booking websites already exist; to stand out, your website will need a unique element that caters to a specific demographic. For instance, your site could focus on a certain region of a country, or you could make it available for travelers worldwide but limit the audience to a specific group of people. The latter is typically the safer bet for new businesses.
When you target a particular domain for the website, this can indirectly affect the required features for your site, along with its partnerships and associations. For example, a hotel booking site can solely focus on the streets of Los Angeles and target all the local businesses, boutique hotels, and restaurants without having to worry much about storage space and database. However, it may cause a restriction on the scalability of the website outside that region if your business was to expand.
2. Design Your Website
Before designing a website, you need to visualize the core idea of your site. Preliminary research is an absolute must for understanding the requirements and expectations of the users from a website of this sort. Users would be more likely to use a hotel booking website with an aesthetically pleasing outlook and simple interfaces for booking, cancellation, searches, and recommendations.
There are many tools such as Figma, that can be used to design a basic framework for a hotel booking website. You may want to also consider hiring professional UI/UX designers to build a well-structured wireframe for the website, which will ease up the further development process.
3. Build Your Website
The next stage is to finally develop your hotel booking website. Unless you are an expert on the technicalities of software development, you need to hire a solid set of professionals who have experience with web development toolkits and the integration of these frameworks on an enterprise-level application. Hiring is crucial for getting the job done since building a proper hotel booking website is not going to happen in an instant, but rather requires coordination, knowledge, and creativity from the development team.
Most companies have portfolios where they all include the previous work they did for their clients, which creates a basis for credibility of their caliber. So, it is very important to check out their portfolio before hiring them. All the post-release terms and service options should be disclosed clearly during the hiring process for legalities and assurance. In exchange, you might want to get frequent updates and complete transparency during the entire developmental stage of your hotel booking website.
4. Partner With Hotels
Since the major objective of your hotel booking website is to assist people with bookings and reservations, it’s better to build partnerships with various hotels and restaurants in your target areas. This, in turn, can help you generate revenue with sponsorships in exchange for advertising these hotels on your website. Eventually, these partnerships will increase the popularity of your hotel booking website and garner the attention of the users before the site is deployed on the web.
How to Market Your Hotel Booking Website
Users won’t have any idea about your website if you just develop and deploy your hotel booking website on the Internet and wait until it booms. Plus, there’s no guaranteeing that users would even consider using your site when they already have excellent websites like Booking.com and Expedia for the same purpose. So, in order to generate traffic on your website, you’ll need to adapt certain marketing strategies. Here are some ways to market your website as listed below:
Search Engine Optimization
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a simple way of optimizing the search engines to move your site to the top of the deck above those million pages that pre-exist on the web. Search engines utilize bots to gather information from the site and provide search results based on relevant information related to those keywords queried by the user. SEO techniques like inserting relatable keywords and tags on your website content, building proper schema, and using backlinks can cause the search engines to work in favor of your hotel booking website and increase the volume of steady traffic.
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements are economical ads for which you only have to pay an amount equivalent to the number of clicks generated from those digital adverts. This turns out to be very cheap in the earlier stages of the website when the site hasn’t accumulated a decent user base. It also helps to keep your name out there once the business blooms. These advertisements show up during search results or while using various applications under Google marketplace based on the demographic data of a user, such as age, location, or gender.
Your website will require a social media outlet to advertise itself on digital media for which boosting your page or purchasing ads on these networks might be a solution. Most social media applications nowadays feature sponsored content for a nominal fee, which helps to gain traffic from all interested users. On top of that, organic posts from your social media handles are considered to be trustworthy by the people if they see it pop up on their feed because they follow them or if it’s shared via someone they know. The developer team can also reach out to celebrities and influencers from popular media outlets like YouTube and TikTok to advertise your website to their fanbase.
How to Monetize Your Hotel Booking Website
What’s the point of making a full-fledged hotel booking website but not being able to generate any revenue from it? Your website should incorporate a standard revenue model to be able to build partnerships, get sponsorships or even digitally monetize itself. These are some ways you can make money using your site:
Your team should try to get in talks with various hotels and restaurants and reach agreements on partnerships and sponsors from these sites for which these properties will be advertised on your digital platform. In turn, when a specific hotel is booked using your site, you will get a certain percentage of the cut from the amount. This is a revenue model that’s used by most hotel booking websites.
The admin fee is a sum that is incurred by the user for using services and accommodations in different locations utilizing your online hotel booking website. Admin fees aren’t necessarily compulsory in this industry; however, you can demand a certain fee for the service and facilities you provide.
Idea Maker’s Experience In Website Development
Idea Maker is an application and website development company that helps small-scale businesses rise above the tides and reach the apex of their respective industry. Our team of developers and designers are dedicated to ensuring our clients get a fully working interactive website that properly reflects their business ideas.
Recently, we built a website for Open House Junky, which helps connect real estate agents and property buyers to available home listings.. Open House Junky is a fully responsive website with both client and customer-facing portals that assists in easy interaction between buyers and sellers while providing adequate information about the listed properties along with their location. Similar to this site, a hotel booking site might require Google Maps API integration for location services and a rating system to evaluate the listed hotels on the site.
At Idea Maker, we understand your business motive, and are committed to thorough research on the prospects and challenges in order to successfully deliver a product that resonates with your vision. So, what are you waiting for?? Schedule a free consultation call with us for a business assessment from our team of expert analysts and developers, and get ready to deploy your hotel booking website on the web today.