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    Make Your Own Hotel Website And Convert Site Visitors to Guests

    Traveling brings a lot of pleasure, being one of the most sought after hobbies of modern people. That's why travel service providers are in great request. And hotels are by no means the last item on the list of what a tourist needs during his journey. After all, we should have a place to leave our things, spend the night, and so on, while we’re on vacation or a business trip.

    Though, despite the demand for hotels, their owners sooner or later face the problem of competition and the necessity to advertise the services offered. Among the simplest and most affordable ways to achieve the desired goal is to create a hotel website and start converting its random visitors to loyal guests.

    But how to turn a hotel booking software into a powerful promotion platform? We'll help you answer this and many other questions.

    Why do you need your site instead of aggregators?

    Let's start with the answer to the question you might be most interested in: why do you need your own web resource when the global online travel market is full of special aggregators, various trip booking sites advertising themselves quite efficiently? Having high traffic, they help people find your hotel and partially solve the problem of looking for new clients… which is a good thing, especially since the cost of building a hotel booking website cannot be too low. So is the game worth the candle?

    Surely, yes, the game is worth the candle! We don't urge you to completely abandon these aggregators, but limiting yourself only to them isn't the smartest business strategy. 

    Why? Here are a few key reasons explaining why aggregators are hardly the perfect solution:

    • the need to pay interest on orders. Yes, you'll have to share the profit with the owners of the resource (aggregator). It's a shame, isn't it?

    • the possibility of unpleasant surprises. Moreover, these surprises don't depend on you, your mistakes. Say, yesterday’s leading aggregator platform may leave the ranks of top hotel booking sites, and there’s nothing you can do about it. 

    • subordinate position. You're not the one dictating the terms of your arrangement with the aggregator's owners. You have to follow the rules.

    • the need to constantly update your booking data outside the aggregator. And this is an extra headache, right?

    So, as you see, even the best website to book hotels won’t be able to solve all your problems. That’s why you should develop your own resource. 

    You’ll definitely benefit from it because your hotel platform means:

    • your company's online "face", so to say (given you've paid enough attention to the branding issue).

    • advertising. The purpose of booking websites is to help customers search for hotels, plane tickets, etc. Their purpose has nothing to do with promoting your particular company. But with your own website, the situation is quite different.

    • more features. You don't need to limit yourself to booking options, there are a bunch of other features that might be useful to both you and your customers (we'll talk about them below).

    • freedom of choice. You're free to change your site and update it at your own discretion, when and as you like.

    • increasing competitiveness. All your most famous competitors have their own resources, which are often among the best hotel websites. So keep up with others, or, which is even better, be second to none.

    You can create your web platform without refusing the assistance of aggregators, accommodation booking sites. Over time, when your resource begins to consistently bring new customers, you’ll be able to reconsider your strategy.

    Best hotel booking sites for inspiration

    Let's take a look at some of the top hotel booking sites with rewards and, more importantly, with customer recognition.

    La Fonda

    hotel booking website

    La Fonda resource intrigues its visitors from the very first moment. The fact is that the heading of the site constantly, in a closed cycle, broadcasts a mini-movie describing (and showing) the hotel, and it's lavish with colorful video scenes. And such an introduction cannot but fascinate us.

    In addition, La Fonda offers a convenient interface: for example, on the side panel, you can see what the weather's like in San Francisco right now (because San Francisco is the place where the hotel is located) and get access to social sharing buttons.

    La Fonda's extensive menu includes a lot of features such as:

    • Detailed information about the hotel, including its history, received awards, and more;

    • Rooms: description of each one with the possibility of booking;

    • Specials, such as first-class discounts, "bad & breakfast" services, the opportunity to find out about the stay of famous people in La Fonda (Artist-In-Residence), etc.;

    • Everything related to food, drinks, dancing: the ability to order room service, access to a restaurant, special lunches and so on;

    • SPA: of course, La Fonda could not deprive its guests of the opportunity to enjoy the best spa treatments;

    • Wedding Opportunities: La Fonda offers an unforgettable miracle wedding at the hotel;

    • And much, much more! What we’ve described is just the beginning.

    Badrutt’s Palace

    hotel booking software

    The next web resource we’re considering is one of the best European hotel booking sites. At least it looks rather impressive, which speaks volumes.

    The Badrutt’s Palace website also begins the introduction with a video presentation, and on different pages, the user can watch different videos. Say, the contacts page shows a guest arriving at a hotel, as well as a polite doorman meeting him.

    The menu seems simpler, but it includes everything a guest-to-be needs:

    • ROOMS & SUITES. First of all, the feature implies the ability to select and order the right room for the right date.

    • RESTAURANTS, BARS & CLUB. Everything is clear here too: the hotel describes a possible cultural program, which it is ready to offer its guests, and provides the opportunity to reserve a table, read a couple of interesting articles about a promising dining experience, etc.

    • MEET & CELEBRATE. Again, the hotel booking website has several articles on the related subject, describes why the celebration in Badrutt’s Palace will be unforgettable, and advises you to call the specified number to discuss all the details.

    • PALACE WELLNESS. At Badrutt’s Palace, guests have many opportunities to combine business with pleasure, depending on the time of the year: in the summer, they can enjoy the sea and swimming, biking, golf, fishing, mountain walks and more, in winter, it's mostly about skiing. Well, for those who don’t like skiing, relaxation treatments like SPA are offered.

    • SHOPPING. At the guests' disposal are products of such brands as Gucci, Harry Winston, Miu Miu, Ogier, and so on.

    These are the main features. Of course, there are a couple of pages like the history of the hotel and contacts, but the emphasis is on the above.

    Bosco Alto SALENTO

    travel sites for hotels

    Among various online travel websites, Bosco Alto may seem somewhat concise, however, conciseness has its advantages. The site visitor focuses on the main thing right away, without being distracted by less important details.

    The functionality of the site is also very concise:

    • The Masseria, which is a colorful description of the location and services provided. Among the advantages are an excellent park area, a marble pool, an orchid garden and so on.

    • Rooms. Description of rooms that are divided into different categories (by color).

    • IL Salento. As is the case with Masseria, here is a great description of the location and its attractions.

    • Booking. IL Salento is primarily one of the best hotel reservation sites and therefore offers the possibility of convenient booking.

    • Room Rates. The guest can understand how much and why a particular room costs and look at possible additional costs.

    • Where We Are. The next section tells us in detail about where the hotel is located: Google map is attached, a full description is given, the distance to major cities is specified.

    What to add to your hotel booking website

    So, what features should your resource offer in order to claim to be the best hotel booking software?

    1. Multilingual interface. Hotels accept tourists from all over the world, which means your guests may speak different languages. And your site should (ideally) have a multilingual interface: say, the language of your country, English, French, German, and other demanded languages.

    2. Rooms gallery with prices. Let customers see what they are offered, let them have the opportunity to compare rooms and choose the one that best suits their requirements. That is, you should provide the following information about each room:

      1. pictures of the room(s), bathrooms, etc;

      2. description with basic characteristics;

      3. price policy.

    3. Booking options. Naturally, online booking websites must have such a feature. Concretely, the booking process should include the following simple steps:

      1. the search by calendar and available rooms. The client selects a hotel room according to his schedule and hotel availability;

      2. online reservation. Actually, here we’re talking about the booking itself;

      3. extras. This includes any possible additional costs such as paid Wi-Fi, breakfast, room service, and others of the same kind;

      4. payment. The feature implies that you're working with one of the payment systems. Be sure to choose the right solution. We, the people, are very scrupulous in money issues, and your guests won't be an exception to the rule;

      5. confirmation. Confirmation of the payment allows the future guest to be sure everything went well.

      6. the ability to cancel the reservation by a certain date. The step is optional but desirable.

    4. Additional pages:

      1. restaurant / bar. Your hotel probably has a bar or restaurant. Describe the advantages of your kitchen and offer the opportunity of online reservation of tables for hotel guests.

      2. room service. It usually includes breakfast in the room and other similar simple amenities.

      3. hotel history. Don’t limit yourself to dry facts. Intrigue guests with the history of the hotel (or the history of the area).

      4. location. In addition to the coordinates, you need to provide the following info:

        1. the easiest way to get to you;

        2. main traffic intersection;

        3. Google map showing your location.

      5. sights around. The section will help potential guests to see sights around the hotel, and if these views impress him, he'll be more willing to book the room.

    best travel websites for hotels

    Tips on how to be differ

    Now it’s time to move on to the next item on the agenda. Namely, what should you do to avoid getting lost among the various names of online travel sites? Because let’s face it: there are many of them! 

    The answer to the question is simple: you need to come up with your own USP. Not sure where to start? We’d be happy to offer you a couple of tips - ideas to help you stand out among your competitors, other commercial travel solutions, and attract more customers. The rest is up to you! Online hotel booking software is able to turn a visitor into a guest, but it cannot make a regular guest loyal.

    So, check out the list below, choose what you like… and get inspired!

    1. Design of a hotel website. Have you noticed how great competitor sites look (the ones we showed above)? Your resource should not be inferior to them in anything! Believe us, a colorful, appealing interface is half the success. After all, we perceive the world with our eyes, visually, and what seems attractive to us evokes a sincere response in our hearts. And such a response is the first step to booking a room in your hotel.

    2. Real professional photos of your rooms (and the hotel itself). Firstly, don’t try to cheat and post pictures of other hotel's interiors or exteriors. One day your deception will be exposed, and your reputation will be ruined hopelessly. Secondly, don't be stingy to hire a professional photographer who will take high-quality pictures of your hotel inside and out. If you don't understand why this is important, re-read the first item on our list.

    3. Video reviews of the area and rooms of your hotel. Photos are good, and the videos are even better. A vivid example is the Hotel La Fonda, which we've described earlier. You must do no less painstaking work to impress visitors to your site.

    4. Online chat. Such a tool is needed to quickly resolve customer issues, which will inevitably arise (alas, we can’t avoid them, life is unpredictable!).

    5. Special offers. Think about how you can surprise or please your guests. Say, La Fonda offers a wedding section, thereby pretending to provide a unique service (though it's not so unique). Try to come up with something of your own... how about becoming the best site for last minute hotel deals? To do this, you must create a special site section, something like “Hot deals!”: rooms at a bargain price, those that customers refused at the last moment.

    6. Useful travel tips. Try to be useful to your client. Devote a section of the site to answer questions, which aren’t directly related to the work of your hotel, but still interest tourists. Examples:

      • Where to go in your city?

      • What sights are worth seeing?

      • What souvenirs and where to buy?

      • What is the best way to use transport?

    7. Mobile version. More and more people prefer to visit web resources (including online travel websites) using their smartphones. So don’t forget to make sure your site looks good on any device. Also, it won't be superfluous to create a mobile application in addition to the site (one thing doesn't prevent the other).

    Do you want to know all the reasons why hotels need an app? Read our article!

    Stages of creating a hotel booking website

    So, how to build your hotel booking website? Let’s consider the issue step by step. 

    Of course, in order to implement all of the following, you're likely to need the help of developers, but knowing the basics won't hurt anyway.

    #1. Market research

    The online travel industry is too vast and competitively saturated, so you should start your project with a thorough analysis of the current market situation. 

    We recommend dividing your market analysis into two parts:

    • Target Audience Analysis. Answer the following questions:

      • Who is your potential customer, hotel guest?

      • What is his level of wealth?

      • What does he expect to receive from your hotel?

      • What might he like about web resources?

    • Competitive Analysis. Now you should study the sites of your main competitors and figure out their pros and cons. Your goal is to be no worse, you need to surpass them.

    #2. Hotel booking website requirements

    Now that you understand who your potential client is, what he wants, and what your competitors are offering, it's time to draw up requirements for your future product. Write down what features your site should have, and what functions it has to perform.

    #3. Documentation

    At the next stage, it’d be logical to document your requirements, each of them. Of course, this is possible provided you've found a company ready to offer qualified hotel booking website development services.

    If you haven't found the right contractor to create a hotel website yet, we're happy to help!

    Be sure to indicate all the deadlines and express your wishes. Your performers should know what you want to get as a result (don't expect them to read your thoughts).

    #4. Prototyping

    Based on a documented list of features, a future site framework is being created: namely, a certain scheme with a description of user flow. It is needed to make sure both the developers and you understand the logic of the user’s work with the resource.

    #5. Site design

    Creating a website design is a crucial stage. The task of UI/UX experts is not just to build a beautiful web interface, but to take into account factors such as user-friendliness, intuitiveness, ease of use, and others. And, of course, the online resource should look modern. Ideally, your goal is to be among the best hotel website designs.

    #6. Development

    The next step is extremely important and belongs to the most difficult ones in creating a hotel booking website, pure coding. 

    It makes no sense to go into all the details of the web development process, the contractors you hire will be able to implement your idea (surely, if you've chosen right ones, with expertise and experience).

    #7. Integration of third-party solutions

    In general, this is a logical sub-stage of the development process, but since it’s too important, we decided to make a special point of it.

    So, your site needs additional integrations to manage data and marketing activities. We’re talking about integration with the travel CRM software, payment systems, email services (for newsletters and more), call tracking solutions, etc.

    #8. Testing

    The site has been created and, it would seem, it's time to publish your resource on the Internet. However, the last step should be taken very carefully. First, it is important to check whether everything is working correctly, which means thorough testing. Though, you're unlikely to be able to achieve the proper result yourself. Such work should be done by professional QA engineers.

    #9. Product release

    Finally, the long-awaited moment has come: publishing the site on the Internet. Of course, a lot of work remains to be done on it, especially with regard to the promotion of the resource, but publication is also a considerable step towards future success.

    Summary

    As you understand now, even the best travel websites for hotels (aggregators) won't bring as many benefits as your own resource would provide you with. For it's going to maximally meet your requirements and solve exactly your tasks. Such a platform will become the main basis focused on promoting your (and only your!) services. And believe us, over time, the cost to create a hotel booking website will fully pay off. How soon this happens depends on you, on how competently you’ve approached the development process.

    We know the best way to optimize the site creation so that it requires no extra costs and brings you a lot of benefits at the same time.

     

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