In recent years, the demand for travel and Internet usage have both expanded with rising affluence of people around the world. Hence, it is natural that the Internet has evolved to become a very useful search tool that can be used to plan overseas trips, including searching for and booking their hotels.
Hotel online booking websites have empowered travelers to make informed decisions about hotel bookings by having all the information that they need and the means of direct hotel booking at their fingertips. Let us explore how these websites are helping the online consumer make the right hotel booking decisions.
Dawn of the Internet – Power to the online consumer
There is a stark contrast between the common hotel booking procedures before and after the advent of these online booking websites. In the past, travelers had to either place their booking directly with the hotel or via a travel agent by writing, telephoning or visiting their office in person.
However, now the online channel is much faster and efficient as all the information about the hotels, their facilities, rooms, location and images are readily available for viewing on these online booking websites.
In addition, the Internet has opened many platforms for the free exchange of ideas and information, including both factual information about the hotels as well as feedback from past guests on forums and hotel review websites.
The online consumer has been empowered to make informed decisions about hotel bookings. He can place his last minute booking directly on online reservation websites without much hassle, and can even stand to enjoy cost savings by finding out the best deals through websites that specialize in searching for the best deals for each hotel.
Online travel agents – aggregators of useful hotel information
Online travel agents are a common and popular channel which travelers can place their hotel booking with, as these agents have access to a large database of information about the different hotel chains. This makes it easier for travelers to compare facilities, services and prices among different hotels. Multiple online agents can draw on this database to provide accurate room availability and rates to guests who book online.
Even the smaller online travel websites are not left out as the availability of a single database of information means that all agents, large and small, are able to supply online consumers with such information and in turn, the power to make informed booking decisions. The ready availability of this information means that some online travel agents may liaise with the hotels to obtain special rates to compete amongst themselves for customers, which can only be good for the online consumer.
Unique booking experience through hotels’ own booking websites
In this information age which promotes choice, there is another alternative for the online consumer to place a hotel reservation online – through the hotels’ websites themselves. Hotel websites which have a booking engine enabled allow guests to make real-time online bookings.
In addition, they provide a unique browsing experience to the online consumer through the use of stylized design and detailed content which cannot be found on intermediary websites. This would help to build up and reinforce brand loyalty which enables these hotels to retain its customers over a sustained period of time. Furthermore, the online consumer is assured that his online booking is secure and he does not have to pay additional booking charges.
Empowering yourself to make the right hotel booking decisions
As the Internet is home to multitudes of sites offering hotel online booking services, it is not always easy to find one that is trustworthy and has your needs and concerns in mind. It is very important to find a website that you can trust, not only when it comes to reliability of hotel information and provision of room rates that are kept up-to-date, but more importantly one where you can have peace of mind when making an online transaction through it.