Different Booking Sources of Reservation in the Hotel Industry
There are numerous ways a hotel can learn about the guest’s request for available space. The potential guest can connect with the hotel via telephone, email, online, Social Media, other devices or referral systems may all become important communication links between the sources of business and the hotel property. Such a source of business aka ‘Source Codes‘ is tagged with each reservation record for statistical and forecasting purposes.
The potential customer must be aware of how to contact the hotel for lodging management to maximize guest room sales. A property receives reservation inquiries in a variety of ways. The reservation request may be made in person, over the telephone, in a mail, via facsimile or telex, through the internet or online, social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), mobile apps, instant messaging systems (Whatsapp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger) through a central reservation system, global distribution system or through an inter sell agency.
When you book a hotel reservation, it is important to pay attention to the booking source. The booking source is the platform or website that you use to make your reservation. There are many different booking sources available, including the hotel’s own website, third-party booking sites, and travel agencies.
When booking directly through the hotel’s website, you may be able to find exclusive deals or promotions that are not available elsewhere. Additionally, booking directly through the hotel allows you to communicate directly with the hotel staff and ask any questions you may have about your reservation.
Third-party booking sites, such as Expedia or Booking.com, can offer a wider range of options and prices for hotels. However, it is important to be aware of any additional fees or restrictions that may come with booking through a third-party site. It is also important to carefully read the reviews of the hotel and the booking site before making a reservation.
Travel agencies can also be a helpful resource for booking hotel reservations, particularly if you are planning a complex itinerary or multiple bookings. However, they may charge a fee for their services.
Overall, it is important to do your research and carefully consider the booking source when making a hotel reservation to ensure that you are getting the best possible deal and experience.
Below is a list of some common sources of business in a hotel:
Personal approach: They may directly give their reservation to the hotel. They are also termed as FITs (Free individual travelers) or chance guests. Those guests are also termed as walk-in guests.
Travel agent: A travel agent acts as a middleman between the guest and the hotel by making a reservation for a guest. A travel agent may make a reservation for FITs (Free individual travelers) or chance guests.
Tour operators: These are wholesalers who coordinate with different modes of transportation, hotels, tours, associations, tourist offices, etc.
Airlines: Different airlines book hotel rooms for their regular crew members or their clients in case of cancellation of their onward flights and also for the use of their executives.
Central reservation system: There are two basic types of central reservation system;
a) Affiliate network – An affiliate network is a hotel chain network where all individual units are linked through the central network. Chain hotels link their operations to streamline the processing of reservations and reduce overall system costs and at the same time, it also allows the non-chain properties to join the system as overflow facilities. Overflow facilities receive reservation requests only after all room availabilities in chain properties within a geographic area are been exhausted
b) Non-affiliated network – A non-affiliated reservation system connects non-chain properties and enables independent hotel operators to get the benefit of reservations which the units of the chain get and this system also takes care of the advertising of the properties.
Global Distribution System (GDS): Most modern hotel central reservation systems, whether they are affiliate or non-affiliate reservation networks are connected with one of the global distribution systems(GDS). The largest and the best-known GDSs include SABRE, Galileo International, Amadeus, and Worldspan (Travelport). GDSs provide worldwide distribution of hotel reservation information and allow the selling of hotel reservations around the world.
Companies/corporate houses: The companies may book rooms or other services for their visitors, executives, delegators, or clients in a hotel at special rates.
Embassies/consulate offices: They provide large business in capital cities for their visiting dignitaries, executives, officers, etc
NGOs/INGOs: These groups book hotel rooms directly for conducting seminars, research, training programs, etc.
Universities and other educational institutions: These are also good for reservation students’ associations. professors, technicians, and employees are reliable sources for the hotel.
Government Office and Ministries: They can be a good source of reservation of rooms for several visiting dignitaries, executives, and officers from different countries to participate in conferences and seminars conducted and hosted by government officials.
Inter-sell agencies: They are two or more business organizations, like Airline and Hotels, promoting each other’s business for mutual gain. Hotels and car rental companies may also be inter-sell partners.
Referral groups: They are an informal or sometimes formal association of hotels that refer guests to each other in case of sold-out status or if a guest is traveling to another city where the hotel does not have a branch.
Online: Bookings are made directly via the hotel’s website, social media, chat widget on the hotel website, and instant messaging platforms like Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, etc.