Different Booking Source 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 a 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 purpose.
It is important that the potential customer be aware of how to contact the hotel in order for lodging management to maximise guest room sales. A property receives reservation inquiries in a variety of ways. The reservation request may be made in person, over a telephone, in a mail, via facsimile or telex, though 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.
Below is the list of some common source of business in a hotel:
Personal approach: The may directly give their reservation to the hotel. They are also termed as FITs (Free individual travellers) or chance guest. Those guest are also termed as walk-in guests.
Travel agent: Travel agent acts as a middleman between guest and hotel by making a reservation for a guest. A travel agent may make a reservation for FITs (Free individual travellers) or chance guests.
Tour operator: These are wholesalers who coordinate with a different mode of transportations, hotels, tour, associations, tourist offices etc.
Airlines: Different airlines book hotel rooms for their regular crew members or for 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 chains 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 reservation which the units of the chain get and this system also takes care of the advertising of the properties.
Global Distribution System (GDS): Most modem hotel central reservation systems, whether they are affiliate or non-affiliate reservation network connection 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 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, executive, officers etc
NGOs/INGOs: These group book hotel rooms directly for conducting seminars, research, training programmes etc.
Universities and other educational institutions: These are also good of reservation students’ associations. professors, technicians and employees are the reliable sources to the hotel.
Government Office and Ministries: They can be a good source of reservation of rooms for several visiting dignitaries, executive, officers from different countries to participate conference and seminars conducted and hosted by government officials.
Inter-sell agencies: They are two or more business organisations, 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 who refer guests to each other in case of sold-out status or if a guest is travelling to another city where the hotel does not have a branch.
Online: Bookings made directly via hotels website, social media, chat widget on the hotel website, instant messaging platforms like Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger etc.