Online Bookings Image
Online Bookings

Do I need online booking software?

There are many reasons why it is a good idea to have online booking facilities on your website and if you are trying to improve the numbers of direct bookings, it really is a must!
Did you know that there are systems that are easy to set up, with no initial outlay or real costs involved? When we refer here to booking systems, this is a booking facility / calendar to computerise your diary. This is NOT a booking channel or Online Travel Agent (OTA) which will actively find bookings for you and charge commission on those bookings.
An online booking system doesn’t have to be a daunting thing. It is simply a calendar that you use both on and offline to manage guest bookings. If you haven’t already got one, you should find that it increases the number of bookings across the board, attracts a new stream of guests and saves precious time!
If you’re still using the traditional ‘paper and pen’ type calendar or are using the facility provided through your booking channel and are concerned about making the switch due to potential issues such as double booking, then don’t worry. There are online booking systems that connect to booking channels / OTAs to ensure that everything is done in one place. This eradicates the issue of double bookings and allows a standard email response as soon as customers book. This offers continuity, greater control over what is being sent out and eliminates the need for multiple calendars on the go at the same time.
In a world where the majority are frequent internet users, increased visibility through social media and a website which includes a ‘BOOK NOW’ button is a must. It is far easier, quicker and less labour intensive than telephone or email communication. Imagine waking up in the morning to a host of new bookings where satisfied customers have concluded the process before you’ve even had your first cup of coffee!
There are a range of booking systems available and the type of accommodation you offer will, to some degree, dictate which you use. However, many are suitable for all accommodation types. We have included a list below of some popular booking systems used by accommodation providers, but there are many more. Always do your own research to see which is the best for your own business.
Please note that UK Tourism Online does not endorse any specific booking system.