Hotel Booking Engines VS OTAs: Which Brings in More Room Reservations?

While the opportunities that Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) present in terms of revenue are significant, many hoteliers are opting to maximize room reservations through a hotel booking engine. 

But if OTAs can be a major source of hotel bookings and revenue, why would hoteliers prefer using their own hotel booking system? In this blog, we will weigh the pros and cons of OTAs and hotel booking engines and why leveraging the latter is the better option for maximizing resources, reservations, and revenue. 

What’s inside this blog?

  • What is a Hotel Booking Engine

  • Comparing OTAs and  Hotel Booking Engines

  • Frequently Asked Questions About Hotel Booking Engines

What is a Hotel Booking Engine

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<p dir=In a nutshell, a hotel booking engine is an application found on hotel websites and social media pages to process direct online hotel room reservations. If you’ve gone to many hotel websites or social media pages, the widget that travelers use to make room reservations online is the hotel booking engine.

If you want to remain competitive in the industry, you must start installing this feature to your website and pages because no matter what size your hotel is, many travelers will expect this kind of functionality from you. Convenience is key. 

Comparing OTAs and Hotel Booking Engines

OTAs are great hotel marketing channels because they serve a wide range of customers and usually provide more choices for accommodations. While more people do prefer looking for hotels because of the room rate transparency and the huge hotel selection, hotel booking engines can still compete with exclusive offers, competitive room prices, and other special perks that potential guests will appreciate. 

Here are a few ways to drive guests away from OTAs and straight to your hotel website. 

1. Use a Property Management System to maximize hotel booking distribution

A Property Management System (PMS) can be integrated with a hotel booking engine to seamlessly connect your hotel inventory and distribution system with the in-house reservation system.

A Property Management System (PMS) can be integrated with a hotel booking engine to seamlessly connect your hotel inventory and distribution system with the in-house reservation system. By allocating your more popular rooms and exclusive amenities on your website, you can entice more guests to book directly on your platform instead of on OTAs.

A hotel PMS-booking engine integration also makes it easier for hoteliers to monitor and adjust marketing strategies to serve more guests on their website. Hotel managers can respond faster to customer preferences with a few adjustments and create better offers exclusively on their website. 

2. Learn more about room reservation preferences with data collected from a hotel booking engine

Here’s how a hotel booking engine can help you increase room reservations using customer data

What’s great about an online hotel booking engine is that it allows you to gather data on how guests are booking rooms, their preferences, the price they are willing to pay, booking patterns, and more. This information can help you determine what packages you sell the most, and areas to focus on to help grow your business. 

Furthermore, the data gathered from a hotel booking engine can help forecast guest demands, changes in the hospitality market, and can help with room pricing strategies and hotel marketing plans. 

3. Use hotel booking engines to offer more secure room reservations than OTAs

Hotel booking through an OTA is less secure compared to using a hotel booking engine.

When guests make a booking, your online booking engine can securely accept credit card payments, and your guest’s data is safely stored and accessible in one place. OTAs, while highly convenient, aren’t always the most secure and private platforms. They can be prone to malware and software bugs due to the huge selection and traffic they get. 

Also, since there is so much information guests have to keep after booking, the hotel booking engine allows guests to keep track of their hotel booking details in one place that they can access any time, anywhere.

4. Guest enjoy more competitive room rates and hoteliers enjoy more hotel revenue with a hotel booking engine

Hotel booking engines offer more flexibility and customization for guests, and higher revenues for hoteliers.

While OTAs are crucial to maximizing hotel revenues, the fact that they ask for higher commission rates gives hotel booking engines the advantage of winning the battle because it is your key to commission-free direct bookings, helping you maximize profitability.

Moreover, OTAs often charge customers higher hotel room rates to compensate for the hotel commissions. With hotel bookings engines, hotels can set more competitive room rates and offer better perks and packages to guests. 

Additional perks are flexibility to put any information, promotions, banners on your website freely. You can also control the guests’ journey from browsing your rooms to finally booking them. Finally, it also gives easier payment processing as it does not have to go through a third party channel. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Hotel Booking Engines

Q: What is a hotel booking engine?

 A hotel booking engine is an application on hotel websites and social media pages to capture and process direct online room reservations. An online booking engine works by plugging into your hotel website and processing secure online reservations made through the website.

Q: What advantages do I get from using a hotel booking engine?

 There are a number of benefits of using a hotel booking engine, including a maximized hotel inventory, an insight to booking data and an increase in hotel revenue per booking. 

Q: Do I need a booking engine?

In short, yes. It offers many great benefits. Additional hotel revenue, flexibility to publish your content, and other hotel marketing efforts. OTAs are still crucial in promoting your business, but at the end of the day, having a hotel booking engine will be crucial in maximizing your revenue for your hotel.

Q: What is the best hotel booking engine?

A: There is no best hotel booking engine, as the hotel system does not work standalone. It requires other systems to make the overall system work flawlessly, for example Channel Manager, Property Management System, or Revenue Management Software. Having them provided by a single provider ensures seamless integration and less issues. ZEN eManager Express provides them all at once, and with the help of AI-backed dynamic pricing, ZEN eManager Express guarantees a boost in revenue as well as in occupancy rate.


Integrate the Best Hotel Booking Engine Into Your Hotel Operations

A booking engine tool must share information with three critical systems: your Channel Manager, payments processor, and Property Management System.

ZEN eManager Express offers additional services including a trustworthy booking engine which is connected directly to other hotel systems, such as Channel Manager and PMS, which all are provided by ZEN Rooms. With seamless integration, this booking engine will help the hotel to boost its bookings, especially with the help of dynamic pricing from eManager Express itself.

Interested in generating more revenue and hotel bookings? Learn more by working with ZEN Hospitality Solutions. Our in-house experts and digital solutions can help hoteliers maximize their hotel’s potential and level up their overall performance. Talk to an expert today. 

Article by Cielo Fernando