With a significant return of leisure travel expected through the Thanksgiving and winter holidays, many hoteliers are turning to technology to drive revenue while providing a personalized experience to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty. Technological innovation within the hospitality industry began before COVID-19, but guests now crave convenience and accept the critical role of technology in managing their stay.
Guests have had the privilege of tailoring their travel itineraries utilizing travel agents and tour operators for years, but now, with the growth of technology and the demand for do-it-yourself more options are available. Since the pandemic, hoteliers have implemented new tools such as mobile check-in, contactless payment, biometrics, and voice control. For some, this goes even further with facial and fingerprint recognition. Not only does this add a level of convenience to the guest but management as well.
The key to winning loyal customers is adding personalization from when they book their trip to check out. Many hoteliers are applying software management systems, such as RealTime Reservation, that offer easy-to-access services, amenities, and activities. With this technology, guests can pre-plan their stay and start their trip stress-free, with the security of knowing their must-do experiences are booked and waiting for their arrival.
With technology’s ever-increasing uses and ways of easing tasks, it seems evident that guests should be able to pre-book amenities and activities for upcoming trips. Single-reservation platforms, like the software from RealTime Reservation, present guests with various resources upfront, allowing them to review their options and set an itinerary ahead of time. Software such as this ensures hotel guests will not miss out on amenity options upon arrival and enhances the guest experience. Pre-booking activities and services lift the stress of doing it upon arrival. This technology integrates the reservation software into the hotel’s website, allowing guests to make all travel bookings in one place. Additionally, guests can charge booking fees directly to their hotel room or credit card as the payment processing software for the reservation platform integrates with the hotel’s processing software. Changes and upgrades can easily be made to the pre-booked reservations, offering guests flexibility with their itineraries throughout their stay.
Technology that allows guests to reserve amenities before arrival – and still be able to make changes to these reservations later on – opens up the door for more possibilities. Guests are comfortable exploring more opportunities as the technology has removed roadblocks and enables guests a risk-free option to book and try various activities, knowing they can adjust these experiences as needed. Starting a trip and having already reserved everything from poolside cabanas and spa appointments to parking and gym access creates a new level of rest and relaxation for hotel guests. The entire experience is customizable – and the software maintains guest preferences, utilizing them for precise remarketing to encourage subsequent visits, further increasing the ease of the booking process in the future.
Reservation technology software provides as many benefits to hoteliers as it does to guests. It allows hotels to optimize ancillary revenue before guest arrivals, pinpoints additional hotel revenue streams and upfront cash flows, and allows for yield management. Hotels can now purchase twelve products from which guests can book amenities and activities, including RealTime Amenities and RealTime Food and Beverage to RealTime Parking, RealTime Retail, and RealTime Day Passes. Additionally, hoteliers can use RealTime Reservation’s software to market and promote activities and packages to entice guests to take advantage of the hotel’s services.
Insight from RealTime Reservation allows member hotels to manage sales and inventory forecasts, trend predictions, and real-time data and statistics that provide conflict solutions. As all hotel reservations and amenities are booked on one platform, all activities and amenities are managed concisely, removing the possibility of double bookings or missed sales. RealTime Reservation’s software is PCI compliant for security and integrates with many leading PMS and POS systems. The open API allows additional technology vendors, such as parking and payment systems, to integrate and track transitions and manage inventory and revenue in real-time. From luxury resorts to city center hotels, these properties are now trending to use this customizable software.
Overall the benefits of integrating technology and travel greatly ease the experiences of both guests and hoteliers. With the ability to completely customize their itinerary before arrival, guests receive a relaxed, hassle-free stay. This technology also eases hoteliers’ stress, allowing them to manage all booking activities through a single platform. The benefits and uses of reservation technology software, such as RealTime Reservation, promise a more accessible, more productive future for travel.
About the author
Shawn Tarter is CEO & Founder of RealTime Reservation, an organization that provides real-time inventory management reservation software to the hospitality/travel industry. Shawn recognized opportunities at many properties and was eager to give the hotels ways to improve the customer experience while providing services that support client satisfaction and loyalty. In 2015, Shawn founded Ipalapa Corporation, which rebranded in 2018 to RealTime Reservation. In the three short years since its rebrand, the company has experienced significant sales and revenue growth, despite operating during a global pandemic. Today, the company employs fifty professionals across development, R&D, client services, administration, sales, and marketing and boasts more than 500 clients.