New Delhi: The most crucial part of planning a vacation remains to book the perfect accommodation, which fits into one's specifications in terms of budget, location, proximity to the airport/railway station and so on.
Internet and technology have changed the course of the hospitality industry, with millions of hotels offering online booking facility to their guests. The internet is filled with countless travel websites and apps which have made hotel bookings a lot easier for travelers, particularly when one visits a completely new city or country,
In this regard, here are some of the advantages of online booking of hotels over booking through a travel agent, according to Puspendra Sharma, the founder of HotelDekho, an online hotel bookings service in India:
Saves Time and Money: Time and money are two critical elements that one always wants to utilise well. Online hotel bookings are hassle-free compared to visiting a travel agent's office. Travelers can get assured monetary gains because online hotel booking offer discounts, thereby helping travelers save some extra bucks. While a convenience fee is charged by portals, it is still less than the commission charged by the travel agents.
User-Friendly: Online Travel Agents (OTAs) are easy to use as the portal simplifies the booking process for the customers. There are many hotel options given which one can filter according to their individual needs and make a comparison amongst various hotels.
Reviews: Customer reviews about different hotels are available online and this is an important feature that helps one to make the right choices. Online reviews not only include comments from people who have stayed at a hotel but also pictures of that property. Customer reviews also help in building a community of travelers who share a detailed feedback about their travel experiences.
Convenient payment procedure: The payment procedure is also greatly eased with an online hotel booking system. Customers can pay when they book the hotels, further increasing their income and not worry about the payments when they arrive. In addition, in case of a no-show, one can always keep some of the money as compensation. Customers can pay by debit/ credit cards or net banking.
Easier to get room upgrades: It is much easier to create, publish, promote and sell packages and add-ons, online. Customers can combine them as well as choose the package they want. This will further, increase the revenue which can be generated, while the customers will be able to get exactly according to their requirements.