Information, Technology and Tourism

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Introduction

Information technology has influenced all walks of our lives over the last few decades in a tremendous manner with the Tourism and Travel sector being one of the chief beneficiaries. The introduction of computers can be traced back to the early 60’s when the vacuum tube was the primary component of computer systems. This was largely inefficient and error prone and soon gave way to transistors which were replaced by Integrated Circuits. Now the technological advances have allowed advanced graphics integrated with moving images and sound to be incorporated into the modern computers.

The Tourism product being largely intangible stands to gain a lot from technology. Travel was considered a risk in the early days mainly due to the fact that the knowledge about the terrain, climate, culture etc of the destination was limited or unknown. Only the adventurous and men in quest for newer pastures ventured into such journeys. With the advent of IT into the travel sector, things have changed. Travel has become much more enjoyable and comfortable. The modern day traveller has a plethora of options to choose from, with Internet being the favourite haunt for the potential traveller. Places of tourist interest and scenic beauty often do not catch the attention of the customer largely due to the fact that they are not marketed well. Internet in the early days did not support graphics, video, sound etc. Hence the tourism products could not be marketed over the net effectively. Now things have drastically changed with the introduction of protocols like the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP). This has led to easier transmission of graphical images, music, videos etc over the net with speed and clarity. Thus tourism has been effectively marketed over the Internet. This has led to the mushrooming of Tourism and Travel sites.

There are number of software which cater to the needs of the tourism and hospitality sectors. Travel agencies, tour operators, hotels etc use modern systems equipped with powerful applications that work on huge databases. Computerised front office has lent elegance to the modern offices which are largely paperless. Office automation has led to efficient and accurate information processing. A person armed with the right information is the most powerful in the modern era. Computerised systems are used to extract information out of the voluminous quantities of data store in databases. Querying a database, be it for reservation enquiry or booking a ticket is in the hands of the end user. The customer is the king and rightly so has a number of options to choose from when embarking on a journey or getting information about a tourist spot.

Earlier users of computer systems were required to be experts. Even starting up the system required a computer operator. Only then the application could be run. Now systems with Graphical User Interface (GUI) and the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) technologies, even a layman or a child is able to operate a computer or access internet. A person who doesn’t know the local language at a place has information at his finger tips with the advent of touch screen facilities. Almost all banks have now introduced ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) facilities at their premises so as to allow the customers to access their accounts any time of the day.

In the Kerala scenario the advent of IT has been restricted to travel agencies using reservation systems and development of websites by Governmental and non-Governmental agencies. Also office automation is in place in with the accounting process also being computerized. The official website of Kerala Tourism has won many national and international accolades as being one of the best sites in tourism worldwide. In the education sector institutes such as the Kerala Institute of Tourism and Travel Studies (KITTS) has imparted IT education in Tourism sector by giving hands on training to students in GDSs (Global Distribution Systems) and computerized applications. Kerala Tourism Development Corporation (KTDC) has also fully computerized their reservations and a tourist can easily book a room through the net. Hotels have linked their systems to other global systems so as to establish a link worldwide. Let us examine in brief the applications of IT in Tourism.

Global Distribution Systems

Global Distribution Systems (GDS) have evolved over the years and has played a major role in making online travel possible. A Computer Reservation System (CRS) is used to store and retrieve information and conduct transactions related to travel. They were originally developed by airlines, but it was later extended to travel agents as a sales channel. A functionality of CRS has been extended and what is known as the Global Distribution Systems came into existence. The major CRS operations that book and sell tickets to multiple airlines are known as GDS. Many airlines have opted to divest most of their holdings to Global Distribution Systems due to which many systems are now accessible to consumers through Internet gateways for hotels, car rental agencies, and other services as well as airline tickets. A traveller or a travel agent can chalk out an itinerary using a GDS which is a global system interconnecting airlines, hotels, travel agents, car rental companies, cruise liners etc. The four major Global Distribution Systems are AMADEUS, GALILEO, SABRE and WORLDSPAN. AMADEUS boasts of a market share of 31% and is followed by SABRE with 30% of the market, GALILEO with 26% and WORLDSPAN which has captured 12% of the market.

Today’s GDS systems have the following capabilities

  • Available and accessible 99.9% of the time
  • Process up to 17,000 messages per second during peak time
  • Operates on cutting edge enterprise systems architecture
  • Enjoys response times of a fraction of a second
  • Is capable of booking a multitude of transactions
  • Can make itinerary changes up to the last minute and complete complex international routings to every country in the world
  • Automates the time consuming and complex process of re-pricing airline tickets when itineraries change
  • Permits customers to send e-mail and faxes without exiting from the system
  • Allows customers to compare fares and availability in order to shop for the most convenient travel at the lowest cost
  • Stores all data related to the tens of millions of travellers securely so that the customers receive the travel preferences they desire

On a given day a GDS can access

  • Over a billion fare combinations
  • More than 95% of the available seats worldwide
  • More than 750 airlines
  • More than 50,000 hotel properties
  • Over 400 tour operators
  • Nearly 30,000 car rental locations

GDS systems are capable of booking

  • One way and roundtrip airline seats
  • Hotel rooms
  • Rental cars
  • Tours
  • Cruises
  • Bus and rail tickets
  • Insurance
  • Limousines
  • Event and theatre attractions
  • Dining Reservations
  • Itinerary Changes
  • Complex international routings

E-Ticketing

An electronic ticket or e-ticket is a means by which a passenger or a group of passengers can ensure their seat in a commercial airline by booking over the internet. This greatly reduces the procedures associated with issusing a paper ticket, which consists of a number of copies. Both the airlines and the passenger are benefited by this form of ticketing. An image of the ticket is stored in the computer from which the customer can take a print out and board the plane directly if he or she is carrying no luggage. If there is luggage after obtaining the clearance the passenger can board the aircraft. The customer can request that a hardcopy confirmation be sent by postal mail, but it is not needed at the check-in desk. A confirmation number is assigned to the passenger, along with the flight number, date, departure location, and destination location. When checking in at the airport, the passenger simply presents positive identification. Then necessary boarding passes are issued, and the passenger can check luggage and proceed through security to the gate area.

The main advantage of e-ticketing is the fact that it reduces booking expense by eliminating the need for printing and mailing paper documents. Another advantage is that it eliminates the possibility of critical documents getting lost in the mail or being sent to the wrong address. It is estimated that globally about 25% of the passengers book their tickets online which has resulted in the booming of low cost fliers.

The Internet has provided a new economic environment to conduct business. E-commerce is a growing sector and many tourism businesses are involved in developing their internet services including traditional travel agents, tour operators, national tourist offices, airlines, hotels and other accommodation providers and car hire firms. This means of doing business is known as ‘e-tourism’, or ‘tourism e-business’. The key differences from traditional markets are the speed at which information can be communicated, global accessibility and the minimal costs of establishing a business online.

Property Management Systems

As the term indicates, property management systems refer to systems which have been used world wide to manage and effectively control the various day to day and other procedures related to managing large properties. Even in Kerala, these systems are used in large scale.

The core functions which a PMS can handle are reservations, front office operations, some back office operations and some managerial functions. A PMS is commonly used for handling the accounting functions of the various departments in a Hotel. This is in addition to being the hub for all interconnectivity with other systems in the hotel. Just as a person, who is cut off from the rest of his colleagues during work a standalone computer is not of much use. Hence a networked environment is provided whereby a server can cater to the needs of the end-user who may be a manager to receptionist or a waiter. This is achieved by networking the systems and sharing of resources. Software may be developed to suit the needs of the hotel which may have a front end and a back end. A front end is user interface, through which data may be entered or information retrieved. The back end may consist of a RDBMS which acts as the storage hub. Queries and reports may be used to retrieve information. For example, if a guest wants to know details regarding tariffs during off season, a click of the mouse may be sufficient to retrieve information.

Virtual Reality Systems

Virtual reality is a relatively new area which is related to artificial intelligence and neural networks. Artificial intelligence is an area where technology has made rapid strides in recent years. Human beings have been blessed with intelligence which ranges from their ability to remember things to inventing gadgets and making life more meaningful. It goes without saying that human brain is an amazing and intricate organ which has till date not been surpassed by even the fastest super computer. It is doubtful if such thing will happen in future too. But artificial intelligence has paved pathways to new gadgets and robots which help man in potentially dangerous and intricate tasks.

Tourism has in addition to the natural attractions, theme parks, man made rides, simulations etc. Singapore, Disneyland etc house some of most fabulous man made wonders thanks to IT and its applications. Particularly theme parks and rides along with recreation of fantasies and dinosaurs have added mileage to tourist destinations.

Virtual Travel

With the ever increasing need to use the net, Tourism has entered a new era. Virtual travel has gained popularity and a tourist if he wishes can use the various tools and internet and sit at the comfort of his office or home and do a virtual travel. Earlier there used to armchair travelogue creators who used to design the show from articles and hearsays. But now travel writing has been simplified just because there is a plethora of information in CD’s, brochures and on the net.

There are even virtual travel agencies on the net which offers a tour through its gallery and offers a great deal of information. Gone are the days when a guide used to take travelers for ride narrating several cock and bull stories and feeding the customers with false information. Virtual travellers are more informed and many of them do not even need an introduction to a destination which they plan to visit.

In addition to the virtual tour of the real world, artificially created virtual worlds are there, waiting to be explored. These sites offer a free package for a week which can be downloaded. After going through this demo, the user can see the real stuff, if he registers online and pays for it. This is a trend which is fast catching on. After all globalization has shrunk the world and it wouldn’t be long time before new destinations in the cyber world comes up.

Travel Recommender Systems

Travel has become a part and parcel in the lives of human beings. Efforts from travel agencies and tour operators coupled with inputs from Governmental organizations have resulted in great changes which have eased the hardships placed on the traveller. The modern day traveller has a plethora of options to choose from when planning his trip. Travel Recommender Systems though in its infancy has established its utility value in travel planning. In the coming years, its importance as tool in aiding travel planning will be indispensable. A few recommender systems are available in the market that give the tour operator or the customer options to remove the intangibility associated with the product. Austria is one of the few countries which have introduced Recommender Systems to the travelling public and have found favourable response from the users. Recommending a travel plan consists of many aspects such as the destination type, location specific information, seasonal specific recommendations etc. All this has to be presented to the user in a customer friendly manner so that he or she can input the options to the system which in turn will suggest the most recommended travel plan. These systems use artificial intelligence and fall under the category of expert systems.

Geographic Information Systems

The usage of maps dates back to centuries. Man has been using maps for guidance and for locating places. With the advancement of computer technology and graphics, maps have been digitised and used for providing accurate and timely information to users. Databases have been combined with computer graphics in the area of GIS.

GIS is used to display and analyse spatial data which are linked to databases. This connection between spatial data and databases is the driving force behind the working of a GIS. Maps can be drawn from the database and data can be referenced from the maps. When the database is updated, the associated map also gets updated. GIS database include a wide variety of information including geographic, social, political, environmental and demographic data. GIS technology is a computer based data collection, storage and analysis tool that combines previously unrelated information into easily understood maps. A GIS can perform complicated analytical functions and present the results visually as maps, tables or graphs, allowing decision-makers to visually see the issues before them and then select the best course of action.

GIS finds wide applications in Tourism especially in mapping Tourist destinations, hotels etc. The end user can pin point a destination and even browse the hotel room in which he or she plans to stay.

Conclusion

On the whole it can be said that Information technology has left an indelible mark in the application area of Tourism and Travel. In the coming years, areas like Travel Recommender Systems, GIS, Space Tourism etc will gain popularity and will help in giving a new dimension to the travel and tourism sector. Kerala Tourism which has established its presence in the global market will bank on these applications to further propel its growth trajectory. The International market which is growing has been given a shot in the arm with introduction of IT and will stand to gain further from it.

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Simplified hotel reservations thanks to the use of software

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The impact of the Internet on businesses of all types is phenomenal. This has led to the rapid growth of trade and commerce around the world, with geographical boundaries no longer being a constraint on doing business. The availability of the Internet on various electronic devices, such as computers, tablets, smartphones and laptops, has made it very convenient to access all kinds of businesses that have the Internet. The internet has had a huge impact on the hospitality and tourism industry. Nowadays, most tourists and travelers are looking for accommodation around the world. As a result, most hotels around the world have adopted an online booking program to facilitate customers looking for accommodation options. This has made booking a much easier and more convenient process than before. As a result, all the best hotels in the world have their own special websites, which among other options offer the possibility of booking.

Some of the main advantages of using the booking mechanism in hotels:

The use of this facility has simplified the hotel booking process, which has become very convenient and easy. Customers can search for accommodation of their choice by browsing the hotel’s website and seeing the different types of rooms that are available. All this can be done while sitting in the comfort of your own home or office. The use of booking software in combination with virtual tours of the hotel attracts a large number of customers to the hotel.

One of the biggest benefits of using booking software is that it increases the profitability of any hotel. The hotel industry is extremely competitive, and stable profits can become a problem due to the fluctuation of the tourism industry. Hotels need to cut costs to be sustainable in the long run, and the use of booking software is very helpful in this area. Using the services of a travel agency leads to a drop in hotel profits, as they need to pay the agent interest as a commission. The client must also pay extra when using a travel agent for booking. There are no intermediaries in online booking, and it is beneficial for both the hotel and the client.

The use of the online booking mechanism reduces the number of human errors as it provides accurate and up-to-date information about booking and availability. There is no possibility of human error, and the possibility of double booking is not available. Every time a number is booked, it is displayed in the system and prospective customers see only available numbers. This streamlines the process of ordering accommodation.

In addition to booking hotel rooms, customers also book additional facilities and services through the booking system. They can order at spas and restaurants among many other options.

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Mobile application development trends in 2017

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With the advent of mobile technology, customers in today’s world are constantly on the move. Nowadays, people have become extremely knowledgeable in technology, and thinking about the world around is simply impossible without our smartphones. From booking hotels to booking tickets, shopping for banking services, booking a cabin to paying utility bills, almost everything is available at our fingertips, thanks to mobile applications. Yes, as the mobile industry thrives, the demand for mobile applications is going viral. People are beginning to understand the benefits of using many different mobile apps, and this explains why mobile apps are so important these days.

While 2016 proved to be a busy life for mobile device development companies, this trend is expected to continue in 2017 as well. So let’s take a quick look at some of the major trends in mobile app development in 2017:

Hybrid Technology app: Hybrid app technologies are similar to any other mobile app you find in your phone or even in a game store. This is similar to some interesting applications created using a combination of different web technologies, such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript, with which you can play games or communicate with people through social networks, take photos, plan your tasks, track status your health and do much more. These apps can access certain built-in features of your device, such as lost contact, camera, gallery, messages, etc., and behave as your own device equivalent.

EGovernace app: The Government of India is ready to make its dream of “Digital India” a reality and this is creating a call for companies involved in mobile application development. More recently, the government has launched a number of mobile apps ranging from education to agriculture and healthcare to e-government, and plans to introduce more such programs next year.

Programs for the enterprise: Business programs are business applications that help an organization solve business problems. Typical examples of such applications are automated billing system, e-mail marketing system, payment process, content management, ERP, personnel management, messaging systems and collaboration systems, etc. Mobile application companies are now gradually moving to the cloud calculations. This is the latest trend in the development of enterprise applications, when the company moves part or all of its infrastructure to the type of Internet computing (cloud), where services are delivered directly to the computer, and devices – on the Internet.

Applications running from GPS: Global Positioning System (GPS) applications are growing these days. It helps determine a person’s position, move from one place to another, track the movement of our parcels, create world maps, etc. Some major mobile app development companies are fully focused on creating high-precision GPS apps that are widely used throughout world in several industries. mining, aviation, naval and even military.

Messaging programs: Trends in mobile messaging are replacing the traditional form of text messaging. Easy-to-use messaging programs such as WhatsApp, Snapchat, Hike and Viber not only offer free messaging, but also allow voice calls, video calls and file sharing. However, in line with technology trends in 2017, it is believed that chatbots will be a new form of messaging.

Mobile payment app: Digital wallets are the latest trend in the development of mobile applications in 2017. Instead of paying money at the store counter or swiping your finger on a credit card, all you need to do is wave your smartphone or tap on it on the car and your payment will be made! This app will store all the information related to your payments and credit cards. You simply associate your credit or debit card with your Google account, and the rest allows for this amazing payment app!

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The value of the cash register is still in the hotel industry

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Finding the right cash register is very important when it comes to the hotel industry because the volume of transactions is exceptionally high and good customer service is essential. Electronic outlets (EPOS) are by far not the most popular type of cash register until it is used in high-end hotels – and it is extremely easy to see why this is so when you look at the many benefits associated with this type of EPOS unit.

Until now, the cash register – a find for hotels

To anyone who has been to the lobby of a busy hotel, it is clear that there is a lot of work on the receptions, but the effectiveness of customer booking and inquiries can be greatly streamlined if the right cash register is selected. EPOS systems today are exclusively advanced technologies, and hotels are one of the main industries that use this form of equipment. Including touch screen technology and a host of features that make hotel management much easier, some may wonder how hotels managed to get to the invention of EPOS retail systems.

Optimized experience

It goes without saying that customer service is the source of life for the hospitality industry, and the first point of contact for travelers is invariably the reception – and therefore it is very important that everything starts well. Often it can be as simple as ensuring that their bookings and payments are processed promptly and using the right type of cash register until this can be achieved each time.

EPOS systems are extremely useful in a hotel setting as they very effectively track transactions and transaction details – for example, the proportion of customers who pay in cash and those who use credit cards.

Stay in memory

Troubled accommodation for travelers is the main goal of all hotels and it can definitely be alleviated with the help of EPOS systems. A proper cash register can perform many vital functions that can help in the day-to-day operation of a hotel – from checking inventory levels to drastically reducing customer waiting times.

More and more hotels across the UK and around the world will be looking to upgrade their cash register by the end of 2010, and in the vast majority of cases, most likely they will choose to install EPOS systems because of the very cost-effective features they can boast of in compared to old cash registers.

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Benefits of Online Transportation Booking

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Our world has shrunk in a cyber cell. We are connected by a vibration that not only transmits information quickly but is also very reliable. From banking, shopping, work to communication – all you need is just one click, and all you need is to connect to the Internet. No one ever imagined that this six-letter word could mean so much. This is the easiest, fastest and most reliable way to do everything in minutes and seconds.

Over the past decade, the travel and tourism industry has grown rapidly thanks to advances in I-booking and I-banking systems. Travel is not limited to airline tickets or train tickets. It covers car rental, public transport, cruises, ferries and boats, etc.

Booking a carriage online saves you a lot of hassle and money. You will have to go all the way to travel agencies, wait in long queues and wait until travel agents report available flights and fares. If you want to pick up and transport services from the airport to the hotel, the agent will charge an immensely huge fee for all the services he will provide during your stay in the right place. Sometimes the transport provided in such cases is not the one that was promised and sometimes it is just not available which is very upsetting situation.

If you decide to travel by buying tickets and arranging transportation on the spot, you should be aware of the problems that may arise. You may not receive tickets at all due to unavailability, and as for transportation, hiring a cab is easier, but it’s not as convenient. If you are going to go on an unplanned vacation, you can get serious consequences.

So, the best option is to book everything online; hotel, airline tickets and additional necessary vehicles, be it public transport or a personal car. Online booking has made everything very simple, economical and convenient. You can get discounts, special rates for the holidays and off-season. Even travel-related companies prefer to take orders online because they receive instant payments that way. You can find many interactive websites with many companies that provide transportation, with so many options that it is easy to get a personalized vacation.

Online booking gives you the opportunity to choose exactly what you want. These websites even give you a virtual tour of all the cars / public transport you can use. Because rates are fixed, you don’t have to worry about bargaining or too high a fee.

Transportation companies also prefer online booking over the regular booking system. They can work with a minimum staff and a minimum budget. Payments are made online from credit cards, so their finances are regulated automatically and remain on control and balance.

The choice for Internet transportation is a two-way profitable business, thanks to its inexpensive, hassle-free and reliable qualities.

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IPTV and its application in hotels

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More hotels have improved their services and facilities by introducing modern technology and high-tech appliances and devices that can be used by their guests. Some of the most notable upgrades include upgrading bulky TVs to sleek plasma, LED or LCD screens. These new TVs typically depend on subscriptions to cable TV and satellite TV, which provide a wider choice of channels and shows for guests. But the most experienced in hotel technology are now one step ahead – they have started to apply IPTV solutions to provide their customers with an even better viewing experience. IPTV stands for “Internet Protocol Television” and provides the transmission of television programs over a streaming Internet connection.

All TV manufacturers (including Samsung and LG) sell high-end LED and LCD TVs that support IPTV, making this technology more affordable for the hospitality industry. With IPTV, your hotel can provide high-end multimedia services through video-on-demand and complete IP entertainment solutions. Having better media and entertainment services can also help improve your brand image as it allows you to create a more personalized and engaging multimedia impression in your room.

IPTV can be a solution for small hotels and resorts that would like to provide their guests with a better media experience. Using high-end middleware and a good IPTV system, hotels can provide branded services such as time-shifted television, video-on-demand and a feature that allows users to watch any show at any time and as much as they like. IPTV allows you to deliver more shows and content cost-effectively, providing features and interactivity that are not normally available to small businesses.

IPTV provides many other benefits for hotels. Improved image quality with minimal distortion and noise – a noteworthy advantage. Hotels can also block and sell various products and services via IPTV or use technology so that guests can easily communicate with the main server for room service information, payment and services such as car booking and laundry. Some systems also allow you to create personalized services, such as a welcome message with a guest name. You may even be able to send special offers and other promotions as well as local information, news and weather through the TVs in your room. Usually a custom portal is easy to edit and rebrand depending on your marketing goals. In addition to the fact that you can provide your guests with a wide range of TV and radio channels, you can also give them the opportunity to request room service, set up an alarm and even check in and through the TVs.

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Hotel booking solutions are a good tool for difficult times

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Hotel Internet Marketing is a very effective tool for sellers directly to consumers. Given that hotels are among the smartest direct marketers in all industries, you could expect them to stay ahead when it comes to cutting-edge web marketing trends. But, unfortunately, a large number of hotels even nearby understand the inherent opportunities of the Internet to stimulate business growth.

Many hotels – especially smaller ones – have not even considered integrating hotel booking programs into their websites. Worse, some hoteliers are deceived by online intermediaries who are not even aware of the hospitality industry. These are largely due to the lack of comprehensive solutions in network marketing.

But instead of refusing to adopt online marketing strategies and use hotel booking solutions, accommodation providers should look for ways to effectively integrate Internet strategies into their business. This can be especially helpful now that the tourism and hospitality industry is experiencing heat from the slowdown in the global economy.

Today it is not surprising to hear a sharp drop in hotel prices and cancellations. Even corporate travel accounts are negotiating deals with housing providers, and this could mean a significant drop in both travel for family and leisure. So what can you do? Consolidating your Internet marketing strategies and using hotel booking solutions that can enhance your guests ’experience on your site can help you in more ways than one.

As for the booking mechanism, you don’t have to worry about spending a lot. You can find multiple hotel booking software providers or consult with the developer of your site if you have one. But if you decide to integrate a booking system into your website, you need to know certain aspects of the software that can negatively affect the behavior of Internet visitors and in turn affect their hotel booking decision. Here they are:

Accounts required

When it comes to hotel booking solutions, you need to try to make everything simple. Therefore, requiring Internet visitors to open an account for membership (for free or otherwise) before they can book rooms on your site is an unnecessary barrier that can become such a problem for Internet visitors. If you consider if your main goal for membership registration is to get contact information for guests, you will be able to get many of these details by going through the online booking process.

Long booking processing

Like any online business solution, hotel booking software that takes too long to process a single transaction can prevent Internet visitors from booking with you. Again, everything will be simple. The fewer mouse clicks you need to compete online booking at your hotel, the better.

Lack or absence of confirmation

When guests use the online program to book hotels, they are waiting for instant confirmation. It’s not that you’re a reliable home provider or not; rather, the point is that your guests know that their booking has been received and that the room is waiting for them upon arrival at your hotel. So make sure the hotel booking solutions you use can give your guests a confirmation message in print format, via email, or both.

Outdated information

For potential guests, nothing can be more annoying than going through the entire booking process to find out that the room (or holiday package) they are trying to book is no longer available. Prompt word in hotel booking decisions – in real time. Always make sure that the information displayed on your website and booking mechanism is accurate and up-to-date.

So you have. Integrating booking software into your website, as part of the overall internet marketing of hotels, can definitely increase your business. Just make sure you avoid common pitfalls that can ruin your hotel booking decisions.

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Experienced hotel booking service

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A hotel is an institution that provides paid accommodation, usually on a short-term basis. Hotels often provide a range of additional guest services, such as a restaurant, swimming pool or babysitting. Some hotels have conference services and meeting rooms and encourage groups to hold conventions and meetings at the location. Hotels differ from motels in that most motels have an entrance, external entrances to the room, while hotels have internal entrances to the room, which can increase the safety of guests and present a more elite image. The basic rooms of the room with only a bed, a wardrobe, a small table and a wash basin are basically replaced by rooms with bathrooms and climate control. Other features found may be a phone, alarm clock, TV and broadband internet connection. Food and beverages can be provided with a minibar (often including a small fridge) containing snacks and drinks (payable on departure), as well as tea and coffee making facilities (cups, spoons, electric kettle and sachets of instant coffee, tea sachets, sugar and cream or milk).

In the United Kingdom, the hotel is required by law to provide food and drink to all comers at certain hours; to avoid this requirement, it is not uncommon to come across “private hotels” to which this requirement does not apply. However, in Japan, the capsule hotel provides minimal rooms and space in the room. The price and quality of hotels usually indicate the range and type of services available. Due to the huge growth of tourism worldwide over the last decades of the 20th century, standards, especially in smaller institutions, have improved significantly. For greater comparability, rating systems have been introduced, with a classification of one to five stars being the most common.

“Boutique hotel” is a term that originated in North America to describe the intimate, usually luxurious or whimsical conditions of hotels. Boutique hotels differ from large chain and branded hotels by providing an exceptional and individual level of accommodation, services and facilities. Boutique hotels are furnished themed, stylish and / or aspiring. Although they are usually much smaller than a regular hotel (3 to 100 rooms), boutique hotels usually have a telephone and Wi-Fi, internet, honesty bars and often cable / pay TV. Guest service is provided by the hotel’s 24-hour staff. Many boutique hotels have dining rooms, and most offer bars and lounges that can also be open to the general public. Of the total travel market, a small percentage are travelers who attach particular importance to privacy, luxury and service.

Because this market is typically the corporate traveler, the market segment is off-season, high-performance, and repetitive, and thus the one that boutique hotel operators designate as the primary source of revenue. A number of hotels have entered the public consciousness thanks to popular culture, such as the Ritz Hotel in London, UK (Dressing The Ritz) and the Chelsea Hotel in New York, the theme of a series of songs, and the scene of allegedly stabbed Nancy Spongen by her boyfriend Sid Vichyos. Hotels included in the folklore, similar to the two, are also frequently visited by celebrities, as is the case with the Ritz and Chelsea. Other well-known hotels include Beverly Hills, Bel Air and Chateau Marmont in California, USA, Watergate in Washington, Astoria in St. Petersburg, Russia, George V and George. Hotel Ritz in Paris, Palazzo. Hotel Versace on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, Hotel “Hermitage” and “Hotel de Paris” in Monaco (on the French Riviera) and “Leningrad” in Moscow. Many hotels can be considered destinations on their own due to the unusual features of the accommodation and / or its immediate surroundings.

Trees in Trees Some hotels, such as the Costa Rica Tree House in the Gandoka Manzanila Wildlife Sanctuary, Costa Rica, or the Traps Hotel in Aberdere National Park, Kenya, are built of living trees as structural elements, making their tree houses. The Ariau Towers near Manaus in Brazil are located in the middle of the Amazon, in the Rio Negro. Bill Gates even invested and built a suite there with satellite Internet / telephone. Another hotel that houses tree houses – Bayram’s Tree Houses in Olympus (Turkey). Cave hotels. Hotel Desert Cave in Coober Pedy (South Australia) and “Cuevas Pedro Antonio de Alarcón” (named after the author) in Guadix (Spain), as well as several hotels in Cappadocia, Turkey, are distinguished by the fact that they are built into natural caves. formations, some with rooms underground.

Capsule hotels Capsule hotels – a type of budget hotels that are quite common in Japan. Ice hotels, such as the Ice Hotel in Jukkajärvi, Sweden, melt every spring and recover every winter from ice and snow. Snow Hotels The Snow Hotel Mammut in Finland is located within the walls of the snow castle of Kemi, which is the largest in the world. These include the Mammut Snow Hotel, the castle courtyard, the Snow Restaurant, the wedding chapel, etc. Its furniture and scenery, such as sculptures made of snow and ice. Snow location is also available at the Lainio Snow Hotel in Lapland (near Ylläs), Finland. Garden Hotels Garden hotels that were famous for their gardens even before they became hotels include the Gravetti manor, the house of William Robinson and Cleved, designed by Charles Barry with a rose garden by Jeffrey Jelica.

Underwater Hotels As of 2005, the only hotel with an underwater room that can be reached without scuba diving is the Utter Inn on Lake Mellaren, Sweden. However, it has only one room, and Jules ’underwater lodge in Key Largo, Florida, which requires scuba diving, is not much larger. Hydropolis is an ambitious project to build a luxury hotel in Dubai (UAE) with 220 suites at the bottom of the Persian Gulf, 20 meters below the surface. Its architecture will house two domes that break the surface, and an underwater train tunnel, all made of transparent materials such as glass and acrylic. Other unusual hotels The Library Hotel in New York is unique in that its ten floors are arranged according to the Dewey decimal system. The Rogers Center, formerly SkyDome, in Toronto, Canada, is the only stadium to which the hotel is connected, with 70 rooms overlooking the field. The Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is built on an artificial island, built in the shape of a sail boat.

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What are some reasons why you should count on a travel agent?

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Are you organizing a vacation? A travel agent can definitely be your best guide in this case. From booking hotels to renting a car to sightseeing, you can fully rely on agents who take care of all the detailed aspects of your holiday. With the rise of Internet technology more and more travel agents are appearing in the field of Internet marketing and attracting the attention of travelers by offering attractive discount packages on holiday packages.

The travel agent has contacts with destination specialists and tour operators, which helps them to plan a tour effectively. Traditionally, after contacting travel agencies, customers usually had to ask for a price. Even today, almost all travel agents offer information on travel packages, hotels, and tickets. However, there is a limit to the amount of information they provide.

At the disposal of the travel agent are the cost of air tickets, the prices of some hotels and holiday packages of various assortments to meet the needs of individual customers. Customers can find valid information about availability dates, accommodations, etc. So not much time is devoted to using such basic information.

Nowadays, travel agents charge customers an upfront fare when customers request training. This way, customers can choose individual trips. Agents usually offer a variety of options from which to choose.

So while you’re in contact with a travel professional, make sure you provide your name as well as full contact details. Agents don’t usually take your case seriously unless you offer them the contact information they ask for.

You have to trust the professional tourist and put him in charge of planning the whole tour. This way you can be sure not to miss any attractions in the area. In addition, you can also take advantage of some of the best deals on hotel accommodation and airline tickets if you are hoping for a tour planned by your agent.

If you are going to go to luxury rooms, you can take advantage of attractive discounts by contacting agents. If you are dealing with a real agent, he will not be interested in setting you high rates. He will try his best to make the trip better.

It is important that you understand the difference between a destination specialist and a travel agent. Agents mainly use online booking systems to book travel packages, hotels, and vehicles. They offer a variety of ready-to-sell offers by contacting suppliers in the field. Booking with these agents is relatively simple, all you need to do is fill in the travel dates and your name.

So you see that if you get in touch with travel agents, all your problems regarding vacation plans can be stopped.

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Las Vegas is booming: why is it so hard to find a good deal in a hotel room!

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With 130,000 hotel rooms (148,978 if you leave Nye and Laughlin counties), you might think you could find “deals” there. You would most likely be wrong! Finding a “deal” in a city where the property of major resorts is almost unavailable is becoming increasingly difficult. Why? Because the main resort holdings are controlled by a separate group of companies that have no incentive to discount.

The Vegas Law of Demand and Supply

Consider for a moment the simple law of “supply and demand.” When supply is high and demand is low, prices fall. Vegas is a boom city, demand is high and supply is low. How can this be with 130,000 numbers? The answer is simple: 30 million visitors annually and growing! In fact the growth rate is so phenomenal that mega-resorts like Mandalay Bay (43-story $ 375 million Spa Tower with 1,120 suites completed in December 2004), and Venetian (now expanding) and recently completed The $ 2.4 billion Wynn Las Vegas (opened in April 2005) adds thousands of rooms to the “Heart Strip.” The growth is so phenomenal that even public financiers like Donald Trump are taking part. Demand for rooms exceeds supply, so prices are rising!

According to an interview published July 30, 2004 in USA Today, Trump’s plans include a 64-story tower of condominiums to be built on part of the Frontier estate opposite Wynn Las Vegas and next to the Fashion Show Mall.

Scheduled to begin construction around 2005, the $ 300 million project will include 1,000 hotel rooms and 50 luxury homes modeled after the Trump International Hotel and Tower in New York City. There will be no casino on the property.

Only 10% of Las Vegas hotels are booked online

In several articles I researched this year, published in various business magazines and hotel industry analysts, the actual booking rate of hotels offering their visitors online services is about 10% nationwide. I believe this is a clear idea of ​​Las Vegas as well. (Our company works on several sites that offer hotel reservations, and these figures are in line with our own).

Further proof: “About 10 percent of our rooms are booked at Hyatt.COM,” said Gary Gottling, director of sales and marketing for Hyatt Regency Tampa.

This means that 90% of you use the internet to gather information but don’t actually place an order online! Traditional travel agents and phone calls remain the preferred method of booking. The Internet is used as a source of information, and little more. The Big Players know this and use it to their advantage. Again, there is no incentive to offer lower rates if customers do not take advantage of them. I will briefly touch on the issue of room taxation, saying that most local governments hate the Internet because rooms booked online are not in the public interest and are included in the existing tax fund. Expect local government to act on this issue sooner rather than later.

So where does your money go when you place an order online?

When you search Vegas.com you will find that they are owned by Greenspun Media Group (Henderson, NV), which publishes the daily newspaper Las Vegas Sun, and owns Vegas Magazine, Showbiz Weekly, In Business, Las Vegas Weekly, VegasGolfer, Las Vegas Life and Ralstan’s report. Greenspun Media is part of Greenspun Corporation, which also owns a local 25 UPN channel. Greenspun is a partner in Las Vegas ONE, the cable channel for all news. American Nevada, a division of the real estate The Greenspun Corporation, is one of the most famous developers in the Las Vegas Valley. Their annual advertising budget exceeds 7 digits! Someone has to pay for all this advertising.

You can try the popular LasVegas.com website, which has an interesting and superficial history. The site’s domain was licensed in 2002 from Stephens Media Group of Littlerock Arkansas (Las Vegas Review Journal, Hawaii.com) to Mandalay Resort Group and Parkplace Entertainment. Go further – 2004 Park Place became Caesars Entertainment, which in turn was acquired by Harrah’s Entertainment. The deal was made just a month after MGM / Mirage agreed to acquire Mandalay Resort Group. Need a room on the strip? Hmmm – I think the prices will be pretty consistent! And think you could own LasVegas.com back in 1997!

IAC (InterActiveCorp), managed by Mega Financier Barry Diller, manages these online booking agencies

· Vacation Expedia.com

· Vegas packages from Expedia

· Hotwire.com

· TripAdvisor.com

· Hotels.com

· IAN.com

Note: Expedia ranks first online for travel booking for independent online booking agencies. But their slice of the overall “booking pie” is still very small. Mr. Dealer also oversaw the recent acquisition of Ask Jeeves for just $ 1.85 billion. Do not expect that prices for these rooms will fall soon.

Saber Holdings Corp owns:

Travelocity – № 3 in travel booking

Note: Saber was a “big player” in the field of travel agents, as most travel agent computers were connected to booking systems. Travelocity lags behind Expedia and Orbitz (now owned by Cedant Corp.)

Cedant Crop is the world’s leading franchisor with more than 6,400 seats and owns either a franchise:

· Orbitz – № 2 among travel visitors

· Lodging.com

· HotelClub.com

· Ratestogo.com

FYI – Cadant also owns Avis & Budget Rent A Car, Fairfield Resorts, Cheap Tickets.com, as well as real estate franchises Century 21 and Coldwell Banker.

So where does this leave you? I suggest you quickly read the tips below.

Short tips for Vegas visitors on a budget?

You probably think I’m suggesting a visit in the “offseason”. Don’t do it! In August, the temperature often exceeds 110 degrees – and that’s the temperature of the air, not the heat that radiates from concrete and asphalt. No, I’m going to suggest you do something much simpler – stay away from the lane! Car rental is cheap when you compare them with the inflated prices of the best mega-resorts “On the strip”. Try a hotel in Henderson or Summerlin. I would suggest small resorts such as SunCoast or Orleans.

Rent a car and park behind Excalibur, New York, New York, or at the Fashion Show mall (it’s covered and very safe). Click on the online ad and see what is available. While 90% of rooms are booked with the option, hotels that are not booked in full are actually advertised! Click these ads! I once stayed at a Fiesta Henderson for $ 29.95 a night for 3 nights in a row and I had a suite with 2 Queen rooms! I found this deal in online advertising! In fact, when I called the hotel to try to make an even better deal, they said I needed to book online! Try corporate housing, as it is usually full on weekdays, but is available on weekends when business travelers return home. Visit the websites of hotels where you can stay and subscribe to their promotions by email to receive offers sent to you just before the trip (use a free address, such as Hotmail). Ask at the table if you are logged in to get additional benefits or offers available to guests. It’s like asking for a seat outside the window on a plane, if you don’t ask for it, you won’t get it. And my last tip – “Shape before fashion” – take the most comfortable walking shoes and stock up on bottled water at your local grocer before check-in. Enjoy!

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