The most important question while planning for a vacation that strikes in mind is to book a hotel where you can get the best leisure time as per your budget and requirements. The travel and hospitality industry is experiencing tremendous growth with the advancement of technology and smartphones. Now it hardly takes few seconds to convert the plannings to bookings. As per the researches, travellers around the world are getting familiar and are adapting the new technologies to make their lives fast and easy. Now people are more inclined to book the hotel as per their comfort and necessities.
Gone are the days when travellers have to book the hotels after reaching the destinations. The hospitality and travel industry is growing at a fast speed due to the customers being inclined more towards the online booking platform. Now from a mobile application, you can check entire details related to the hotels, rooms, services being offered and can make comparisons to get the best deal within your budget. This has really made the booking experience easy and quick.
Talking about the facts, as per the recent research, it is expected that the industry will contribute around $817.54 billion by the year 2020 from $470 billion in 2014. Also as per the research by Criteo, it is stated that:
- 80% of the hotel bookings are done via mobiles.
- 45% of bookings for online travel agencies fall on mobile devices.
- The possibility of the conversion rates on mobiles is around 5 times higher than on the web.
- Though the core concept of the hotel booking application is the reservation in a broader aspect, the application can provide the services such as restaurant booking, taxi, holiday or sightseeing packages in an economic budget to its customers.
Hence, the above-mentioned statistics clearly defines that the mobile bookings are now becoming the prominent or ultimate way for the customers to book and pay for the stay.
Types of Hotel Booking Applications
As the name defines, such applications have various hotels available in the respective city registered with them. The users get an advantage that rather checking individual hotel websites they can get the details for various hotels in one go. The search results can also be refined by applying various filters such as star ratings, budget, facilities required, etc. After checking the details the users can book the stay as per their needs and requirements. Examples for such type of applications are: Trivago, Booking.com
Dedicated Hotel Chain Application:
An application that is developed specifically for a particular chain of Hotels or Resorts to carry its business operations is called a dedicated hotel chain application. In such applications, the users can get complete information regarding the various hotels or property types that a particular brand owns. The services like reservations, restaurant bookings, food ordering, etc can be managed from the application itself. Examples for such types of applications are Taj Group of Hotels, Ramada, Hilton, etc.
Online Travel Agencies:
These are the online companies that allow the customers to book various travel related services from the website or application directly. They are the third-party agents selling various holiday packages, hotel bookings, cars, flights or railway reservations, etc provided or organized by others. Examples of the widely used OTAs are Make My Trip, Agoda.com, Expedia, Trip Advisor.
Top Hotel Booking Market Players
Unique Selling Proposition:
A unique selling proposition is a factor that differentiates your offerings from others. Some of the USPs that are used are as follows:
- Applications like Booking.com, Trivago, etc offers last minutes deals that attract the attention of the various users.
- Pay at the property: The users can make the booking of the hotel without paying any initial amount from the application itself. Only the details of the debit / /credit card are taken to authenticate the booking.
- People who need to stay somewhere for one night, they can make bookings at lower rates.
With this feature, the user can complete the signup process easily. Customers can set up their accounts just by typing the email addresses, contact details, and other login credentials details. They can also Sign up using their social media accounts such as Facebook or Gmail.
Users get various notifications related to their bookings, check-in / check-out time, new offers, discounts.
This is the most important feature of the application. Global Distribution System (GDS) is a worldwide computerized reservation network that is used a single point of access for accommodating hotel rooms, car rentals, and other travel-related items by travel agents, online reservation sites and large corporations.
As per the user’s last searches, the app providers customize the hotel recommendations. The suggestion for the hotels can be displayed as “Recommended for you”. This gives a sense of personalization to the users and helps in-app engagement.
Room cost -forecast:
The rates of the hotels keep on fluctuating and the users can get a rough estimation of the cost and they can plan accordingly. With a prior analysis, the best deal can be catered easily.
A metasearch engine is an online information retrieval tool that uses the data of a web search engine to produce its own results. The integration of metasearch engines helps visitors in comparing rates from multiple websites. A metasearch engine compiles the room rates from multiple online channels (OTA) onto a single platform.
Virtual Reality Experience:
Users can get a complete dynamic view of the hotel and rooms by exploring the 360-degree photos or still photos available on the application.
Language & Currency Converter:
As per the user’s locations, the application automatically adjusts the language and the currency.
On The Go Assistance:
The application comprises of intelligent travel assistants such as chatbots, Google Assistant, messenger which helps in providing better customer experience 24X7. Common issues can easily be navigated with their help.
Admin can check the customer dashboard, hotel dashboard and this facilitates the real-time decision making. For example, in any city, the bookings are less due to some reasons so there low booking prices can be offered so as to gain the business.
Rewards and referral programs motivate the customers to share and use the application more and more in order to earn more reward points which can be converted into attractive discount offers. It is a really beneficial feature of the Hotel Booking App to boost the approach among potential customers.
Various marketing tools that can be used to reach out to the target audience are Chatbots, paid social networking advertising, Email marketing, push notifications, and many more.
CRM integration is really important in a hotel booking application, as providing the best customer experience is to ensure that the customer feels at home. Adding a CRM helps in strengthening customer relationships with the application.
A content management system is the most important tool for admin. From this system, the entire content of the application can be controlled and managed. With the integration of CMS in the application, the functionalities like rolling out notifications related to the offer, booking management can be done easily without any effort.
Users’ last search criteria get stored in the application and whenever they use the application again the results related to that search are always displayed. This helps in making various personalization strategy for the customers.
Google maps and Apple maps are integrated into the app so that users don’t face any difficulty in finding locations during the trip.
With Google Apps integrated, users can check the weather forecast and plan the day accordingly.
It ensures that users have a good experience while travelling across the city without any inconvenience.
If you want to integrate the API from any other website, for example, the API of Trip Advisor can be integrated so that the users can read other customers’ ratings and reviews.
To ensure easy payments, Payment APIs of various modes such as PayTM, net banking, debit/credit cards.
Using geolocation tracking feature, customers can easily search the places nearby, such as tourist destinations, restaurants, movie theatres, malls, etc.
By integrating third party API with Ola and Uber, the users can book the taxi easily during their travel.
Using a third-party app integration feature within the application, users can also book restaurants during their trip from the application itself.
The users can share their experiences on the application by reviews, pictures, videos, travel blogs etc.
Required Team Structure:
Every successful project requires a talented pool of professionals who helps in transforming thoughts into reality. So, let’s take a look at the team structure you will need for your app.
- Business Analysis Team
- Project Manager
- Android and iOS Developers
- Front-End Developers (UI/UX Developers, AngularJS Developers)
- Backend Developers (PHP Developers, .Net Developers, NodeJs Developer)
- QA Professionals
Cost of Developing a Hotel Booking Application
The cost of a hotel booking application development depends on the functionality, size, and complexity that it includes. Apart from it, the location of developers and the number of hours invested in the app development plays a very important role in deciding the development cost.
- US-based developers charge $100 to $250 per hour.
- Eastern Europe-based developers charge $80 to $180 per hour.
- India-based developers charge $25 to $50 per hour.
- Moreover, a feature-rich hotel booking application can cost around $20000 to $30000 for a single platform.
Rahul Mathur is the founder and managing director of ARKA Softwares, a company renowned for its outstanding mobile app development and web development solutions as well as specialized in Android and iOS app development. Delivering high-end modern solutions to all over the globe, Rahul takes pleasure in sharing his experiences and views on latest technological trends.