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Online Reservation Software - At What Cost?
Online reservation software is as important to hoteliers and their bottom line as almost any aspect of their marketing efforts. In this time of tight pockets your choice in an online reservation software system can not only make or break a hotel's online success but the cost of online reservation software can seriously affect the advantage and promotions that are presented on a hotel's website.

  The primary things to consider when selecting a hotel online reservation system should be features vs. cost. While this may seem like an obvious statement, the truth is that a system must be able to handle not only what a hotel needs to do today but also enable you to grow into what the hotel needs in the future and what internet users expect in the future from online reservation software.

  Many software companies provide reservation software based on percentages rather than a flat fee. Why should you pay a company a percentage of bookings that result directly from the marketing efforts and marketing dollars from your time and pockets respectively? Look for a flat fee option on online reservation software.

  When it comes to features, think big. You may not consider a specific feature is important when comparing different online reservation software solutions. Consider if these features that you are dismissing are features that other hotels are currently offering. Will the hotel website visitors be expecting these options? Will you competition be outshining you with the options on its online reservation system?

  Perception is everything online. Does your online software look like it is an add on to your hotel website? Compare the way software works and looks on the large chain hotels. If you make a reservation at www.BestWestern.com are you taken to a third party online reservation system? No. The consumer remains on the website and the content is included in the website. A major plus for this factor that is often over looked is that Google and other major search engines love more content. If a hotel's online reservation software links to a third party the content does not reside on the hotel's website and the search engines do not give credit for that content.

  The cost for online reservation systems is more than what a hotel writes check for. There is the cost of not being where you should be with your competion if you pick one without the needed features. There is the cost of watered down marketing efforts if you have to pay a percentage rather than a flat fee. Lastly, there is the cost of lost content to the search engines. Pick your online reservation software well.

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