Hotel booking procedures were a difficult task way before the arrival of the internet. This was because all the work had been left to the travel agents for major hotels. People hardly got any information about the room rates, services, as well as facilities available. The only way prospective travellers could access this information was through printed newspaper adverts and brochures. However, booking has become much easier now with the use of hotel booking website. This has been facilitated by the availability of the internet in most parts of the world.
Today, travellers can get all the information they need about the hotels they want to stay in including the means to book hotels online using a hotel booking website. With these facilities travellers have taken full control of booking procedures including making last-minute bookings in case of emergencies, changing their bookings, and so on. This way they even enjoy discounts and deals provided by the hotels and are able to search for the best deals through surfing different websites.
Technology has also done a lot to enhance the availability of hotel information on many travel agents' websites through sharing of such information between large chains of hotels and travel agents. This in effect means that a hotel booking website is able to market different facilities for different hotels to visitors hence giving powerful publicity to these hotels. This has also helped create a single database of hotels' information that travel agents can easily access thereby providing travellers with up to date information on prices, services, discounts and more. Some travel agents have found it necessary to convince hotels to charge special discounted rates to visitors so as to entice them, in order for them to book through their websites.
Apart from the travel agents' booking websites, a hotel can have its own booking website that contains booking engines to allow for much more personalized and targeted marketing to prospective guests. This helps a hotel to distinguish itself from the pack of information on various hotels in the travel agents' websites.
However, any credible hotel booking website should have specific characteristics including the combined reliability and security offered by a booking website, a comprehensive list of amenities and special value deals, ease of use, instant confirmation of booking, and should be able to accept last-minute bookings to cater for travellers who may be experiencing unwanted travel contingencies.
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