Hotel Reservation Systems: How Does It Work?

Travelers anticipate a smooth hotel reservation system, or they'll stay elsewhere. For hotels, achieving this expectation requires ditching manual procedures and investing in a reservation system that lets guests book on their preferred channel.

Fast, dependable, and completely integrated hotel management systems power every smooth booking, online or offline. How hotel reservation systems function, the advantages of an integrated platform, and what to look for when picking software. In-depth information regarding what a hotel reservation system is, how it functions, and the advantages it provides to the hospitality industry will be covered in this article. Therefore, let's begin.

What Is a Hotel Reservation System?

Software used in the hotel sector to control room availability, prices, and reservations is known as a hotel reservation system. It may be a part of the hotel's property management system (PMS), often known as a central reservations system (CRS), or it may be separate software linked to the PMS.

The reservation ecosystem, which may also comprise a website booking engine, channel manager, and revenue management system, is centered on the CRS. These elements assist hotels in managing room availability, distribution, bookings, and income when connected.

Make sure you grasp the distinctions since newcomers to the sector sometimes mistake hotel reservation systems for a property management system or booking engine.

The Difference Between a Booking Engine and a Hotel Reservation System

The phrases "hotel reservation system" and "booking engine" are sometimes used interchangeably in the hospitality business, although they relate to distinct entities. A hotel reservation system, or CRS, serves as the primary repository for all reservation data obtained by telephone, OTA, GDS, sales departments, and internet booking engines. An internet booking engine (IBE), sometimes known as a website booking engine (WBE), is software that enables customers to book directly from a hotel's website.

How Does a Hotel Reservation System Work?

The reservation management software, which integrates with your hotel's website and social media, basically automates the booking process so that visitors can make reservations quickly and simply without having to go to another website. In addition, the channel management and the reservation system may also be connected, enabling hotels to share their availability with online agents instantly.

These kinds of reservation systems are used in the hospitality sector to enable customers to make their own online reservations for accommodations. It makes the booking process more manageable and makes it simple to collect data for your system. Additionally, it provides you an advantage over rivals and boosts productivity by automatically synchronizing across your system and channels.

This software is essential for more excellent occupancy rates and worldwide appeal. In addition, it's a crucial tool for boosting bookings, improving visitor experiences, and boosting customer loyalty and income.

Important Hotel Reservations Management System Functions and Features


  • Easily add comments and preferences to reservations using the built-in voice-to-text feature.

  • A user interface designed specifically to enhance the overall user experience

  • A simplified booking procedure for prompt and precise reservations

Features Focused on the Guest

  • Launching the checkout and check-in displays just only one click.

  • Room costs and payments are color-coded for convenience, and a running total is shown automatically.

  • Make a visitor's stay more personalized by creating a secure guest preferences database for quick access.


  • The user will find the booking system more straightforward since it follows a logical pattern.

  • Simple switching between different booking statuses

  • Ability to handle a variety of payment types and currencies

Unique to the Industry

  • Shopping Cart: You may put reservations in the shopping cart to complete them later.

  • Snooze: The snooze feature prevents human mistakes caused by incomplete bookings.

  • Room Plan: This shows the occupancy and availability in general. Allowing front desk staff to quickly make bookings for one person or many rooms for large groups, make changes to existing ones, and have immediate access to all necessary guest information

Why Do You Need a Reservation System?

For today's lodging businesses, big and small, a hotel reservation system is a need.

Without this option, you will lose a lot of business as more and more travelers only use online bookings to make their hotel reservations.

Additional reasons for thinking about purchasing hotel reservation systems include:

  • You have the edge over your rivals, thanks to it. Today, there are still a lot of little hotels that don't provide internet reservations. Since fewer people are staying there, using an online booking system will give you an advantage over the competition.

  • It increases your company's effectiveness. As soon as you get a reservation, your availability is instantly updated across all your channels and your own system. You will reduce the possibility of overbooking the rooms at your establishment while saving time on administrative responsibilities.

What Advantages Do Hotel Reservation Systems Offer?

No matter the hotel's size, booking management software is unquestionably essential nowadays. So let's examine why it's important and what advantages an online booking system offers.

Increased Effectiveness

The main reason a reservation system increases hotel productivity is that it instantly updates availability across all channels, including your own system. This lessens the time the front desk must spend on administrative duties and lowers the possibility of overbooking.

Additionally, an online booking system can automate processes like emailing booking confirmations so your personnel may focus on other crucial duties like offering first-rate customer support.

Bookings enter the system with all the relevant information already in place since clients generate their own reservations; all the reception staff has to do is prepare for their arrival. The secret to a successful and effective pre- and post-trip operation is the automation of processes.

Increases Your Competitiveness

There is no justification for not being online in the digital era. However, some smaller hotels choose not to invest directly in booking management software, forcing them to give up some financial benefits to intermediaries.

Additionally, hoteliers may modify the software to include a strong branding message throughout the customer experience, which will inspire trust and ultimately result in conversions. An advantage that rivals won't have if they don't have their own booking engine is that the booking engine may mirror your hotel branding inside your own distinctive URL, providing customers a feeling of trust and encouraging them to book directly with you.

Additionally, when done in this manner rather than via a third party, booking experiences are more practical and user-friendly.

The ability to accept reservations online also gives you an advantage over companies who have not yet made the technological investment necessary to enable this since most consumers now make their reservations online.

Hotels may offer cheaper rates to customers when they make direct reservations via the hotel's own reservation system since they are not required to split the profits with third parties.

Lowers the Likelihood of Human Mistake

There shouldn't be any inaccuracies in the visitor data and contact information when you have your own system since guests make their own bookings. However, should a mistake be made, the hotel will not be held responsible for maintaining your reputation.

Additionally, because the reservation system is in sync with channel managers, there is very little chance of an overbooking caused by a human mistake. Reducing human error in reservations enables better service and frees time to do other activities instead of fixing mistakes.

Data Gathering Is Simpler

An online booking system is one approach to ensure that data collecting is simple and that all guest information is in one location. Collecting customer data is essential for marketing reasons. For example, you may quickly ascertain your visitors' demographics, tastes in facilities, origins, and the number of travelers.

By adjusting your marketing tactics and enhancing the entire visitor experience, you may increase guest retention rates.

Simple To Control Rewards

Using an internet booking engine, you may keep track of the stays of your reward customers and provide them with perks appropriately. By creating a unique login for themselves, guests may keep track of their awards. From then on, the system will manage its rewards status, requiring minimum maintenance from staff.

The easier it is to administer awards, the simpler it is for your staff to keep track of them, and the more probable it is that you will be able to keep the visitors coming back due to incentives, the more vital hotel loyalty programs are for guest retention and keeping occupancy up in low season.

How Long Does It Take To Put a New Hotel Reservation System Into Place?

A hotel reservation system may be easily and quickly implemented at your facility with the correct vendor. Then, depending on your requirements and prior setup, you may use your new machine in a day. Along the process, your provider will provide assistance and valuable advice.

What Is the Typical Pricing for a Central Reservations System?

The cost of a hotel reservation system, also known as a central reservations system or CRS, often varies depending on the channel. For instance, direct reservations made via a booking engine may incur a fixed price per booking or a cost of 1 to 5 percent of the total cost.

GDS bookings are often charged at a flat cost per booking plus membership fees, while call center reservations are typically priced on talk time or commissions. To discover the best deal for your company, compare quotes on Hotel Tech Report since pricing in this sector varies widely.


A hotel reservation system is a vital technology investment for any accommodation, with many advantages. Streamlining the booking process may improve your staff's productivity, offer a better customer experience, and increase your revenues.

Consider ease of use, support options, mobile access, security, and price when looking for a provider.