A Definitive Guide to Develop Hotel Booking App1
Mobile Commerce Uncategorized

A Definitive Guide to Develop Hotel Booking App

The travel industry is the second-fastest-growing industry in the world. Over the past years, it has given us the liberty to travel whenever and almost wherever possible.

Reason?

The advancement in technology.

For example, even if you have an impromptu work trip, in a couple of swipes you book your accommodation, tickets, and the next day you are at your destination.

Looking at the statistics the worldwide market for online hotel bookings is estimated to grow over $174 million by 2022.

So, if you are a hotelier, or provide an online booking service, here’s all you’ll need for a Hotel Booking App Development.

Market Share of Online Travel and Hotel Industry

Although traveling looks impossible right now, countries like Italy have opened up again for travelers. As per the facts, the travel and tourism sector is projected to rise to $1134.55 billion by 2023 with a CAGR of 13.6%. Other facts that indicate that an online hotel booking app is the present and future of travel bookings:

  • By 2023, 700 million people will be booking their hotel stays online;
  • Every second 57% of hotel bookings are now made online;
  • From 28% to 53% of passengers, depending on the country, book hotels from mobile devices.
  • Revenue in the Hotels segment is rising by 4% per year and is projected to hit $432 million in 2023.

12 Steps to Create a Hotel Booking App

Once everything is in place, here is the checklist you need to follow to make your hotel booking ap:

  • Step 1. Analyze the online travel market
  • Step 2. Choose your hotel booking app business model
  • Step 3. Create a list of your competitors
  • Step 4. Decide the revenue stream
  • Step 5. Decide the UVPs you’ll provide
  • Step 6. List down the features of MVP
  • Step 7. Partner with a software development company
  • Step 8. Explain your business objectives and requirements
  • Step 9. Get your app developed
  • Step 10. Market your hotel booking app
  • Step 11. Launch the hotel booking app
  • Step 12. Collect feedback and keep improving

This is just a skeleton that you need. Here’s how to execute:

Approaches for Hotel Booking App Development

Business Models

The very first step to kick start your online hotel booking app is deciding the model you would want to go with. There are four main models: merchant, aggregator, advertising, and dedicated.

  • Merchant model

For the Merchant Model, you deal with hotels to obtain a certain number of rooms that you can sell on your platform. Customers book rooms through your hotel booking app, and a predefined from the revenue percentage is earned by hotels and the remaining by you.

Expedia uses a merchant model to provide travelers with rooms in more than 200 countries. This is how it works: Let’s assume that the hotel offers rooms at a rate of $100 per room on your app, instead of the Best Available Rate (BAR) of $125. If one of these rooms is booked via your app, the hotelier will earn $75 and you $25.

  • Aggregator model

Apps are linked to booking websites in this model. If a customer is searching for a place to stay, they will find a huge list of hotels with different prices and spaces. This model works for consumers who want to compare prices or are searching for different choices to get the best offer. Booking.com is one good example of an aggregate model. For every booking made via Booking.com, they take a commission ranging from 10% – 30%.

Here it is important to think over from where to get all the data you want to show in your app. In that case, APIs like below are a few of the examples that can help you fetch the data:

  • Zodomus
  • EPS Rapid
  • HotelsCombined
  • Google Maps Platform

However, the challenge here is that almost every available API has its own conditions of providing access to its database. There are considerable fees for listings, affiliate programs, and many other points that might not suit every project type.

  • Advertising model

This model also involves listing rooms in a variety of different hotels, such as the aggregator model. Yet the difference here is in the revenue stream. Hotel booking services that use the advertisement model earn on a pay-per-click basis. Such apps/websites enable users to go to the accommodation provider’s booking page. Customers can view ratings and reviews on the app. When an accommodation provider receives a lead, the booking platform gets a fee for converting the visitor to a lead. TripAdvisor is one such example of this advertising model.

  • Dedicated model

With a dedicated model, you can create a dedicated app just for your hotel or hotel and resort chain. In addition to allowing clients to book rooms, the hotel booking app will provide extra benefits such as concierge services, loyalty programs, and more. You can even add inbuilt taxi booking, table reservation, trip planner, site seeing features. Marriott, IHG are examples.

Revenue Models For hotel booking app

Look for different revenue models and select the one that fits well to your hotel booking app:

  • Service fee: You can charge a commission fee for every booking made via your application. For example, Airbnb charges a commission from users while Booking.com charges it from hotels and apartments.
  • Subscription: You can provide users with various subscription plans in order to get access to more interesting deals and discounts in the future.
  • Advertising: Let hotels/hosting platforms pay for ads inside your app to be listed first in search results. TripAdvisor, for example. 
  • Marketplace: Charge fees from hotels that want to be listed on your application. This could be a one-time payment or subscription-based.

After deciding upon a model, now it is time to start developing.

There are two ways you can go about:

  1. Outsource this entire app development to a software development company.
  2.  Understand the process thoroughly and develop it with your in-house team.

Essential Features of Hotel Booking Mobile App

Hotel booking app development

  • Bookings: Allow users to book the room instantly by adding relevant details such as location, arrival and departure dates, number of guests, pets(if any), and other details. Search allows users to find the right room.
  • Search and filters: You can let users search for specific rooms by adding relevant information such as dates, location, number of persons per room, etc. Provide filters that will allow users to search for a room precisely by setting a price range or rating range they’re interested in. Help them sort the rooms by sorting options such as price low to high, relevant, etc.
  • Account management: Allow users to create personal accounts where they can track discounts or view booking history, manage loyalty points, etc.
  • Virtual tours: Provide 3D tours, 360-degree views, virtual tours of rooms to boost conversion rates. 
  • In-app notifications: Notify your users about their booking details, check-in and check-out times, and discounts.
  • Payment gateway: Provide multiple payment options. Allow users to pay via different payment modes such as Stripe, PayPal, credit and debit cards, net banking, e-wallets, etc. Allow them to keep their payment account details safe and secure in the application.
  • Settings: Enable users to select their language and currency in order to make the app more user-friendly. Users will also be able to select which updates they wish to receive.

Advanced features

To make your hotel booking app more effective and full-fledged, you can(should) add advanced features such as:

  • Flight bookings: Along with hotels, you can provide travelers with flight booking options. The advantage is they won’t have to look for another app to book tickets.
  • Car rental: Add an in-house car rental reservation feature using which travelers can instantly book the cabs after arriving at the destination.
  • Site seeing: Let your users receive updates about the nearby places to see and events to visit. Take them for sightseeing by providing sightseeing packages and quick ‘Book Now’ buttons. 
  • Analytics: Using market analytics and insights to evaluate the actions of your customers, track how effective your advertisement strategies are, and see the needs of each guest, sales and demand, etc.
  • CRM Integration: Track travelers, managers, and hoteliers records. Their personal information, bookings, earnings, loyalty programs, and many more.
  • Restaurant and Table Reservations: Using third-party integration, users can also book restaurants/tables from the app itself. Thus, making it super-convenient for the users.
  • Hotel Comparison: For travelers to compare hotels inside the app and to select the one that fits their requirements accordingly.
  • User Engagement Elements: Allow users to contribute to the app by sharing their experience through travel forums, vlogs, videos, reviews, social media sharing, etc.

They can also contribute via:

  • Travel stories
  • Travel Tips
  • Ratings and reviews
  • Feedbacks

Unique Value Propositions

Not to mention, the idea of developing a hotel booking app is not new. Hence, it is important to set your hotel booking app design different from other app players in the market. Here are some of the UVP models that can set you app to the next level:

  • Last-minute booking: This is the most widely used UVP model. Many companies such as Booking.com, HotelTonight, Trivago offer last minute booking deals. Here customers get their choice of rooms at best pricing.
  • Affordable booking: For travelers looking for an affordable stay with no luxury or room demands, this model works best. Companies that use such models are  HostelWorld, HostelBookers, Hostel.com.
  • HomeStay/Room sharing: It enables travelers to share rooms like Airbnb. Besides, the company focuses on the short-term rental of apartments and homestays. All of these models are new and in demand.

Want to replicate AirBnB’s business model?

Read this definitive guide to the Airbnb clone script!

  • Free stays: Service as Couchsurfing.com that allows users to live free of charge in their apartments. 
  • Short stays: This model is for people who need to stay somewhere for no longer than one night. Dayuse.com company offers its users a one-day booking at a lower price.
  • Home Swaps: It is another UVP that you can sell. Holiday Swap is an app that lets you swap homes with like-minded travelers for just $1 a night.
  • Outdoor stays: This model is for people who like to stay outdoors and in vehicles. Outdoorsy.com company offers people with outdoor stays in RV and trailer rental.

Common mistakes while developing a Hotel reservation system

The ultimate point of reservations made via the booking app/portal or by phone call is to :

  • Improve brand awareness 
  • Build customer loyalty
  • Maximizing profits

To achieve these, we end up with the usual mistakes in the booking system several times. To help you avoid this, we’ve listed down the mistakes in the hotel booking app development along with the tips to avoid them.

  • Do not build it “because everyone has it”

First of all, you need to know your target audience. Just having a module doesn’t guarantee any income. Research the company criteria, market, application to maximize productivity.

  • Any hotel booking app development company that says “experienced” is right.

Before deciding your development partner, locate all software development companies on your list, review their experience, testimonials, qualifications, and team. Partner with the right company to create. 

  • Google ranking gives you ROI.

Advertising in search engines, google rankings, is crucial to business success, but they don’t determine ROI. Even if you rank higher in the search engine, but your app’s experience is not serving your customers, it will affect your ROI. Hence, the very first priority should be to have an app that serves great user experience.

Cost of Hotel Booking App Development

We’re so eager and in a rush to learn the cost of online hotel booking app development that the estimated cost is often miscalculated as the final cost.

However, it is not possible to determine the exact cost of the hotel booking app design at once.

Reason: The range of costs depends on different factors, such as:

  • Software development company and its location
  • Project functionality
  • Design
  • Technologies used
  • 3rd party modules and integrations
  • Total hours the tech team worked on
  • Technical difficulties and glitches, etc.

Benefits of a Great Hotel Booking App Design

  • Simplified front desk tasks: Automatic room bookings/real-time availability checking, dynamic room tours.
  • Wider reach: Mobile apps allow global reach. People across the globe can book easily via your app.
  • Improves guest reservations: Free cancellations, auto data syncing, booking records.
  • Streamlined Operations: Staff can manage check-ins, check-outs, reservations all at one time from one place. 
  • Centralized administration: Every staff member can stay updated with the operations and managers can keep a check on the work with complete transparency.
  • Customers can book their entire trip from the app itself. Moreover, they can avail of many perks like Security, Convenience, Discounts, Efficiency, Reliability, Best value for money, and whatnot.
  • Hoteliers can provide direct bookings at convenient rates. The app would also help them with automation, User-Data, Direct Spread out, Brand Promise, Customer Faith.
  • Business owners can get to explore endless benefits ranging from user engagement, user variety, multiple revenue streams (subscription, commission, ads, fees, etc.).

Technology Stack of hotel booking app mobile design

  • Platforms
  • Web / Mobile App Development Languages
  • Interface
  • Database
  • Web Servers
  • Payment Gateways
  • Cloud Environment
  • Real-time Analytics
  • Streaming Media System
  • Weather Forecasts
  • Maps
  • Nearby Places
  • Hotel metasearch data
  • Aggregator APIs

Wrapping up…

Online mobile apps are the new business models. And this change in technology and trends can decide if your business is up in the race or not. 

If you want to develop a hotel booking app and have some ideas that you want to implement, share your insights with us and you can get a free consultation. We are one of the leading mobile and web development companies with an experienced team of developers who can work on the most up-to-date application development technologies.

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