Today’s travelers want to browse, choose, and book their tours, stays, tickets, and services online effortlessly. This is a convenience for them because they can use their mobile phones to not only compare prices and read reviews, but also finalize their travel plans and make payments within minutes.
That need for convenience calls for an efficient online travel booking and management system for travel entrepreneurs. Online booking systems serves two main goals: To manage all bookings effortlessly in one system and to provide a seamless booking experience to guests.
Those two main goals already speak of how your booking system must function and what it must offer to your target users. So, if you have (or are planning to start) an online travel booking and management business, you might want to borrow a leaf from Airbnb and create an Airbnb-like optimized website. But why Airbnb, you might ask?
Being a leader in the travel and vacation rentals industry, Airbnb has one of the best software solutions to manage bookings online that's proven time and again. Consequently, an Airbnb clone script can be useful to implement a top-class online travel-booking platform, carrying competitive features and functionalities on the platform.
Of course, you can build your proprietary software from scratch, but when you have an affordable alternative ready-made for your cause, re-inventing the wheel may not be the best idea. You can customize an Airbnb clone script to any degree based on your business needs and goals to make it your own.
Features of the Best Online Travel Booking and Management Systems
Here are essential features of an online travel-booking system and website that travel entrepreneurs to look out for, taking Airbnb’s as a reference for top-notch user experience.
1. Easy to use interface design
Not just a travel booking system, any online booking system must have an easy-to-use, optimized, and convenient user interface design so that even first-time users can easily navigate it.
The basic idea is to build a user-friendly travel-booking system and website so users can browse/use your site effortlessly.
2. Simple and efficient booking calendar
The booking form on your travel-booking website should have a visual calendar clearly displaying the availability of rooms, dates, and corresponding prices. This makes it easy for users to book directly and instantly for desired dates.
These days, people tend to have short attention spans, so a complex travel booking system will turn off users quickly. They want easy browsing, minimal clicks, and the booking process to be uncomplicated and simple.
3. Search and advanced filtering
Easy and intuitive search functionality in any online travel booking system makes it convenient for users to find what they are looking for easily. Your booking system must have intuitive navigation, easy to use search box and proper categorization.
4. Cross-browser compatibility
As users access your website from different types of devices, it is important to build a responsive website. Make sure the website design of your online room booking system is cross-browser compatible.
Most of the popular travel booking websites also offers mobile applications to their users to give a superior mobile browsing experience. You should also provide such a mobile app to your users.
By making the booking experience seamless, a mobile app would allow you to target smartphone users more conveniently.
5. Multiple payment options
It is essential for your booking system to support multiple payment options to make online booking convenient for all guests.
An online reservation system must also facilitate a secure online payment portal that integrates seamlessly with your website. Make sure you keep you online payments and transactions secure.
A compromise on your user's financial transactions would cause legal trouble, reputation damage, and thereby a significant decrease in online bookings.
6. Cancellation and refund
Cancellation service and clear refund terms are essential for any online travel booking system.
Your users might want to cancel their bookings for unavoidable reasons. Hence, they would appreciate it if you let them book with the assurance to also cancel the same on the requirement.
However, it is important to specify the cancellation period and list of refund terms in detail. This is important to avoid any kind of future conflicts.
7. High quality and relevant images
When booking a room or any other service, users would surely want to check out the real pictures to get a feel for the location. Using high quality images and original pictures of rooms or services certainly helps.
While real pictures help to impress the users, irrelevant and low-quality images can leave a negative impression.
8. Chat module
Chat modules or in-app messaging apps are also important features of the best online travel-booking systems and travel websites.
Chat bot or website module is an effective tool and primary source of contact for your users. With a chat module, users can communicate with hosts, and seek immediate support.
9. Notifications and real-time alerts
This is yet another important feature of travel booking systems. It is important to notify your users about offers going on, drop in the prices, booking confirmation, or any other important message.
Your online travel booking system must support push notification to send out personalized messages based on the bookings made by the users and also as per their browsing behaviors.
10. Commission management
When it comes to the business model, most online booking systems charge either a fixed fee or a commission from the property owners. While a fixed fee system will charge a flat fee from users, a commission-based model will calculate percentage cuts based on every booking made on the website.
An efficient commission management module will store all the details about listings and bookings made against them. It must also allow the admin to generate reports and display the earning analytics for each listing. This data will allow admin to conduct correct payouts to the property owners while retaining the commission cut correspondingly.
11. Discount and gift voucher management
Offering attractive discounts and deals is one of the best ways to grab user attention. If managed properly, discounts not only improve your sales but also enhances your customer relationship and boosts your brand identity.
If you are offering discounts to your customers, it is important to implement a discount management module in your booking system. Not only does discount management helps you to push marketing activities like sending coupon codes and promo deals, but it also helps in analyzing the performance of such campaigns.
12. User-friendly admin dashboard
An efficient, user-friendly admin dashboard at the back end helps in managing bookings, commissions, cancellations, refunds, dispute management, and so on effortlessly. It helps to manage all types of users registered within the system and manage user profiles and payments.
Incorporating the best online travel booking and management system takes careful planning. You have to think about the essential features, your goals, cost, and many other things.
Keep the aforementioned basic and essential features of an online booking system and travel website in mind to streamline your travel booking and management business, if you want an efficient, Airbnb-like travel booking system.
Pick the features that suit your requirements and make sure you give your customers the best user experience.