If you manage a hotel, you know that managing reservations can be a time-consuming and tedious process. You also know that it’s important to have an organised system in place to keep track of all your bookings and avoid overbooking or duplicate bookings. That’s where an online booking calendar comes in.
An online booking calendar can help you stay organised and efficient when managing hotel reservations. It can also help you avoid overbooking or duplicate bookings. There are many other benefits of using an online booking calendar at your hotel, which we will discuss in this article.
Why you should use an online booking calendar
One of the main benefits of using an online booking calendar is that it allows you to manage your bookings in one centralised location. This can save you a lot of time and hassle, as you won’t need to keep track of different reservations in different places. This is especially useful if you manage a busy hotel. With an online booking calendar, you can easily see which rooms are booked and when, enabling you to plan ahead.
Another benefit of using an online booking calendar is that it can help you save time. If you are manually managing your bookings, then it can be very time consuming. With an online booking calendar, you can automate many of the tasks associated with managing reservations. This can free up your time so that you can focus on other aspects of running your hotel.
Finally, an online booking calendar can help you improve your customer service. By providing your customers with an easy-to-use booking system, you can make their experience more enjoyable. This, in turn, can lead to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth for your hotel.
Here are the top reasons to use an online booking calendar:
- It gives you a 360-degree view of all your bookings
- It allows guests to know the availability of rooms in real time
- Accurate information on your website helps build brand trust and credibility
- By making it easy for guests to find your property and book rooms on your site, the online booking calendar helps increase bookings
- You can avoid OTA fees by promoting bookings on your website
- Efficiently manage and monitor your bookings in one place
- Use booking data to make smarter decisions about your hotel
- Get insights into guest trends and preferences
- Save time by automating reservation management tasks
- Improve customer service with a convenient, easy-to-use booking system
How to set up an online booking calendar
There are a few things you’ll need to do to set up an online booking calendar for your hotel.
Look for the right online booking calendar software
First, you’ll need to find a calendar software that fits your needs. There are a variety of different options out there, so take some time to research and find the one that’s right for you.
Google Calendar is a popular choice because it’s free to use and integrates easily with other Google products like Gmail. iCalendar is another popular option that offers more customisation options than Google Calendar.
You can also opt for a bespoke solution like Microsoft Outlook or Apple iCal. These solutions offer more flexibility in terms of design and functionality. The key here is to choose an online booking calendar that integrates seamlessly with your website and booking system.
Set up the calendar
Once you’ve chosen a platform for your calendar, it’s time to set it up. The process will vary depending on which platform you’re using, but it should be relatively straightforward.
If you’re using Agoda, sign in with your Agoda account and click on the “Calendar” tab. Click on the “Add Calendar” button and enter a name for your calendar. Select a colour for your calendar and click on the “Save” button.
If you’re using another platform, the process should be similar. If not, there will likely be guidance available on the platform’s website or from customer service.
Make sure to add your hotel’s contact information, including the address, phone number, and email address.
Next, add your hotel’s rooms to the calendar. Include the room type (e.g., standard room, deluxe room), the rate (per night), and the minimum stay (if applicable). You can also include photos of each room type.
Finally, add your hotel’s policies to the calendar. Include check-in and check-out times, cancellation policies, and any other important information.
Integrate it with your website
Once you have your software set up, you’ll need to integrate it with your hotel’s website. This will allow your guests to easily book their stay on your site.
An easy way of syncing the booking calendar with your website is to choose a cutting-edge hotel Channel Manager. For instance, Preno’s native Channel Manager automatically syncs your hotel booking calendar with your website. The Channel Manager is integrated with Preno’s hotel management booking software, helping you get a real-time view of your bookings.
Integrate it with OTAs and Airbnb: Preno’s Channel Manager syncs your online booking calendar with the 56 most popular OTAs including Expedia, Booking.com, and Airbnb. You can also use Preno’s hotel booking software to take reservations directly from your calendar.
Promote your calendar: You’ll need to promote your online booking calendar.
Your hotel’s online booking calendar is a great tool for promoting your hotel and attracting new guests. Here are a few tips on how to promote your calendar and get the most out of it:
- Make sure your calendar is easy to find on your website. Include a link to it in the header or footer of your website, and make sure it’s prominently featured on your hotel’s booking page.
- Use social media to promote your calendar. Post a link to it on your hotel’s Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram account.
- Use email marketing to promote your calendar. Send out a monthly email blast to your hotel’s mailing list, and include a link to your calendar in the email.
- Put a link to your calendar on your hotel’s blog. If you have a blog, make sure to include a link to your calendar in your blog posts.
- Use Google AdWords to promote your calendar. You can create a Google AdWords campaign specifically for your calendar, and target potential guests who are searching for hotel booking calendars online.
What features to look for in an online booking calendar?
Many different features can make or break a booking calendar, so it’s important to know what to look for before you choose one.
Some of the most important features to look for in an online booking calendar include:
- Ease of use: The calendar should be easy to use and understand. It should be simple for your customers to find the times and dates that work for them
- Compatibility: The calendar should integrate easily with your website, existing property management software, and Channel Manager.
- Flexibility: The calendar should be flexible so you can make changes as needed. It should allow your guests to modify existing reservations, cancel bookings, or see past reservations.
- Reliability: The calendar should be reliable and always up-to-date.
- Reminders: Another important feature to look for is the ability to send automatic reminders. This will help ensure that your customers remember their appointments and that they show up on time.
How an online booking calendar can save you time and money
Here are a few ways a hotel online booking calendar can save you precious time and money:
- It helps you keep track of bookings, modifications, and cancellations without manual effort
- You can quickly see which rooms are available and make better use of your inventory
- An accurate calendar helps you avoid overbooking or underbooking to maximise your revenue
- You can keep your finances in order by knowing exactly how many rooms are booked
- You can offer deals and discounts to encourage bookings
- You can easily respond to market dynamics by offering special rates
- Compare rates and find the best deal on a hotel room.
- Additionally, an online booking calendar integrated with your website can help you avoid booking fees that are often charged by travel agencies and online booking sites.
An online booking calendar is a great tool for promoting your hotel and attracting new guests. It can also save you time and money by helping you keep track of bookings, modifications, and cancellations without manual efforts. Look for a calendar that is easy to use, compatible with your existing software, and flexible so you can make changes as needed. Additionally, make sure the calendar is reliable and up-to-date, and that it includes features like automatic reminders and the ability to send special rates and discounts to encourage bookings. An online booking calendar is a valuable tool that can help you run your hotel more efficiently and attract new guests.