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1.1 Selection and reservation
Hotel associates must look at a guest’s stay from the guest’s perspective. How does the guest experience his stay at the hotel? What does the guest need and what are his wishes? In order to fulfil these needs and wishes, hotels must gather as much information about the guest as possible. Therefore it is essential that hotel associates know about the different reservation possibilities the guest can choose from, understand the importance of a full house, know what causes an overbooking and how the Front Office deals with this problem.
A hotel without guests cannot survive and will soon go bankrupt. Therefore, it is essential for hoteliers to make the whole process from reservation to checkout run smoothly for their guests. Management is responsible for enabling these processes to produce the desired results. They must manage the human resources, the infrastructure, security, the building and equipment, the communication etc. In order to add value a process must improve a product or service in order to satisfy guests at a price they are willing to pay.
A typical hotel has the following core processes:
– guest’s selection of a hotel
– guest’s arrival at the hotel
– guest’s stay at the hotel
– guest’s departure.
A selection process may differ from guest to guest. The
first introduction to a hotel can be:
On Internet through the hotel’s website
PhoCusWright Inc., an independent travel, tourism and
hospitality research firm, predicts that the Internet will
contribute over 27% of all hotel bookings by 2007. This
means that Internet has become one of the most important sources of reservations for hotels. An advertisement in a newspaper or magazine
Special offers which include travel and hotel accommodation are popular during the holidays. Business hotels have a low occupancy during the holidays, when businessmen
tend to return home. The hotels like to offer these vacant
rooms for reduced prices to tourists, who might like to
visit a certain town for a weekend or short holiday. These
special offers are very popular around Christmas and
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Easter, especially in cities like New York, Hong Kong, Brussels, London and Amsterdam. Hotels also like to advertise in in-flight magazines and other magazines read by tourists and representatives of the tourist industry.
Countries and even towns have their own electronic guides. The advantages for the guest are:
– 24-hour simple, fast and secure reservation with instant confirmation by email – electronic hotel booking systems are connected directly to large hotel reservation systems, Global Distribution Systems (GDS) – most guides inspect the quality of the hotels regularly
– some hotels add photos of their properties, a map of its surroundings and driving directions
– the guest is charged no booking fee. The hotel pays a commission to the hotel guide for every reservation made through the guide’s website. Some countries have special government rates which are not commissionable, such as Australia and Canada.
In 1953 American Airlines CEO C.R. Smith happened to sit next to a senior sales representative of IBM, R. Blair Smith, who was on the same flight. During their talk they came up with the idea of an automated airline reservation system. This resulted in a Semi-Automatic Business Research Environment or SABRE, which was launched in 1960.
Soon other airlines were developing their own computerized reservation systems or CRS. Originally these systems were operated by airlines only, but later they were also used as a sales channel for travel agents. Since Global Distribution System companies have taken over the management of these systems, the systems are known as Global Distribution Systems or GDS. These systems linking buyers to sellers have made the...