How To Make A Hotel Booking App That Expands Your Business

Are you a hotel owner thinking about how to expand the business? If yes, then all you need is an app. And if you have no clue about that, you have come to the right place. We, at Space-O, have come up with an extensive guide on “How To Make A Hotel Booking App That Expands Your Business”. And we have the best app development portfolio in the town to prove it works.

How are we so sure?

Hotel apps and other modern technology influence the booking decisions of 70% of travellers. And it is estimated that more than a third of Hotel Bookings in Europe will be done via mobile and website apps. Thus, to make a hotel reservation app is never needed more than now.

Therefore, let’s get going.

Just to make sure that we start right from the basics, let’s first discuss:

What is a Hotel Booking Application?

As the self-explanatory suggests, it is a web or mobile application that helps to book hotels, resorts, hostels, Bnbs, and similar booking services online.

With such an app, you can book a hotel and the service anytime, any day, and from anywhere. These apps have restructured the booking process and still have not touched their true potential.

With more and more technological advances, these apps help you book everything from door to door. Right from the taxi, flight, train, to the restaurant, if you are on a trip, a hotel reservation app is all you need.

For further classification, successful hotel apps can be grouped into three basic categories.

  1. Travel Agents

    These apps help travellers with not only the hotels but with everything they might need on a trip such as car rentals, taxies, and flights. Such apps majorly focus on travel packages offered by travel agencies. Therefore, these make all-in-one apps for tourists.

  2. Aggregators

    These apps are built primarily for searching for hotels. These apps compare numerous hotels based on categories like location, budget range, and room type, just to name a few. These booking aggregator apps let users choose the best deal for their stay and are ideal for non-tourists travellers as well.

  3. Hoteliers

    These apps are for the chains of hotel website. With these apps, users can book rooms in a specific hotel chain. These are generally for the elite hotel firms.

Let’s look at some major players in the hotel app industry to get a better idea to make a hotel booking app for your business.

Who are the Major Players in the Online Hotel Booking Market?

LogoApp NameDetailsDownload
Active installations: 50,000,000+
Rating:4.7/5
App store

Play store

Active installations: 100,000,000+
Rating:4.7/5
App store

Play store

Active installations: 100,000,000+
Rating:4.4/5
App store

Play store

Active installations: 10,000,000+
Rating:4.8/5
App store

Play store

Active installations: 10,000,000+
Rating:4.5/5
App store

Play store

Some Interesting USPs for the Travel and Hospitality Industry

USPs of Hotel Booking App

What can you do uniquely in booking a hotel? It might come up as a simple process without much room for innovations and USPs.

But, behold that thought. We have gathered a few USPs that proved to be game-changers in both the travel industry and the hospitality industry.

  1. Last-minute Deals

    The other name for the travel plan is uncertainty. No matter how good of a planner you are, the traveller will find some window to catch you unguarded. And for such scenarios, apps like HotelQuickly and HotelTonight allow same night bookings for the online travel agency at the last minute.

    This also attracts the thrifty travelers and travellers who do not like planning at all. This pattern is also seen in digital travel sales that rise annually.

  2. Low-cost Deals

    The new travel trend encourages the wanderers to get the most out of it and use a bed just to drop dead after a long day. All they want is a room where they can put their stuff and sleep for a few hours. They do not care about luxury and amenities.

    For such travelers, hotel reservation apps have come up with low-cost deals and even well-known hotel chains make use of this strategy.

    On the other side, by proposing any extra incentives like the variety of revenue streams such as subscriptions, ads, commissions, fees, and numerous deals from various booking systems, you can raise your brand recognition.

  3. Shared Rooms

    Everyone was speculating about the USP of Airbnb. Many pundits said it is not going to work out well. But to the contrary, the room sharing with strangers has made Airbnb one of the mogul of the hotel chain apps.

    Most of the travellers want to make new friends on the way and it gives a great opportunity for them to meet new people and make the trip memorable. Other than that, sharing is always economical.

  4. Free Stay

    Yes, you heard it right. Couchsurfing is a travel app that provides free stay at locals’ places. It offers a glimpse of the genuine texture of travelling which is local culture & lifestyle, food, and language. The whole app relies on goodwill and friendships. Wonder who uses such an app? Over 20 million travellers use it in more than 230,000 cities worldwide.

  5. Ultra Short Stays

    One of the most innovative USPs is Dayuse.com’s short stays. It allows users to book a room only for the day. It targets the one who likes to explore during the day and travel during the nights. All they want is room to relax, freshen up, and get going. For those, it is the best option.

So what is your USP?

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Benefits of a Hotel Booking Application

Hotel Booking Applications create a win-win situation for both parties,- the hotel owner and the guests. Are you curious to know how?

Benefits for Hotel OwnersBenefits for Users
  • Boost in Regular Business: One of the biggest benefits of room reservation apps is that they help find the guests regularly. The small size hotels which generally have the business in the peak seasons can also get customers throughout the year, improving staff efficiency.
  • Easy Tracking Cost: Hotel reservation app automates the calculation of the cost of accommodation and additional provided room service. This leaves no room for mistakes. Other than that, it gives users a sense of transparency of all resort brands.
  • Guest Loyalty: A hotel reservation app allows you to discover some new markets, consumer interaction, user knowledge, and brand awareness as it helps provide the users with a satisfactory experience. It simplifies the Check-in and check-out process as per their convenience and hence the customer is encouraged to visit back more often. And they will recommend your hotel to their peers.
  • Options: The hotel reservation app provides the users with all the options for hotels under one roof. They can easily choose the perfect hotel based on several criteria like location, price range, amenities, and check-in & check-out timings.
  • Hotel Information: The user of a hotel reservation app can check out the hotel by the detailed information and photographs of the hotel rooms. They do not need to waste hours by going to every hotel and checking the rooms personally. It can be well in advance.
  • Easy Payment Options: When you make a hotel booking app with the necessary features, users get various payment options, such as credit cards, debit cards, app payments, net banking, and even the pay at check-in option.

Isn’t it great? This is why we recommend you to get your online hotel booking app ASAP.

To explain to you exactly how this is possible, let’s take you through the working of hotel apps.

Given all these benefits, your travel business can take your profits to the next level.

To explain to you exactly how this is possible, let’s take you through the working of hotel apps.

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How Does a Hotel Booking App Work?

Any basic hotel app works in a very simple yet effective way. The fundamental function of any mobile app for hotel reservations is a booking engine. It makes sure that the real-time user data is synchronized with all the channels for booking.

Let’s go step by step.

Step 1: Booking

The hotel app provides users with real-time booking options and data about the following.

  • Available Rooms
  • Room rates
  • Description of rooms
  • Included amenities
  • Photographs
  • Deals and discounts
  • Miscellaneous

You may have more than one channel of online booking in addition to offline booking to enable book hotel rooms, itineraries for holidays and flights. Thus, the hotel finding app makes sure that this information is in synchronization with every platform.

After the user has finalized on booking a room, the app lets the user book the room and accepts the payment as per the user’s convenience.

Step 2: Updating the Information

After the booking is done, the information needs to be updated on every platform and distribution channel. If the booking system is done online, this process is done automatically. And if the booking is done offline, then the hotel owner has to feed the data to the booking engine via the internet. This way, users will also be able to autocomplete their personal details via the checkout process.

Step 3: Confirmation

Once the data is updated to all the various distribution channels, a confirmation email is sent to both the customer and the booking manager. This includes all the information necessary for the user such as printable booking confirmation that includes payment details. In addition to the email, it sends an SMS to the user too.

Step 4: Ratings and Reviews

At the time of check-out, the user again gets an email and SMS confirming the check-out. This also includes the invoice and the request to rate and review the booking services. This is a great way to get rich feedback.

And once again all the distributing channels are updated with the room availability along with the review of the customer.

Hence, Aren’t you excited to have your room reservation application? So, without any further ado, let’s get started.

How to Develop a Hotel Booking Mobile App?

How to Develop Hotel Booking App

Here, we will discuss the hotel booking app development in simple steps. So, get ready because here it comes.

Step 1: Idea and Goal

Defining your idea and business objectives needs good research. And when we talk about the room reservation app development process, it has a bit of a different approach.

First of all, you need to research the niche market thoroughly. Everything from the current trends, competitors, and demographics of the target audience.

After researching the market, you need to ask the following questions to yourself:

  • How is my app different from others?
  • What problem does it solve?
  • For which city or area is it being made?

If you are satisfied with these answers, you can define your interests (like budget, review score- a bar of guest reviews and average score, proximity, reservation policy, etc.). You may think to start providing alternate dates or routes, car rental deals, and local events as part of the service and move on to the next point to make a hotel booking app.

Step 2: Wireframe & Prototype

According to the defined idea and goal, the wireframe and prototype are designed. This gives you a ground for further development tools. In the wireframing part, you have to design the basic UI/UX components like interface, elements, functions, and features.

This entire step includes tasks like project setup, architecture setup, repository setup, libraries integration, local models creation, and local database setup.

And in the prototype part, you have to design the early business model of the app to feel the user interface and user experience.

Step 3: Backend Development

In this development stage, the finalized prototype is brought to life by back end coding. This has to be done very carefully, as a single bug can delay the whole process of hotel app development. It all depends on which platform are you developing a hotel app on. Is it for Android, iOS, or both? You have to follow the platform guidelines according to that.

Step 4: Visual Design

After the structure is ready, the next step to make a hotel booking app is finishing. Visual design is the step where all the animations, videos, images, and graphics are placed strategically for an effective hotel reservation system design. These are vital to the overall customer experience of the app.

Step 5: Testing

Testing is the stage where it all begins. The product after the final visual design is tested throughout. Every element and every single line of code is tested many times to make sure of proper functionalities. The user feedback then is given back to the designers, and they start all over again, right from the wireframe and prototype.

This cycle is performed until the app comes to perfection. You need to keep in mind that hotel booking app development is an iterative process. Then, scan the QR code or send the app installation connection to your device once the app is created perfectly.

If you think this process is very time consuming and requires technical knowledge that you do not possess right now, then we would highly recommend you to hire a software development company. It would make your job easier than you can imagine.

If you are struggling to pick from various features for hotel mobile applications, not to worry. We have handpicked a few features that hotel apps must-have.

Features of a Hotel Booking Mobile App

Features of Hotel Booking App

While making a hotel reservation app, some of the niche-specific features have become hotel industry standards. These MVP features can make or break the mobile application. Moreover, the features are the idiosyncrasies of your mobile app. Thus, it requires all your attention.

Thus, it requires all your attention.

So let’s take a look.

  1. Sign-in/log-in

    First thing first. Any hotel app should have a sign-in/log-in feature. This allows the customers to create a user profile for the user-specific information.

    Customers can also sign-in with their social media accounts like Facebook, Google, or Twitter accounts for simplifying the process. With the support of APIs, you can enforce the Social Login function easily.

    The user profile helps you to maintain a customer relationship with guests and boost customer loyalty as well as brand loyalty.

  2. Booking

    Booking is another important feature of any hotel reservation app. Thus, booking integration is a must to be included in your mobile application, along with the hotel details screen.

    This allows users to book rooms 24×7 without needing to contact you or visit any of your physical offices.

    You can further simplify it for you and your app users by accepting various payment methods such as through credit card, payment apps, and also an option to pay at check-out. Allow the user to pay with just a click to encourage them to book. You can even add room reservation features to check the authenticity of users.

  3. Cancellation

    Many times, a user has to cancel the booking from booking history, and you should assist them to do so without making any calls by integrating a cancellation policy. Making sure that the user can cancel the booking at any stage gives them trust in the admin panel and increases customer satisfaction.

  4. Smooth Search

    Amongst all the hotel room availabilities, the users must be able to find the appropriate deal for their needs. A smooth search feature lets them do exactly that. They should be able to search for deals according to check-in check-out dates, locality, price range, and other amenities.

    What else can you integrate to enhance the searching process?

    Once they have all the search results screen, offer them the sort and filter system that can save a lot of their time and energy. And the faster they get what they want, the more chances are for you to get their business. Therefore, a smooth search process is necessary for any reservation app.

  5. Alerts and Push Notifications

    The best way to keep your customers updated with the latest offers and discount is by push notifications.

    And not only for the special offers, but you can notify the user for various purposes such as itinerary notes, change in rates, alternative routes, and the best value alternative.

    These notifications can take off many things from the user’s mind to remember and make them stay calm.

    Other than the notifications, the hotel app should also send alerts like weather forecasts, traffic, and scheduled travel plans. And once you commit to features and tech tips, you can create an app by seeking a reputable Tech Partner.

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Excellent! We have an app that has all the necessary ingredients for a great booking app development. But to make your hotel reservation application work smoothly and consistently, you need to integrate a few APIs.

So let’s take a closer look.

What APIs to Integrate Into A Hotel Booking App?

Without the right APIs, the application just can not function. What APIs do is that it lets your app gather all the information and data from the internet and makes sure of the smooth functioning. Plus, encryption of algorithmic code along with API encryption is always the best practice.

Therefore, here are some important APIs to make your app work seamlessly.

  • Meta Search: Skyscanner Affiliate Networks & HotelsCombined Data Feeds. To enable price comparison of different deals.
  • Rooms Search & Bookings: Expedia Affiliate Network API. It lists out relevant hotels and room status. It can also be used to fill out accommodation offers, photo gallery for room photos with the hotel app.
  • Rating and Reviews: Olery Hotel Review Data API. To access the rating and review of all the hotels and rooms on the list.
  • Travel Guides: izi.TRAVEL. Guests appreciate a hand guide. This API gives your app access to all the published content related to a destination. And hence the users can read stories and legends about the place.
  • Maps: Google Maps API. As we all know google maps are the best in the hotel business, and this API lets travelers use the GPS navigation via your app. Based on the customer location, you can also allow them to change the currency and language. Having said that, you should also check out some other great APIs for map services for the authentication setup, cache configuration, and navigation setup such as SmartyStreets Address API and ViaMichelin REST API
  • Weather: OpenWeatherMap API.
  • Payment Gateways: Braintree or Stripe. Such APIs for payment gateway provide your app with user-friendly in-app payment system.
  • Marketing Tools: Google Adwords. This API lets you handle large-scale paid search and show ad campaigns effectively.

Cost to Build a Hotel Booking App

We, as a leading mobile application development company, know that the first thing that arises when we head out building an app like booking.com is the cost of it. Right?

Almost everything depends on the cost. And likewise, the cost depends on a lot of factors. Everything from its basic features, platform (Google Play Store or App Store), the time required, and the charges of the app builder.

The average charges for an app builder are around $50 per hour and an app usually takes around 200 to more than 700 working hours, depending on its complexity.

Note: If you want a detailed guide on hotel app development cost, you can visit our blog “How Much Does an App Development Cost? [Complete Guide]”.

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FAQ

  1. How do I create a hotel booking app?

    You can take any of the two approaches to create a hotel booking app.

    • Hire an app builder company
    • Build it yourself

    We recommend the first one. Since handing it over to professionals can make the app quicker and better than you would by yourself.

  2. What are the unique features of hotel reservation apps?

    The unique features of hotel reservation apps are:

    • User Registration
    • Social Media Buttons
    • Book A Room
    • Booking History
    • Hotel Listings & Booking Screen
    • Search
    • Cancellation
    • Online Travel Assistant
    • View Accommodation
    • Check-out Process
    • Loyalty Programs
  3. What are the best hotel booking apps?

    Some of the best niche-specific mobile apps are:

    • AirBnB
    • TripAdvisor
    • Hotels.com
  4. How much does it cost to create a hotel booking app?

    It highly depends on your business idea and specifications of the app. Generally, the total cost varies, depending on the type of app you want, MVP features & functionalities you want to include, the company you are hiring, and many such factors.

Conclusion

We have not left any stone unturned in this complete guide on “How to make a hotel reservation”. Right from what & why to the cost of making. After reading this blog, you might get answers to various questions that you may have. So, share your mobile app ideas with us and we will guide you further.

With the experience of over 1000 clients worldwide and more than 1500 successfully completed projects, Space-O can give you solutions to problems that you never had.

We hope you found what you were looking for, and if you have any queries or doubts, do not hesitate to contact us. We will be more than glad to solve your issues. And if you want to read more about such interesting topics, we welcome you to subscribe to our newsletter and get such interesting topics directly into your inbox. Thanks for your undivided attention.

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Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel
Designation: Co-founder and CEO of Space-O Technologies

Mr. Rakesh Patel is a Founder and CEO of Space-O Canada. He has 28 years of IT experience in business strategies, operations & information technology. He has expertise in various aspects of business like project planning, sales, and marketing, and has successfully defined flawless business models for the clients. A techie by mind and a writer at heart, he has authored two books – Enterprise Mobility: Strategy & Solutions and A Guide To Open311.