Prior to the Internet, travelers could write, telephone or fax a hotel directly, or use a travel agent to make a hotel reservation. It used to take much time to make a reservation and receive a confirmed booking. Now everyone can log on to the internet and book travel for any destination in the world at the click of a button. It is easy to book flights, hotels, cruises, tours and much more on the internet from your computer. There has been a proliferation of travel websites in recent years that give customers all the information and booking facilities that was previously only available to travel agents.
Major hotels and hotel chains often have their own websites where customers can make online reservations. However, customers mostly prefer to use a global online reservation system to compare and shop for accommodation. It is too time consuming to compare several individual hotel booking systems for the best deal. Also individual hotels and small hotel chains often cannot afford the expense of their own system and utilise the services of the global online reservation systems.
A global online hotel reservation system offers a huge choice of hotels in any location around the world. These systems operate 24 hours a day receiving live data feeds from all the major hotels and many minor hotels in each city. Customers can ensure that they are getting the best discount hotel rooms by viewing all the pre-selected special deals on offer or searching and sorting the hotels by price, rating, availability, location and choosing the best option for their budget. The system also allows you to view photos of the hotel exterior and interior and read reviews hotel reviews from other travellers. This is invaluable information as it is impartial and independent of individual hotel promotions. Many of the reservations are confirmed online immediately which saves a lot of time. The booking is made in real-time so you know that once it has been confirmed the booking is complete. Some bookings in more exotic locations may take a day to confirm but the reservation system will email you with the confirmation. And once the booking is complete the hotel voucher is delivered to your email address and can be printed out for presentation to the hotel at check-in.
The online reservation system is a very powerful, convenient and easy way to book hotel rooms. Online hotel reservations are often helpful for making last minute travel arrangements as hotels may reduce the price of their rooms if there have not been enough reservations and they do not wish to be left with a empty hotel. However, it is recommended to book your hotel at least three or four days before check-in to ensure the booking is confirmed by the hotel especially if the hotel is located overseas or you are booking during peak season.
One great feature of an online hotel reservation system is that customers can easily change their travel arrangements online from anywhere in the world. This is invaluable if you are away from home and need to make an alteration to your hotel reservations.