Booking In 22 Languages
New York — (December 3, 2003) According to electronic-distribution experts, travelers have become more sophisticated in their online booking habits, and therefore will make a purchasing decision based on the attractiveness of a hotel’s Web site, its functionality and its flexibility to book a reservation. Fastbooking, a global provider of online booking engine software to almost 2000 hotels, enhances the online booking process by making all information available to travelers in 22 languages and from a one-page, fully interactive booking screen.
“Instant information is only valuable to travelers if it is presented in their language,” said Ed Brill, Chief Operations Manager USA for Fastbooking. “Two-thirds of the world does not speak English. Yet, almost all booking engines are written in English.”
Fastbooking facilitates online hotel bookings in 22 languages, from Spanish, Japanese and Chinese to Arabic, Hebrew and Brazilian Portuguese. According to Brill, approximately 20 percent of business booked at U.S. hotels using Fastbooking is done in a language other than English. Among user hotels in the United Kingdom, approximately 25 percent of all business is booked in a language other than English.
“When a traveler logs onto a hotel’s Web site, the Fastbooking system will detect the language selected within that customer’s browser and provide all information needed for the booking process in that language – no matter where a customer is in the world,” Brill said, noting that language preference can be changed manually at any time. “This is not just a masking of the reservation field. Fastbooking translates not only customer identification information, such as name and address, but all information such as amenities in the room, policies, package offers and even confirmations.”
Additionally, vital information such as error messages which tell a customer, for example, that only two nights are available at a special rate when four nights are requested, and that another rate is available for the remainer of the stay is provided in the customer’s own language, Brill said.
“Fastbooking then goes one step further by converting an offer or rate instantly into a currency the customer is familiar with,” Brill said. “This tool makes a hotel’s Web site stand quantum leaps above its competition because they are providing instant information that contains the right rates, the right packages and the right policies in the right language and currency denomination. This turns a ‘so-so’ Web site into a ‘must-go’ Web site that is critical to improving sales results at properties today.”
Trent Blizzard, president of Blizzard Internet, a provider of Web site design, hosting and promotional services to hotels, said many hoteliers look at their Web sites to determine: “What information or offers do I need to put out there to generate more business?” Instead, he said the question should be: “What information is important to post to attract and retain customers and get the bookings?”
“A hotel’s own Web site is its lowest-cost, highest-return distribution channel,” Blizzard said. “The challenge is getting the best technology out there to book rooms that make sense for the hotel while at the same time updating the property’s Web site design, content and promotion. The information provided also must be is easily understood by the customer--ideally in his or her language--in order to keep them at the site long enough to book a reservation and hopefully return to the site for future bookings.”
Blizzard said Web sites are especially important for attracting International guests because they use the Internet as a research tool.
“Translated Web sites not only improve the international traveler’s experience, but it shows them that the property does indeed cater to their demographic,” Blizzard said. “Booking engines also are especially important for attracting international guests because they visit Web sites at odd hours and are more likely to book online than the average local guest, who is more likely to pick up the phone and call. A multilingual booking engine is the icing on the cake because it caters to this trend and again, shows the guest that you cater to them.”
Another important element of a Web site, Blizzard said, is the ability to provide as much information as possible on a single page so that customers are not constantly using the “Back” button to search for additional rates, packages or when making multiple reservations.
Brill said Fastbooking enables customers to see all offers and all room types on one page.
“Scrolling down long pages to look for offers, rates and room descriptions is a thing of the past for customers visiting sites supported by a Fastbooking Web booking engine,” Brill said. “Our system enables a traveler to open only one screen to instantly look at different room types, change arrival/departure dates, and even make reservations for up to three different rooms on the same record. The moment you change any information about the room type, you get an instant re-display of the information. You never have to hit the ‘Back’ key.”
This gives customers a “dynamic total” of the entire booking process, Brill said, instead of scrolling up and down or clicking “Back” or “Forward” to get a snapshot of the reservation or reservations.
“It’s a real time saver,” Brill said. “It’s also a strong sales tool because it will keep customers eyeballs glued to the hotel’s Web site instead of getting frustrated and leaving the site to shop elsewhere online. “
According to PhocusWright, 65 percent of online hotel buyers search at least three sites before making a booking decision. Additionally, 55 percent of these shoppers will do research on a property, but not book, and only 25 percent are hotel or brand loyal.
“Hotels that implement a Fastbooking Internet Booking Engine will find that visitors to their Web sites are more likely to stay at the sites, book on the sites and return to their sites because all the information they are looking for is provided to them on one page, in their own language and in a dollar amount they can understand,” Brill said. “What can be simpler?”
FastBooking is the European leader in Internet hotel booking engine with a portfolio of almost 2000 top-quality hotels ranging from 3 to 5 stars, including independent hotels, hotel groups and voluntary hotel chains. For more information, visit www.fastbooking.com. A demo is available at http://www.fastbooking.co.uk/siteweb/siteang/demofastbooking.htm.
Phone 212 459 9191
|Also See:||FastBooking- Internet Booking Engine Giant Enhances Its Unique One Page Booking Screen and Facilitates Bookings In More Than 20 Languages / September 2003|
|Internet Hotel Booking Engine Giant Launches Americas Push / January 2003|