Central reservation system, commonly used as a web based reservation system for storing the information of one’s own inventory or sub-contracted hotels and properties like resorts, motels, apartments etc. into one single web application system to further distribute it through various booking channels including sub-agents, hotel reservation system, travel portals, XML interface or channel manager.
The concept of central reservation system was initially known as hotel CRS later it was also incorporated for the contents of car, bus, resorts, vacations and flights. The inventory of car, bus, flights (airline reservation system, ARS) and vacations were consolidated in one single CRS system to help manage the inventory, rentals and bookings of the respective travel services. Later to increase sales the travel agents distributed the CRS through B2B based travel agency website or hotel booking system. Large OTAs also developed their own API to integrate itself with other online reservation system.
The online reservation system is associated with all the following major travel services:
Airline Reservation System/ Flight Reservation System
Hotel Reservation System
Car Reservation System
Transfers Reservation System
Bus Reservation System
Features of CRS Software
Online Search and Bookings
The CRS software especially Hotel CRS provides a single search engine interface where contents of hotels and its associated information like room inventory, room availability, nearby tourist attractions, room services, features, airport transfers, car rentals, city guide, and events can come along with hotel names and rate. This assists the travellers do bookings through various payment gateway.
Payment Gateway Integration
Payment gateway integration in the CRS system help travel agents and online customers to book the hotels and above mentioned travel services like flights, vacations, transfers, car and events directly from the central reservation system. This helps in instant confirmation of the bookings and generate PNR and invoice immediately to the customers and sub-agents. Agents who have the deposit accounts have a capping on the bookings based upon their cut-off limit. Payment gateway integration helps them to have the option of bookings through credit card if they are not able to book through their deposit account or e-wallet facility.
Vendor Registrations and B2B accounts
Travel CRS system allows multiple vendors to register and book travel services from their central reservation system. They will have a separate window to book hotels, Large OTAs allow vendors to have their own website framework and B2C system to allow their sub agents to increase the booking and provide commissions. Agents will have their own travel agency website for their own customers.
White Label Solution
White label solution allows low budget travel agents who cannot invest much in developing their own product, have their white label product to allow bookings through their own website. The OTAs like Booking.com, Expedia and Makemytrip provide their white-labels for customers worldwide.
Some of the primary functions in hotel CRS software are as below
Fully flexible and scalable for growing business.
Platform which is easier to use.
Manageability of rates, availability and content or information from single point of entry.
Connectivity of hotels to GDS, online travel agents as well as mobile booking engines.
Multiple distribution channels emphasized with channel manager usage.
Hotels and excursions are the top grosser for holiday companies and tour operators.
With a survey done recently on travel software companies in USA, India, Europe and Asia, hotel booking software with GDS connectivity, is the fastest growing category. Top hotel APIs like Amadeus, GTA, expedia, hotelbeds and DOTW are giving access to top hotel inventory in niche geographies. Hotel aggregators are setting up top hotel booking software to sell unsold inventories of hotels at the last minutes.