1) Can you collect more than 10% deposit online, or as much as 100% of the entire reservation?
2) Are bookings confirmed automatically online, or is manual review or intervention required?
3) Do you have no-show and cancellation protection?
4) Can you avoid having to obtain your own costly merchant account, and having to contend with chargebacks?
5) Do you have free setup, no support costs, no monthly fees, and no software upgrades?
6) If yes for all the above, is your total cost no higher than 5% of total reservation value?
The answer to each of these questions should be YES.
There is a wide array of booking engines and online marketing tools available today for hotels and hostels. Educate yourself first, and be smart with your questions, and smart with your decisions. Remember that any service looking to install software on your desktop computers are vestiges of 1980’s-style travel industry technology. To succeed in the competitive tourism industry of the new millenium, you need to purchase 21st century technology, and make sure you’re only paying 21st century costs. Remember that there’s more to taking bookings online than making the sale. You need to be able to accept credit cards online, and also ward off fraudulent activity with no-show and cancellation protection.