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The Hospitality Tech Stack - An Overview of the Systems Hotels Really Need

Tobias Roelen-Blasberg
Tobias Roelen-Blasberg
Co-Founder & Head of Product
Discover essential hospitality tech systems for modern hotels. Explore PMS, front office solutions, and ORM software to streamline operations and enhance guest experiences.
The Hospitality Tech Stack - An Overview of the Systems Hotels Really Need
TABLE OF CONTENTS

With the exponential growth of the hospitality sector, staying competitive requires more than just excellent service—it demands efficient and integrated technology solutions. This article delves into the various software systems that modern hotels utilize to streamline operations, enhance guest experiences, and maximize revenue. Whether you're looking for insights into PMS, front office solutions, hotel reservation tools, ORM software, and more, this blog is for you.

What is hospitality management technology?

Hospitality management technology, also known as hotel management solutions, comprises various software tools designed to modernize and optimize hotel operations. These technologies streamline every aspect of hotel management, from handling room reservations and guest check-ins to managing housekeeping and financial transactions.

The role of technology in hospitality has significantly evolved, moving beyond traditional methods reliant solely on human effort. Recent surveys indicate that 74% of hotels plan to implement a digital customer engagement app or tool by 2025, highlighting the industry's shift towards embracing digital hotel PMS systems to enhance efficiency and guest experience.

What systems do hotels use in hotel management?

A comprehensive hotel management system includes several integrated solutions, each vital in ensuring smooth operations and delivering an exceptional guest experience.

Here are some of the key hotel management systems utilized by hotels today:

a. Property Management System

What is a Hotel Property Management System (Hotel PMS)?

A Hotel Property Management System (Hotel PMS) is a fundamental technology in the hospitality industry that streamlines and automates a wide range of hotel management tasks. It serves as the central hub for managing daily operations, guest interactions, and administrative tasks within a hotel or hospitality establishment

hotel pms little hotelier
Sample of a hotel pms. Source: Little Hotelier

As of the latest projections, the global hotel PMS market is poised for significant growth, with forecasts indicating it could reach a market value of USD 1.6 billion by 2031. This growth underscores the increasing reliance of the hospitality sector on advanced technological solutions to drive operational excellence and profitability.

Key features of a hotel PMS:

A robust hotel PMS typically includes the following essential features:

  • Central reservation management: Enables seamless booking and online reservation handling, including check-ins, check-outs, and room assignments.
  • Front desk operations: Manages guest registration, room availability, and guest requests, providing front-line staff with the tools to deliver personalized service.
  • Housekeeping management: Facilitates scheduling and tracking room cleaning and maintenance tasks, ensuring rooms are prepared efficiently for incoming guests.
  • Channel management reporting and analytics: Generates comprehensive reports and analytics on occupancy rates, revenue performance, guest preferences, and operational metrics, aiding in informed decision-making.

What is a cloud-based PMS?

A cloud-based Property Management System (PMS) represents a pivotal shift in how hotels manage their operations compared to traditional on-premises systems. This modern solution harnesses the power of cloud computing to offer numerous advantages that propel hotel efficiency and guest satisfaction to new heights.

Cloud-based PMS systems are increasingly favored by hoteliers for their accessibility, allowing staff to manage operations remotely. These systems also reduce IT maintenance by handling updates and backups, while offering scalability for seamless expansion without hefty hardware investments. Enhanced data security is ensured through robust measures like encryption, appealing to hotels seeking compliance and guest privacy. The industry trend shows 62% of hoteliers adopting cloud PMS, driven by efficiency gain, enhanced guest satisfaction, and improved integration capabilities with other hotel technologies.

Leading cloud-based PMS system providers:

Several prominent providers lead the charge in offering advanced cloud-based property management systems tailored to meet the diverse needs of modern hotels:

a. Mews Cloud Hotel PMS

Known for its intuitive interface and extensive integrations, Mews hotel PMS empowers hotels of all sizes with a scalable and user-friendly hotel PMS solution.

b. Apaleo Hotel PMS

Apaleo hotel PMS distinguishes itself with a modern API-first approach, allowing seamless integration with a wide range of third-party applications and services, enhancing operational efficiency and guest satisfaction.

c. Cloudbeds Hotel PMS

Cloudbeds hotel PMS is recognized for its comprehensive suite of tools including property management, channel management, and booking engine capabilities, Cloudbeds pms system caters to hotels seeking a unified platform for managing their operations and distribution channels.

b. Online Reputation Management Software

An Online Reputation Management software (ORM) is critical in today's hospitality industry, with 81% of consumers on online reviews from online hotel reservations to assess products and services. This system enables hotels to actively manage their digital presence by monitoring and responding to guest reviews across multiple platforms.

MARA online reputation management hotels
MARA, an online reputation management software for hotels.

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Key features of Online Reputation Management software for hotels:

a. Review Monitoring

Effective review monitoring across online hotel reservation platforms involves continuous tracking of guest feedback on various channels such as review sites, social media, and booking platforms. Advanced tools use algorithms to aggregate and categorize reviews, providing hoteliers with comprehensive insights into guest sentiments and experiences.

b. Sentiment Analysis

Utilizing natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning algorithms tailored for the hospitality industry, sentiment analysis assesses the tone and emotion expressed in guest reviews. This data-driven approach helps hotels understand guest perceptions and sentiment shifts, empowering proactive management of guest satisfaction levels.

c. Review Response Generation

Automated tools for generating review responses aid hoteliers and channel managers in crafting timely and personalized replies to guest reviews across hotel reservation websites. These tools leverage predefined templates and AI algorithms to generate responses that are empathetic and align with the hotel's brand voice.

d. Analytics and Competitor Insights

Comprehensive analytics dashboards provide real-time insights into the hotel's online reputation, highlighting key performance metrics and trends extracted from guest feedback. Additionally, competitor analysis tools offer valuable insights into rival establishments, aiding hotels in benchmarking their performance and refining strategic initiatives.

e. Templating and Guest Satisfaction Surveys

ORM platforms often include features for creating response templates, and streamlining the review management process while maintaining authenticity. Guest satisfaction surveys integrated into these tools solicit direct feedback from guests, offering actionable insights to improve service quality and guest experiences.

f. Review Widgets and Ticket Routing

Review widgets enable hotels to showcase positive guest reviews on their websites and social media channels, enhancing credibility and influencing booking decisions. Meanwhile, ticket routing functionalities optimize response times by assigning review management tasks to appropriate staff members, ensuring efficient resolution of guest concerns.

c. Revenue Management Systems

What is a Revenue Management System for hotels?

A Revenue Management System (RMS) for hotels is used in optimizing pricing strategies across payment gateways to maximize revenue, often integrated with hotel property management systems (PMS). By analyzing market data, competitor pricing, and demand trends, RMS dynamically adjusts room rates to achieve optimal financial outcomes. Currently, 28% of hotels utilize RMS tools, with a significant portion using Expedia's free and limited RMS tool, Rev+, highlighting its widespread adoption in the industry. To learn more about Expedia hotel reservation management, click here.

revenue management system
Sample of a revenue management system linked to a central reservation system. Source: Happy Best Hotel

Key features of Revenue Management Systems for hotels:

a. Demand forecasting

Revenue management systems utilize historical data, market trends, and predictive analytics to forecast future demand for rooms and other services. This system helps hotels anticipate peak periods, and fluctuations in demand, and adjust pricing strategies accordingly.

b. Dynamic pricing

Allows for flexible and dynamic pricing adjustments based on real-time demand, competitor pricing, booking patterns, and other market factors. This ensures that room rates are optimized to maximize revenue while remaining competitive.

c. Inventory management

Working in conjunction with hotel pms, hotel RMS manages room inventory effectively by allocating the right room types to the right customer segments at optimal prices. This feature helps prevent overbooking and underutilization of room inventory, ensuring maximum occupancy and revenue generation.

d. Rate optimization

Recommends optimal room rates based on demand forecasts, competitor rates, seasonality, and other relevant factors. Rate optimization algorithms help hotels set competitive prices that reflect market conditions and maximize revenue potential.

e. Channel management

Integrates with distribution channels such as online travel agencies (OTAs), global distribution systems (GDS), and direct booking platforms to ensure consistent pricing and availability across all channels. This feature helps hotels reach a broader audience and maximize bookings through effective channel management.

d. Chatbots

Chatbots are AI-powered tools linked to PMS designed to automate guest interactions by providing instant responses to inquiries, managing bookings, and offering personalized recommendations. This automation significantly enhances guest service efficiency and satisfaction levels. According to Statista's articles on hotel technologies and PMS, there has been a 53% increase in the adoption of hotel chatbots globally by hoteliers, reflecting their growing importance in enhancing guest experiences and operational efficiency.

hijiffy hotel chatbot
HiJiffy hotel chatbot for hotel managers. One of the major competitors of eZee absolute smart hotel chatbot. Source: HiJiffy

Key features of hotel chatbots:

a. 24/7 customer support

Chatbots provide round-the-clock assistance to guests with little to no assistance from hoteliers. These chatbots answer inquiries and provide information on hotel amenities, room availability, local attractions, and more through mining data from a hotel's PMS.

b. Booking Assistance

Chatbots linked to booking and property management systems can assist guests in making online reservations, modifying bookings, and providing confirmation details. Through this, front desk officers can ensure all the data on their PMS are used for revenue generation.

c. Personalized recommendations

Based on guest preferences and previous interactions on a hotel's PMS, chatbots can suggest personalized services, room upgrades, or dining options.

d. Integration with PMS and CRM

Chatbots can be integrated with the hotel's property management system (PMS) and customer relationship management (CRM) software to access guest data and provide more personalized service.

e. Feedback collection

Chatbots solicit guest feedback post-stay, facilitating reviews and improving service quality.

e. Distribution Channel Management

A Distribution Channel Management system integrates various online distribution channels, ensuring real-time room availability and pricing updates across platforms like OTAs (Online Travel Agencies), GDS (Global Distribution Systems), and direct booking hotel websites. This helps hoteliers and channel managers manage their inventory and maximize bookings.

channel management system
Exely, a channel management system for the hospitality industry.

A distribution channel manager solution is especially important for hotel brands with multiple locations. To learn more strategies for handling multi-location properties, read our article Google My Business Multiple Locations Guide: Strategies for Optimization.

Key features of the Distribution Channel Management for hotels:

a. Centralized management

The ability to centrally manage room inventory and rates across multiple online channels is crucial for maintaining consistency and control over distribution efforts.

b. Real-Time updates

Ensuring real-time synchronization of room availability and pricing adjustments across all connected channels helps channel managers maximize occupancy and revenue.

c. Rate parity monitoring

Monitoring and maintaining rate parity across various distribution channels helps in preventing rate discrepancies and ensures fairness for customers.

preventd. Channel performance analytics

Providing insights into channel performance, booking trends, and revenue generated from each channel enables channel managers to data-driven decisions and optimize distribution strategies.

e. Integration capabilities

Seamless integration with other hotel systems like Property Management Systems (PMS) and Revenue Management Systems (RMS) facilitates efficient operations and enhances overall functionality.

f. Online Booking System

What system do hotels use to check in?

Online booking systems are essential tools for managing reservations and guest check-ins. These systems streamline the booking process, minimize manual entry errors, and enhance the overall guest experience. They provide real-time availability, secure payment gateway processing, and automated confirmations, ensuring a smooth and efficient booking process for both the hotel and the guest.

hotel OTA
Booking.com, a hotel OTA, is now one of the most lucrative hotel reservation websites and payment gateways for hotels.

Nearly two-thirds of total hotel chain revenue is now booked online, highlighting the importance of having a robust and user-friendly online booking system. Such systems not only improve operational efficiency but also contribute significantly to a hotel's revenue and guest satisfaction.

Key features of Online booking Systems:

a. Real-time availability

Online booking systems integrated with central reservation solutions allow potential guests to see current room availability and pricing in real time, reducing the chances of overbooking and ensuring accurate inventory management.

b. Secure payment processing

Facilitates secure online transactions linked to revenue management systems, offering multiple payment options and ensuring guests' financial data is protected through encryption and compliance with industry standards.

c. Automated confirmations

Sends immediate confirmation emails or messages upon booking, providing guests with their reservation details and reducing the workload on front desk staff.

d. User-friendly interface

Offers an intuitive and easy-to-navigate booking interface, enhancing the user experience and increasing the likelihood of completing bookings.

e. Integration with other Systems

Seamlessly integrates with other hotel management systems, such as hotel PMS, CRM, and hotel channel managers, ensuring consistent data flow and efficient operations across different hotel departments.

Discover the top hotel reservation and review websites that connect your business to relevant audiences Discover the Best Customer Review Sites for Your Business

g. Other management systems for hotels

Here are other management systems currently used by some of the best hotels worldwide:

a. Mobile Check-in Apps

Mobile check-in apps are usually offered with booking platforms. They enable guests to check in using their smartphones, offering a seamless and contactless experience. This not only enhances guest convenience but also reduces wait times at the front desk, improving overall guest satisfaction.

b. Hotel Website Building and Hosting Software

These tools empower hotels to create professional, user-friendly hotel websites that support direct bookings. They also provide detailed information about the hotel's services, amenities, and special offers, helping to attract and convert potential guests. They are usually integrated with a hotel's property management system and central reservation solution.

b. Rate Shopper Software

Rate shopper software continuously monitors competitors' pricing strategies, providing valuable insights for hotels to adjust their own rates. It's usually linked with Revenue Management Systems. By staying competitive in the market, hotels can optimize their pricing strategy and maximize revenue.

Interested in going beyond PMS? Read our article How an Online Reputation Management System Can Transform Your Online Presence.

How are new technologies helping hotels offer more services?

New technologies are revolutionizing the hospitality industry by enabling hotels to offer enhanced services and streamline operations, significantly improving guest experiences. Mobile check-in apps reduce the need for front-desk interactions, while AI-powered chatbots provide personalized service around the clock. Advanced hotel management systems integrate various aspects of operations, boosting efficiency by 37% and cutting administrative costs by 40%.

Cloud-based property management systems such as Cloudbeds offer scalability, enhanced data security, and remote accessibility, allowing seamless management across multiple locations. Online reputation management software helps hotels maintain a positive online presence and foster guest loyalty by monitoring and responding to reviews in real time. These innovations empower hotels to deliver more efficient, personalized, and high-quality services, leading to increased guest satisfaction and operational success.

Discover how innovations in the hospitality industry in our article How Innovations in Hospitality Industry Are Reshaping Guest Experience

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What technologies are used nowadays by hotels?

Hotels use various management systems that are often categorized by the size of the business, ensuring that each type of hotel can optimize its operations according to its unique needs.

What software do large hotel chains use?

Large hotel chains often utilize comprehensive and integrated systems to manage their extensive operations. These include cloud-based hotel Property Management Systems (hotel PMS) such as Mews and Cloudbeds, advanced Revenue Management Systems (RMS), and sophisticated Distribution Channel Managers. These technologies ensure consistency, efficiency, and high service standards across multiple properties.

Hotel chains also integrate with other systems like Customer Relationship Management software(CRM) software and business intelligence tools, helping hoteliers to provide a seamless and data-driven approach to managing large-scale hotel operations.

What software do medium hotel chains Use?

Medium-sized hotel chains typically use scalable solutions that offer a balance between functionality and cost. Cloudbedsand Apaleo are popular hotel PMS choices for these hotels, providing robust features without the complexity and expense of larger systems. These central reservation solutions allow medium-sized chains to manage their properties efficiently, offering tools for reservation management, guest communication, and performance analytics.

Additionally, medium chains often use mid-range RMS and channel managers to optimize pricing and distribution without overwhelming their resources. Hoteliers also deploy Online Reputation Management software like MARA to manage and enhance their online presence, respond to guest feedback, and maintain a positive reputation across digital platforms.

What software do independent hotels use?

Independent hotels usually consist of alternative accommodations such as condotels, vacation rentals for group bookings, and hostels.

Independent hotels often require flexible and cost-effective solutions that can be customized to their specific needs. Because of this, they usually skip full-scale hotel pms and channel management solutions as they would be counterproductive. Independent hotels typically utilize online booking systems as their pms system, used to manage online reservations and check-ins efficiently. One strategy also deployed by most independent hotels is having a fully optimized hotel website and OTA listing.

Additionally, they employ Online Reputation Management software like MARA to manage their online presence, respond to guest feedback, and maintain a positive reputation across digital platforms. These systems help individual hotels streamline their daily operations, offering tools for booking management, guest interaction, and online presence enhancement. They are often more user-friendly and require less technical expertise, making them suitable for smaller teams focused on delivering personalized guest experiences.

What are the latest trends in the hospitality industry?

The hotel industry is rapidly evolving, driven by technological advancements and shifting guest expectations. Key trends include:

a. Cloud-based solutions

The future of hotel technology is undoubtedly in cloud software. Cloud-based Property Management Systems (PMS) like Cloudbeds offers unparalleled scalability, accessibility, and reduced maintenance costs compared to traditional on-premises systems. These solutions enable hoteliers to manage their operations from anywhere, streamline workflows, and enhance data security.

b. User-friendly interfaces

Hotel PMS platforms with intuitive, user-friendly interfaces are becoming essential. Systems that are simple and easy to use not only enhance hotelier efficiency but also reduce training time and improve overall job satisfaction. This trend is driving the adoption of technologies that prioritize usability, ensuring that hotel staff can perform their duties effectively and with minimal friction.

c. Review-based decisions

Hoteliers are increasingly relying on guest reviews and user feedback to inform their technology choices. Online Reputation Management software, such as MARA, plays a crucial role in this process by aggregating reviews across multiple platforms and providing actionable insights. By leveraging these tools, hotels can make data-driven decisions to refine their technology stack, ensuring it meets guest expectations and enhances the overall guest experience.

d. Integrated channel management

Effective distribution channel management is vital for maximizing bookings and revenue. Modern channel management solutions integrate seamlessly with hotel PMS platforms like Cloudbeds, allowing hoteliers to manage room availability, rates, and inventory across various online travel agencies (OTAs), global distribution systems (GDS), and direct booking channels in real time.

e. Personalized guest experiences

Management software that enables hotel businesses to offer more personalized services to their guests. From AI-powered chatbots that provide instant, tailored responses to guest inquiries, to advanced data analytics that inform personalized marketing and service offerings, hotels are leveraging technology to enhance the guest experience. These innovations help create memorable stays, foster guest loyalty, and drive repeat business.

Intuitive Hotel System – MARA AI

Deploying hotel management software could be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. MARA AI Review Assistant could be deployed within minutes, helping hoteliers boost their online reputation management by making it more efficient, personalized, and time-saving. It offers the best and most personalized AI for responding to and analyzing your guest reviews.

Review Inbox for Hotel Businesses

One of the key features of this online reputation management software is the Review Inbox. Your review inbox makes responding to reviews as simple as hitting "Generate reply" and clicking "Send". The Review Inbox connects to multiple review sources, including Google, Booking.com, and Tripadvisor, giving you a panoramic view of all your reviews. And your hotel managers can even configure review response automation: Why not allow MARA to automatically respond to simple reviews, like 5-star Google reviews with no text, ensuring you never miss a review? Daily notifications about new reviews keep you updated and in control.

MARA Review Inbox
Review monitoring software solution for hotels.

Streamlined Review Analytics for Hoteliers

To help you understand and analyze the multitude of reviews, the Review Assistant also incorporates Review Analytics. This provides actionable, easy-to-understand insights that are tailored exclusively to your hotel business. With MARA, you can quickly get the gist of all your reviews without needing to read each one. The analysis is so detailed that you can find out about specific housekeeping issues like "bad customer service" or "unclean room even after housekeeping”. These insights help optimize guest experience without requiring you to be a data expert.

MARA Review Analytics
Easy-to-use review analytics software solution for hotel managers and hoteliers alike.

The most personal response AI for hotels

MARA's AI isn't just about efficiency; it's about personalization too. The Brand Voice feature allows the AI to adapt to your tone, making sure your responses sound authentically you. Plus, with Smart Snippets, you can "teach" the AI how to respond to recurring praises or complaints about housekeeping, amenities, location, hotel reservation process, and more. Your AI then incorporates this information into its responses, but always with different words, providing more personalized, relevant replies.

This review response assistant has quickly become a game-changer for over 2000 customers. Its promising capacity to elevate your overall rating, amplify response rates, glean insights from customer feedback, and economize both time and money, is the reason behind its growing popularity. Furthermore, it's a web-based software solution that allows front office managers and hoteliers alike to easily synch the software to their native PMS and hotel reservation system.

Final Thought

The hospitality industry's technological landscape is rapidly advancing, making it essential for hotels to adopt integrated and efficient systems to stay competitive. Cloud-based solutions, like those offered by Cloudbeds, are at the forefront, providing scalable and accessible hotel PMS systems that streamline operations from the front desk to back-office management. Independent hotels and large chains alike benefit from these advancements, with online booking systems enhancing reservation management and ORM tools like MARA improving guest interaction and reputation management. Ultimately, these technologies not only enhance operational efficiency but also significantly elevate the guest experience, ensuring long-term success and satisfaction in an increasingly digital world.

Thinking of boosting your hotel office management efficiency today? We know deploying a full-scale hotel pms can be scary. Whether you're a large chain hotel business or an independent hotel, why not give MARA a try? It's completely free for testing, doesn't require a credit card, and can be fully operational in less than five minutes.

This post is part of our hero content series on “The Future of Hospitality Industry: Integrating AI into Hotels and Restaurants".

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Frequently Asked Questions:

Which system is used in the hotel industry?

The hotel industry primarily relies on property management systems (PMS), revenue management systems (RMS), online booking systems, and online reputation management software to manage operations efficiently and enhance guest satisfaction.

What type of software do hotels use?

Hotels employ a diverse array of software solutions including PMS for managing reservations and room operations, RMS for optimizing pricing strategies, distribution channel managers for maintaining real-time availability across platforms, chatbots for automating guest interactions, and online booking systems for facilitating seamless reservations and group bookings.

What technology is used in hotels?

Hotels leverage advanced technologies such as cloud-based hotel PMS for scalability and accessibility, AI-powered chatbots for round-the-clock guest support, mobile reservation system apps for streamlined arrivals, and rate shopper software for competitive pricing insights. These technologies collectively improve operational efficiency and enhance the overall guest experience.

What technology is used to enhance the customer experience in a hotel?

To enhance guest experiences, hotels utilize technologies like mobile check-in apps to expedite arrivals, AI chatbots for personalized assistance, and advanced reservation systems for managing guest preferences and feedback. These tools aim to provide convenience, efficiency, and tailored service throughout the guest's journey.

What systems do hotels use in hotel management?

Hotels integrate comprehensive systems such as PMS for centralizing operations, RMS for dynamic pricing and revenue optimization, online booking platforms for seamless reservations including group bookings, and reputation management tools to monitor and enhance online guest feedback. These systems collectively streamline operations, maximize revenue potential, and ensure a superior guest experience.

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