15 Most Important Features for Your Booking Engine in 2024

15 Most Important Features for Your Booking Engine in 2024

The success of a hotel’s website lies not just in its design but in its booking engine because it can turn potential guests into actual bookers.

A well-designed one makes the booking process easy and efficient while providing valuable information and features to enhance guests’ overall experience.

However, to find the optimal one for your needs, it’s important to know what features to look for.

Read on as we share the 15 most important features for your booking engine.

Let’s dive in!

15 Most Important Features for Your Booking Engine To Look For

1. Calendar

Calendar shows guests the available dates and times for booking, allowing them to select a convenient time slot. 

Furthermore, it also provides you with a clear overview of your property availability so you can easily:

  • Manage bookings, 
  • Allocate and plan resources effectively to avoid overbooking,
  • Measure productive and non-productive time,
  • Create special offers and promotions during lower occupancy times, etc.

💡 ProTip:

OTA SYNC enables you to manage reservations with a drag-and-drop, do quick check-ins and check-outs, manage payments and reservation status, and more, all in a single interactive and intuitive calendar. 

This way, you don’t have to switch multiple tabs and can have a clear overview of all your properties.

2. Channel Manager

Allows you to connect properties to multiple distribution channels, such as online travel agencies (OTAs), metasearch engines, and direct booking engines. 

Connecting to these channels can increase the property’s visibility and reach a wider audience, which ultimately helps increase bookings and revenue.

💡 ProTip:

OTA SYNC’s Channel Manager has a 2-way connection that lets you seamlessly and simultaneously sync across all of the 100+ leading OTA channels, enabling you to avoid overbookings and undersellings.

Thus, you can manage and update room availability, rates, and bookings in real time, ensuring consistency across multiple OTAs and booking platforms.

Furthermore, you can also use iCAL links to view and display calendar data across apps.

3. Mobile Compatibility

Since more and more people are using their mobile devices to book travel, a mobile-first design is an essential feature.

It ensures a booking engine is optimized for smaller screens and touch-based inputs, providing a smooth, on-the-go experience. 


4. Mobile App

Besides the mobile-friendly booking engine, you should also look for one with an app.

It will provide quick access to travel information, as well as the possibility to make bookings and manage reservations with just a few taps.

Furthermore, it can provide additional features and functionality that may not be available on the booking engine’s website.

For example, it may integrate with other travel apps or offer access to exclusive content or discounts.

💡 ProTip:

Once you’ve installed OTA SYNC’s mobile app, you’ll get instant access to all key figures, reservations, and even the MRZ scanner for guest documents.

This way, you’ll know how your accommodation is doing at any given moment.

5. Multi-language Support

A booking engine that supports multiple languages is essential to catering to diverse guests. 

It provides them with an easy-to-use and comfortable booking experience while minimizing potential misunderstandings.

💡 ProTip:

Did you know that OTA SYNC is available in more than 15 languages? Thus, you can cater to international guests and expand your reach and visibility.

In addition, providing a pleasant booking experience increases the chance of guests returning and making great referrals. 

6. Secure Payment Process

A secure payment process ensures safe encryption and transmission of the guests’ payment and other sensitive information to the payment gateway.

The payment gateway should comply with all relevant security standards and provide fraud detection and prevention measures, such as encryption and tokenization.

💡 ProTip:

OTA Payments is PCI DSS and PSD2 compliant, meaning your property and guest data is always stored and processed safely, reducing the risk of fraud, theft, or manual errors.

Furthermore, it provides tokenization, end-to-end encryption, and 3D Secure authentication, meaning no raw data sits within OTA SYNC, and no one can see actual guest credit card details.

7. Integrated Payment Gateway

An integrated payment gateway automates the whole payment process so you can instantly process transactions.

Moreover, you don’t have to charge for bookings manually, check credit card validity, etc. 


💡 ProTip:

OTA Payments, a fully integrated payment gateway, allows you to:

  • Initiate payments with a single click,
  • Manage flexible and non-refundable payments, 
  • Automatically charge virtual credit cards,
  • See a real-time overview of all payment activity,
  • Track payments and run tailored reports,
  • Pre-authorize credit cards, etc.

8. Multiple Payment Options

Offering multiple payment options, such as credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, etc., provides guests with flexibility and convenience in choosing their preferred payment method. 

💡 ProTip:

OTA SYNC offers a wide range of payment options, such as virtual credit cards, credit cards, Google Pay, Apple Pay, etc.,  


This encourages guests to book services they otherwise may be hesitant to do because of the payment options available.

9. Multiple Currencies

By providing multiple currencies, you eliminate the need for a manual price conversion, which can be time-consuming and confusing.

Offering multiple currencies also helps prevent cart abandonment, as guests are more likely to complete a booking if they clearly understand the total cost in their local currency. 

💡 ProTip:

OTA SYNC covers more than 150 countries, offering all major world currencies, and it automatically updates exchange rates daily.

This way, the booking engine can attract a wider range of guests worldwide, helping to increase sales and revenue while increasing global visibility.

10. Customization Options

A customizable booking engine theme allows you to tailor the look and feel of the booking engine to match your brand. 

Consequently, it builds brand recognition, creates a professional appearance, and ensures a cohesive experience.

💡 ProTip:

With OTA SYNC, you can customize your booking engine and include custom logos, colors, etc., by choosing from a variety of booking widgets and availability calendars.

11. Upselling Options

Upselling features allow guests to add products or services to their reservations, such as upgrading to a better room or a spa treatment.

Therefore, customers may be more likely to purchase these add-ons and increase their overall spending.

Moreover, upselling can improve the guest experience by offering personalized recommendations and options that align with their interests or needs.


12. Promo Codes, Discounts & Special Offers

The above features can significantly contribute to a booking engine’s success. 

For example, you can include complimentary breakfast, free parking, or other extras to make their stay more comfortable or convenient.

Additionally, you can use discounts and other special offers as part of a loyalty program to reward repeat customers, such as a reduced rate for a specific package or a free room upgrade.

Moreover, discounts and special offers can create a sense of urgency and promote sales during slow periods, such as off-peak seasons.


💡 ProTip:

OTA SYNC’s Booking Engine comes with diverse upselling and promotional features, allowing you to create different price lists per accommodation unit.

Thus, you can offer additional special prices and packages, for example, a discounted, non-refundable 3-night stay.

Furthermore, you can use promotional and discount codes to say “thank you” to your loyal guests or attract new ones with promotional offers.

13. Integration With Your Property’s Tech Stack

Besides integration with external systems and third-party apps, it is essential that your booking engine integrates with the internal core systems, such as:

This way, every piece of data and statistic, from guest behavior to booking, is under one roof, enabling you to manage and automate hotel operations.

💡 ProTip:

OTA SYNC doesn’t have separate programs but an “all-in-one” integration enabling you to overview and manage all of your properties from a centralized dashboard.

This way, you don’t have to switch tabs when managing multiple properties, and you reduce the risk of overbookings, double bookings, pricing errors, etc.

14. Invoices

Automated invoicing can reduce the administrative burden, ensure that invoices contain accurate information, and prevent accounting errors.

You can also integrate invoicing with the payment processing functions of the booking engine to accurately track revenue and expenses and streamline the payment process.

💡 ProTip:

OTA SYNC’s Unlimited Pro Invoices allow you to create customizable invoices in 2 clicks. 

The system pulls all info automatically, and you choose the status and insert additional services if necessary. 

Furthermore, you can perform advanced invoice operations, such as Splitting or Merging by Item, Room, Guest, Amount, etc.

15. Analytics & Reporting

A booking engine that provides reports and analytics helps you track key performance metrics, such as occupancy rates, average daily rate, and revenue per available room.

Furthermore, the reporting feature provides detailed reports on booking sources, customer demographics, and other metrics to optimize your booking strategies.

You can gain valuable insights into customer behavior, booking trends, and revenue streams through analytics and reporting to help inform future business decisions.

💡 ProTip:

OTA SYNC’s advanced reporting and analytics provide extensive statistics for any channel or room divided by periods, channels, amounts, room type, and revenue.

Thus, you get the tools to manage revenue, finance & in-hotel reports.

Wrapping It Up

Our list of the 15 most important features for your booking engine should be a great starting point for determining which features are essential for your hospitality business.

Truth be told, depending on the current scale of your business, you may not initially need all of them.

Nonetheless, why not immediately go for the solution that ticks all the boxes above and also goes a few extra miles?

Why Opt For OTA SYNC’s Booking Engine? 🚀

OTA SYNC is a cloud-based, all-encompassing property management system that caters to full hotel management rather than one particular functionality.

Packed with a robust Channel Manager and Booking Engine, it provides robust solutions to facilitate and automate hotel operations and payment processes.

What’s more, it doesn’t come at the expense of guest satisfaction. 

Our Guest App adapts to your guests’ needs and enables them to:

✅ Do check-ins and -outs seamlessly in a single “click,”

✅ Get all the necessary info regarding their stay, house rules, etc.

✅ Address requests and feedback in real-time

✅ Get tailored suggestions on what to do, visit, where to eat out, etc.

Furthermore, with our Booking Engine, you can:

🔥 Make check-in fast and hassle-free with our inbuilt online check-in module.

🔥 Securely collect credit card details and charge the card in-house.

🔥 Easily share your booking engine link with any influencer or agency and let them earn a preselected commission each time they make a reservation for you.

🔥 Set minimum and maximum stays and apply special rules for specific periods and seasons.

🔥 Use the Bidding Feature to allow your potential guests to offer your ‘bid’ price so you don’t lose them if they want to pay a slightly lower price.

🔥 Customize the look of your online booking form, emails with custom headers & footers, invoices, and settings.

🔥 Automatically send reports on your email at a desired frequency without logging on to the system and adjusting the parameters manually.

And so much more.

Ready to dive into OTA SYNC?

Sign up for OTA SYNC today to streamline the booking process for you and your guests.

Keep Learning:

10 Must-Have Features of A Hotel Management System

5 Best Hotel Booking Engines in 2024

What is Property Management System in a Hotel – The Ultimate Guide

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