Have you ever experienced the frustration of finding inconsistent hotel details on various travel platforms?
The modern traveler relies heavily on online bookings and reservations (no wonder the global online travel market is forecasted to hit $690 billion by 2026). It is the new norm, and ensuring accurate and consistent information becomes paramount.
The vast distribution network within the hospitality industry is so extensive that it’s bound to exhibit the effects of its immense size. One common manifestation of this complexity is the distribution of information across online platforms.
This is where hotel mapping comes in play, a powerful tool used by providers to bring order to the chaos of inconsistent hotel listings.
Let’s talk about what hotel mapping is and explore its significance in the world of travel and hospitality.
What is Hotel Mapping?
Hotel mapping is the process of merging property IDs from different sources into a single property record to avoid inconsistent naming and duplication in listings. In simpler terms, it’s like bringing together scattered puzzle pieces to create a complete picture.
Imagine this scenario: you’re searching for a hotel on different online travel platforms, and you find that the same hotel is listed under different names or addresses on each platform. Wouldn’t this inconsistency confuse you? By integrating hotel mapping, hotels try to eliminate this kind of experience by streamlining their details on every platform.
Why Hotel Mapping Matters for Travel Back Office
Enhanced User Experience
Consider the frustration that comes with booking a room that doesn’t meet your expectations. Hotel mapping ensures that travelers get precisely what they want. This enhances their experience, increasing the likelihood of repeat bookings and positive reviews.
Overbooking is a nightmare for both hotels and travelers. Hotel mapping helps prevent this by synchronizing available rooms with online booking platforms, reducing the risk of double bookings.
Hotels often offer different rates for the same room type based on the booking platform. Hotel mapping ensures that the correct pricing is displayed to users, reducing disputes and ensuring transparency.
For hotels, managing room inventory across various online channels can be overwhelming. Hotel mapping simplifies this by centralizing information, making it easier for hotels to manage their bookings.
Also read: 5 Easy Fare Comparison Strategies for OTAs
The Mechanics of Hotel Mapping
Hotel mapping works by sifting through various static attributes such as property names, contact information, addresses, ZIP codes, descriptions, and geolocation. It then identifies identical properties from different sources and merges or maps them under a single ID. This process not only eliminates inconsistencies but also enhances the quality of inventory data.
For instance, Hotelbeds might list a hotel as “Palm Inn,” while Booking.com calls it “Palm Inn Hotel & Casino.” Hotel mapping software would recognize that these refer to the same property and unify them under a single ID. It’s like making sure all roads lead to the same destination.
How Hotel Mapping Works
Now, let’s explore how hotel mapping is integrated into back-office operations:
For seamless and dynamic content, companies can integrate their inventory via an API. This method allows for real-time updates without the need to repeatedly send new files. However, API integration may require technical expertise.
Mapping as a Service from Experts
This is a more user-friendly option and involves uploading hotel inventory files to an online tool. Mapping typically occurs automatically, with human intervention required at crucial places handled by trained professionals. Unire being one of the top travel back office management company in India has helped gigantic travel stakeholder from around the globe to meet their hotel mapping needs. Once mapping is complete, a mapped inventory file can be downloaded or shared with partners.
Top 5 Hotel Mapping Tools
Several providers offer hotel mapping solutions, each with their unique features and capabilities. Here are a few prominent ones:
GIATA: A Berlin-based provider with a massive hotel database and automated and manual mapping capabilities. GIATA offers room mapping and multilingual content integration.
Mapping.Works by Gimmonix: Known for fast, automated hotel mapping that claims to process listings data in under 24 hours. Mapping.Works offers both hotel and room-level mapping.
DataBindR: Offers detailed room-level mapping with spell check using machine learning and natural language processing. DataBindR provides separate solutions for hotel and room mapping.
Juniper Unique Hotel: Integrated into Juniper’s booking engine, this solution standardizes hotel and room data and offers real-time content updates.
Trawex Hotel Mapping Solution: Provides full database maintenance and handles hotel and destination mapping, including address, description, logos, and more.
Vervotech Mapping: A fast-growing mapping and content management technology with a massive database, offering real-time content updates and automated quality checks.
Where to Start with Hotel Mapping?
If you’re considering implementing hotel mapping for your travel back office operations, here are some steps to get started:
Assess Your Needs: Determine whether your suppliers categorize hotel data differently and identify the specific challenges you want to address.
Choose the Right Features: Consider the features that align with your goals, such as multilingual mapping or API integration.
Explore Providers: Research and compare different hotel mapping providers based on the size of their databases and mapping quality.
Consider Integration: Decide whether you need API integration for dynamic data or if a user-friendly mapping tool suffices.
Unire’s Role in Hotel Mapping
Unire, as a travel back office management company, specializes in helping DMCs, OTAs, and TMCs streamline their operations. Here’s how Unire assists in hotel mapping:
Data Integration: Unire integrates hotel data from various sources into a unified system. This ensures that travel agencies have access to the most up-to-date information, improving accuracy and reliability.
Room Mapping: Unire’s experts excel at room mapping. They meticulously match room types, descriptions, and amenities, ensuring that travelers receive accurate information.
Channel Management: Managing bookings across multiple online platforms can be daunting. Unire simplifies this process by streamlining the details on different platforms.
Overall, in the travel industry, hotel mapping is not just a technical process; it’s an art that enhances the traveler’s experience while optimizing operations for businesses.
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