The success stories of big players, Airbnb and booking.com have pushed the travel industry forward, stimulating phenomenal growth. That is why not only hospitality professionals are wondering how to make a hotel booking app but many entrepreneurs and startups from various industries too.
This is why we are writing this blog—to let you know everything that's involved in hotel booking app development.
In this blog, we'll break down all the crucial aspects you need to know before diving into creating a hotel booking app. By the end of this read, you'll have a good understanding of what it takes.
First, let's take a look at what's going on in the market.
Online Travel Market Analysis
- In 2018, about 82% of hotel bookings were done without human interaction.
- On average, 148 million travel bookings are made every year.
- Around 83% of U.S. citizens prefer booking hotels online while traveling.
- Around 70% of travelers prefer a smartphone for their travel research.
- Around 700 million people will book hotel rooms online by 2023.
I think these facts and data are enough to inspire you to make a hotel booking app.
Types of Hotel Booking App Development
Hotel Consolidator Apps
These apps act as aggregators, collecting data from various hotels and presenting them in a centralized platform. Users can compare prices, amenities, and reviews across multiple options, simplifying the decision-making process.
Last-Minute Hotel Booking Apps
Targeting spontaneous travelers, these apps offer discounted rates on unsold rooms close to the booking date. Ideal for those seeking flexible travel plans and deals, these apps cater to a budget-conscious audience.
Hotel Chain Mobile Booking Apps
Designed for specific hotel chains, these apps offer exclusive deals, loyalty programs, and personalized experiences. They streamline the booking process for frequent guests and provide access to special benefits, like room upgrades and early check-in.
Advance Hotel Booking Apps
Catering to organized travelers, these apps allow booking rooms months in advance, ensuring availability for planned vacations and business trips. They often offer special rates for early booking and cater to a long-term planning audience.
Niche Hotel Booking Apps
Focused on specific categories, these apps cater to travelers with unique needs. Whether targeting eco-friendly accommodations, pet-friendly hotels, or luxury experiences, these apps offer curated options and cater to a specific market segment.
Hybrid Hotel Booking Apps
Combining features from different categories, these apps offer a comprehensive platform for all travel needs. They allow booking hotels, flights, activities, and even car rentals, creating a one-stop shop for seamless travel planning.
Local Hotel Booking Apps
Catering to a specific city or region, these apps offer insights and recommendations for local accommodations. They provide detailed information about nearby attractions and cater to travelers seeking authentic experiences and local knowledge.
Features to be Included in a Hotel Booking App
1. Result Filter
- Make your app user-friendly by allowing guests to filter hotels based on various criteria such as price, location, amenities, guest rating, and star rating.
- Implement a clear and intuitive search interface with autocomplete suggestions and relevant filters.
- Consider integrating map-based search for guests to easily visualize hotel locations.
2. Booking and Cancellation
- Enable guests to make secure booking reservations directly through your app.
- Offer clear and concise information about the booking process, including cancellation policies.
- Integrate secure payment gateways for seamless transactions.
- Allow guests to effortlessly cancel their reservations with clear instructions and confirmation steps.
3. User Interface and Experience (UI/UX)
- Design a user-friendly and visually appealing interface that is easy to navigate.
- Prioritize intuitive navigation with clear buttons, menus, and icons.
- Implement a consistent and visually appealing design across all app screens.
- Ensure your app is responsive and works seamlessly across different devices and operating systems.
4. Push Notifications and Alerts
- Keep guests informed about their booking status, confirmations, and reminders.
- Offer personalized recommendations and deals based on their travel preferences and location.
- Send real-time updates about hotel availability and special offers.
- However, avoid bombarding users with unnecessary notifications to maintain a positive user experience.
5. Reviews and Feedback
- Allow guests to leave reviews and ratings about the hotels they booked through your app.
- This provides valuable feedback to help you improve your app and offer better recommendations.
- Respond to guest reviews and address any concerns promptly and professionally.
6. Multiple Language Support
- Expanding your app's reach to a wider audience by offering multiple language options.
- This is particularly important for attracting international travelers.
- Ensure the translations are accurate and culturally sensitive.
7. In-App Navigation
- Integrate maps and navigation tools to help guests easily find their way to booked hotels.
- This is especially helpful for guests unfamiliar with the area.
8. Customer Account
- Allow guests to create accounts for a personalized booking experience.
- Store their preferences, booking history, and payment information for a faster checkout process.
- Enable them to manage their bookings and reservations easily.
9. Hotel Account
- Provide hotel owners with access to a dedicated dashboard to manage their listings, bookings, and guest reviews.
- This helps them track their performance, update their information, and respond to guest inquiries.
10. Payment Channels
- Integrate a variety of secure payment options, such as credit cards, debit cards, and mobile wallets.
- Offer local payment methods to cater to international guests.
- Ensure all transactions are secure and compliant with industry standards.
By incorporating these essential MVP features, you can create a hotel booking app that is user-friendly, functional, and valuable for both guests and hotel owners. This will lay a strong foundation for future growth and success in the competitive app market.
Additional Features in a Hotel Booking App
Easy Ride Booking
Make travel seamless by letting users easily book a taxi right from your app. No need to juggle multiple apps—everything they need for a smooth ride is right at their fingertips.
Discover Local Gems
Help users uncover nearby hotspots and hidden gems with a "Places to Explore" guide. From attractions to local favourites, your app becomes their go-to travel buddy.
Pick the Best Stay
Let users compare hotels effortlessly. Whether it's pricing, amenities, or reviews, give them the features to choose the perfect place that fits their preferences.
Book a Table, Stress-Free
Enhance dining experiences by allowing users to book tables at local restaurants through your app. No more last-minute scrambling—just easy, convenient reservations.
Organize Your Trip
Simplify travel planning with a handy trip organizer. Users can manage their schedules, get real-time updates, and receive reminders—all in one place. Traveling has never been this stress-free!
Remember, the key to a successful MVP development is to focus on core functionalities that address the needs of your target audience. Don't overload your app with unnecessary features at the outset. As your app gains traction, you can incorporate additional functionalities based on user feedback and market trends.
6 Most Popular Hotel Booking Mobile Apps
MakeMyTrip, founded in 2000, began by serving the US-India travel market with competitive flight deals. In 2005, it expanded into the Indian market, becoming a leading platform for booking hotels and holidays. Their success lies in their strong brand recognition, user-friendly interface, and focus on customer service. MakeMyTrip has inspired numerous startups and individuals to venture into the travel app space.
Trivago, founded in 2005, emerged as a hotel metasearch engine, comparing prices across various booking platforms. Their innovative "hotel price comparison" model disrupted the industry, providing transparency and empowering users. Trivago's focus on mobile-first design and aggressive marketing strategies fueled its rapid growth. Their success has inspired others to explore metasearch models and innovate in the travel search domain.
Agoda, founded in 2005, initially focused on Southeast Asia, offering budget-friendly accommodations to backpackers. It later expanded globally, becoming a major player in the hotel booking market. Agoda's success is attributed to its strong partnerships with hotels, offering exclusive deals and discounts. Their focus on the budget-conscious traveler segment has inspired new entrants to cater to this specific niche.
Booking.com, founded in 1996, has become a global behemoth in the hotel booking industry. Their extensive inventory, user-friendly interface, and loyalty program have attracted millions of users worldwide. Booking.com has been at the forefront of technological advancements, implementing AI-powered recommendations and personalized experiences. Their success has set a high standard for others, encouraging innovation and competition in the space.
Goibibo, founded in 2007, started as a bus ticketing platform and later diversified into hotel booking. Their focus on the Indian market, aggressive marketing campaigns, and user-friendly app have garnered them a loyal customer base. Goibibo's success demonstrates the potential of catering to specific regional markets with unique offerings. Their model has inspired other startups to explore regional travel booking solutions.
Airbnb, founded in 2008, revolutionized the travel industry by offering unique and affordable accommodation options. Their platform connects travelers with hosts who offer their homes, apartments, and even unique spaces. Airbnb's focus on community, local experiences, and alternative lodging has disrupted the traditional hotel industry. Their success has inspired numerous startups to explore the sharing economy model and innovate in the hospitality sector.
Different Type of API Integrations in Hotel Booking App
Integrating your hotel booking app with various third-party apps can significantly enhance your user experience and attract a wider audience. Here, we'll explore some of the most valuable integrations to consider:
Integrate with popular navigation APIs like Google Maps or Waze to help guests easily reach their hotel and navigate the surrounding area. This eliminates the need for guests to download separate maps and provides a seamless arrival experience.
Partner with city guide APIs like Tripadvisor or Foursquare to offer guests curated recommendations for local attractions, restaurants, and activities. This allows them to discover hidden gems and plan their itinerary effectively, enhancing their overall travel experience.
Integrate secure payment APIs like Stripe or PayPal to enable smooth and secure in-app transactions. This allows guests to book hotels and pay for their stay directly through your app, eliminating the need for multiple websites and credit card entries.
Consider integrating with hotel aggregator APIs like Booking.com or Expedia. This exposes your hotel listings to a broader audience searching on these platforms, ultimately driving more bookings and increasing your reach.
Integrate with review APIs like TrustYou or TripAdvisor to display authentic guest reviews within your app. This builds trust and transparency with potential guests and helps them make informed decisions about their accommodations.
Partnering with secure mobile app development companies and implementing robust data protection measures is crucial. This ensures safe app code and protects user information, building trust and confidence in your platform.
How Much Does It Cost To Build A Hotel Booking App?
While your mind races with visions of a successful hotel booking app dominating the market, one question inevitably emerges: how much will it cost to bring this vision to life?
Unfortunately, there's no one-size-fits-all answer. The cost of developing your hotel booking app is a dynamic equation, influenced by a unique blend of factors:
Project Scope and Complexity
Bare-bones vs. feature-rich: Do you envision a basic booking platform or an app overflowing with functionalities like AI-powered recommendations, dynamic pricing, and local guides? Naturally, a more complex app translates to a higher development cost.
Native vs. cross-platform: Building a native app for each platform (iOS and Android) delivers a superior user experience but incurs higher development costs. Cross-platform development offers a more cost-effective option but may lead to limitations in user experience and performance.
Design and User Interface (UI/UX)
Simple and functional vs. aesthetically captivating: Does your app prioritize efficiency or aim to wow users with stunning visuals and intuitive design? A more intricate and visually appealing UI/UX will require additional design expertise and time, reflected in the development cost.
Features and Integrations
Essential features vs. extensive functionality: Will your app offer basic booking capabilities or integrate with third-party services like payment gateways, social media platforms, and travel APIs? The more features and integrations you incorporate, the higher the development cost will be.
Development Team and Location
Hourly rates vary significantly: The experience and location of your development team will greatly impact the overall cost. Developers in North America and Western Europe typically command higher hourly rates compared to those in Eastern Europe or Asia.
Understanding these variables is crucial to establishing a realistic budget for your Travel app development.
Instead of simply providing vague cost ranges, we believe in transparency. Our team of experts can analyze your specific project requirements and provide you with a customized estimate, taking into account all the influencing factors. This comprehensive approach ensures you have a clear understanding of the potential costs involved and can make informed decisions about your app's development journey.
Steps to Create a Hotel Booking App
1. Market Research and Analysis
Identify your target audience
Who are you building the app for? Understanding their needs, preferences, and booking habits is crucial.
Analyze the competition
Analyze existing hotel booking apps to identify their strengths and weaknesses. This will help you differentiate your app and offer unique value propositions.
Research the latest trends
Stay updated on the latest technologies and features in the hotel booking industry to ensure your app is innovative and competitive.
2. App Design and Prototyping
Develop a user-friendly UI/UX design
The app should be intuitive and easy to navigate, even for users unfamiliar with booking apps.
Plan the app's features and functionalities
Decide what features your app will offer, such as hotel search filters, booking management, integrated payment systems, and guest reviews.
Create a prototype
A prototype is a working model of your app that allows you to test its functionality and gather user feedback before committing to development.
3. Development and Testing
Select a development platform
Native apps offer optimal performance, while cross-platform apps are more cost-effective. Choose the platform that best suits your budget and target audience.
Develop the app
This involves coding the app's functionalities, integrating APIs for hotel data and payment gateways, and ensuring secure data storage.
Test the app thoroughly across different devices and operating systems to identify and fix bugs before launch.
4. App Launch and Marketing
Choose the right app store
Submit your app to the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, following their respective guidelines and submission processes.
Develop a marketing strategy
Create a comprehensive marketing plan to generate awareness about your app and attract users.
Gather user feedback
Continuously monitor user feedback and reviews to identify areas for improvement and make necessary updates.
5. App Maintenance and Updates
Regularly update the app
This ensures it remains compatible with the latest operating systems and devices, incorporates new features, and fixes any bugs or security vulnerabilities.
Maintain the app's infrastructure
Regularly monitor the app's performance and ensure its servers and databases can handle increasing user traffic.
Provide customer support
Offer prompt and helpful customer support to address user queries and resolve any issues they encounter.
Security and data privacy
Ensure your app complies with all relevant data privacy regulations and implements robust security measures to protect user information.
Choose a reliable payment gateway that offers secure transaction processing and supports various payment methods.
Integration with other services
Consider integrating your app with other travel-related services, such as maps, transportation options, and local attractions.
How Do Booking Apps Make Money?
Here, the successful hotel booking application partners with a particular hotel, resort, etc., and obtains the booking right for specific rooms. Later they rent out those rooms using their application. The applications book multiple rooms at a lower price and later rent them for a higher value. Expedia is currently dominating this business model with its presence in over 200 countries.
It is one of the most popular and competitive business models. Here the application ties up with numerous hotels and resorts in a locality and lists all of them on their application. A user can choose any hotel that meets their requirements and budget. Booking.com is a prime example of this segment.
It is yet another popular business model in the hospitality industry. Here the application generates its revenue through advertising, as the name suggests. The applications monetize their apps and generate revenue from it. It is the least profitable business model in the industry, but there are not many risks associated with it. Trip Advisor is currently leading this business model.
Last but not least, this business model is highly preferred by hotel chains. Here the hotel directly connects to the customers through their application. All the reputed hotel chains like Grand Hyatt and Marriott are building their business around this model.
Build a Robust Hotel Booking App with Experts!
This blog was your one-stop shop for navigating the world of hotel booking app development. We covered everything from market analysis to feature must-haves, leaving you equipped with the knowledge to turn your travel tech vision into reality. But the journey doesn't end here!
Now, it's time to take the next step. Bring your unique idea to our team of passionate developers. Together, we'll refine your concept, craft a user-centric app, and propel it to market success. So, don't let your hotel booking app dream gather dust – let's collaborate and make it a reality for the world to experience!