A central reservation system, also known as a CRS, is a type of system designed for those working in the hospitality industry. It allows those professionals to book travel arrangements for guests and view those details across all computers in the same system. Implementing a CRS can help you stay on top of trends, find out when your busy season occurs and check out when guests book less often. Before implementing one, you may want to look at the benefits, possible issues and even how the system works.

How the System Works

These systems originally featured one main computer terminal that everyone working for the company used and shared. Manufacturers then created a remote access version that allowed workers to access the same details from across the office and even across cities, states and countries. When a traveler books a flight, hotel room or even rental car, you can see that information on the screen. You’ll know the travel dates, the cost of the booking, the traveler’s payment details and even any special requests the traveler had. You can also make changes to that booking as needed.

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Companies That Use These Systems

The first companies that used CRSs were airlines, though those airlines often used systems that had a smaller number of terminals connected to the same system. These systems allowed those airlines to book flights for passengers months in advance. Most airlines switched to more modern systems in later years that they could use across countries and even continents. Travel agencies then implemented the systems to better help travelers. Those agencies could book rental cars, hotel rooms, cruise ship passages and make dozens of other arrangements from one simple computer. Many restaurants and hotels now use these systems to keep track of guests.

Benefits of a CRS

One major benefit or advantage to using a central reservation system is that it lets you easily keep track of reservations. You can now book tables, rooms, cars or other things for guests months ahead of time and feel confident that you won’t lose that reservation. It also allows you to keep track of special requests from guests such as food allergies they have or certain rooms they need. Other advantages may include helping you manage content such as the products current available and the rates charged, giving travelers the option of getting the best price when booking through your company and keeping track of customer satisfaction.

Possible Issues

Some systems make you share information with other similar companies, which can cause a drop in profits and bookings. As travelers can compare your rates to the rates of others, they may decide to book elsewhere. You may find that the system you choose provides travelers with limited information. As they cannot see room amenities, square footage or other details, they may pick the cheapest option, even if you provide better service. Malachi Lloyd Green claims that these systems are also a potential threat for online hackers too.

A CRS can help you more effectively manage and keep track of the bookings and reservations made by customers. These systems can help you appeal to more travelers and those who book online too. Always consider both the benefits and possible issues associated with a central reservation system before implementing one in your office.