Young and curious, they work hard and party even harder. Their home is the world, and the smartphone - their most precious possession. Yes, you guessed right - they are millennials, the new top spenders in the hospitality industry. The millennials’ outnumbering the previous generation and becoming the biggest consumer segment has led to a boom in the hostel and hybrid accommodation sector. To meet the changed demand, hostel managers need new tools.
What is the Difference Between a Hotel and Hostel?
- Hotels range in quality and size, but all of them provide their guests with individual rooms and ample privacy.
- Hostels are budget-oriented, have more informal environment, and rooms can be mixed. The key role of the hostels is to increase the social effect.
We have come up with 5 pain points of hostel owners and how they can be relieved by hostel management software.
1. Better Room and Dorm Management
While millennials, in general, don't want to pay too much for accommodation and prefer to book a hostel, some still require a higher level of comfort in terms of more privacy, own bathroom and similar. Here is why, many hostel owners begin to offer beds in shared dorms and private rooms. This is where a hostel reservation system differs from traditional hotel software.
Managing beds and dorms that are actually the same physical space can be tough. Once you sell one bed from a dorm, you can no longer sell the dorm as a private room. But to keep revenue high, you still need to be able to sell the remaining beds in that dorm. A hostel reservation system is able to do this automatically, i.e. to block the dorm but to leave the remaining beds available for sale.
2. Online Distribution Through Multiple Channels
Millennials are online bookers by default. A hostel management system with integrated booking engine and channel manager is of great help here. Having the two as parts of the hostel PMS software means that the above mentioned dual inventory is always synchronised and correctly distributed to all sales channels. Rates and availability are altered according to the real occupancy so that more beds and/or rooms can be sold, but never too much.
This way the hostel can sell through their own website and the most popular OTAs like Hostelbookers without worries about overbookings. And by applying various sales rules and rate types, prices can change automatically to guarantee higher revenue.
3. Two-Way Guest Engagement and Communication
Hostels primarily service young travellers that prefer personalised digital experience over cookie-cutter uniform services. Digital experience is a combination of modern technology and human intelligence both put in favour of the guest. It can start with informative emails, regularly sent to customers before and during their stay. Another advanced solution is a hostel self-service app where guests can check-in, checkout, pay, book extra services and more.
All of the above along with some upsell offers that bring more revenue for the hostel are the smart way of digital interaction with tech-savvy guests. Through the 2-way guest communication, you can:
- Better understand your guest and their expectations;
- Identify new upsell opportunities;
- Boost the number of positive reviews;
- Establish a loyal community of guests.
4. Management of More Than Just Reservations
It turns out that hip travellers are bigger spenders than backpacker. But they prefer to pay for experiences and entertainment than for luxury rooms and amenities in hotels. Using this trend, foresighted hostel managers have started to offer onsite entertainment, tours, etc.
A hostel management system integrated with a restaurant POS system is ideal for properties trying to keep pace with the trends. Selling various tours or onsite activities and posting the charges directly to the folio of the guest or offering happy hours in you eating facilities are great ways to engage with guests and win their hearts by doing your best to enhance their stay.
5. Dealing with Hostel Dynamics
Hostels often employ young people that don't stay for too long. That’s why an easy-to-use and well-optimised software is crucial. The specifics of a modern hostel management software are mobility and cross-device and platform compatibility so that staff can use the software on the go. This counts especially for understaffed properties where one employee has to deal with various tasks, often using different modules of the PMS program, like combining reception and restaurant duties. With a mobile and multifunctional hostel software, it will take a click or two to switch from the check-in screen to the bar menu.
A lobby kiosk is another way to enhance the guest experience. Nobody likes crowded receptions and waiting in line. Instead, your guests can use the kiosk to check in, encode a key card, pay, check out. Relieve your hostel staff of the routine operations and let them focus on guest engagement.
In recent years hostels evolve from just inexpensive lodging facilities to local cultural hubs where young people can stay and experience the local atmosphere. The key hospitality industry trends here are the different levels of comfort and high class amenities offered to millennials.
Today hybrid accommodations are specially designed for the tech-savvy younger audience seeking memorable experiences and sociable environment and relying on their smartphones only. A versatile hostel management software with integrated online distribution, guest engagement and rate management will let you outsmart competitors and deliver the digital experience your clientele expects.
You may also find interesting:Top 9 Promising Hospitality Trends for 2018
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About Clock Software
Clock Software is a global provider of cloud-based property management systems (PMS), integrated online distribution, online & kiosk hotel self check-in solutions and mobile & in-room guest engagement systems with customers in more than 60 countries.