Hotel Data Cloud – An Easy Way to Manage Information about Hotel Properties
Managing information about hotels and getting that information out to potential customers is a daunting process. Hotel properties come in many different types and each has a vast array of characteristics that must be taken into account and accurately represented on travel sites where potential guests book their travel plans. How to handle this? Use Hotel Data Cloud!
A typical hotel requires a seemingly infinite number of resources to provide high-quality service to its guests – everything from buildings and pools to towels and bedsheets. Information about them must be reported accurately if the hotel is to be correctly represented on booking websites like Airbnb and TripAdvisor. Managing this information and distributing simultaneous updates to multiple booking sites in a timely manner can be really difficult.
That’s where Hotel Data Cloud comes in.
Hotel Data Cloud is a global management system for hotels that helps owners control information about their properties on third-party websites and keep that information up-to-date. It stores descriptions and photos of hotel properties in a single location and allows hoteliers to instantly update their listings on any booking channel with a single click.
The information never flows the other way. Only the hotel owner can change content in Hotel Data Cloud. The platform doesn’t collect information from third-party channels that are not related to the hotel itself.
How it works
A hotel owner signs up for the system and starts adding the required information for their hotel properties. All information that can be specified for a particular hotel is stored in a standard profile where it is sorted into a huge number of categories:
- Basic Information
- Additional Information
- Address Information
- Room Details
- Dining / Food & Beverage
- Nightclub / Bar
- Executive Lounge
- Pool, Spa, Gym & Beach
- Common Areas
- General Services
- Laundry & Cleaning Services
- News & Temporary Changes
Each category features a wide set of characteristics that help hotel owners describe their services in the most accurate and detailed way. For example, the Activities section includes the names of 71 different services for the hotel’s guests, from darts to surfing. The Room Detail section allows the user to indicate things like which room types have a wooden floor and whether any room has a baby-bottle warmer. These detailed descriptions allow third-party websites to represent the hotel as accurately as possible, thereby allowing future guests to choose the best options for their stay.
More than 1,500 booking channels are on the list of current partners who can receive updates from the platform. They include the best-known booking platforms such as Booking.com, TripAdvisor and Agoda.
Despite the fact that Hotel Data Cloud works with all types of information about hotels, from parking zones to floor heating in rooms, it’s not a part of the booking process itself. The main focus is content, information, and distribution.
The entire development process took us one month.
The project team consisted of three people:
- Front-end developer
- Back-end developer
- QA engineer
To implement all the desired features of Hotel Data Cloud, our team chose the following technology stack:
- Back-end: Ruby on Rails, Elasticsearch, Redis, Sidekiq, RSpec, Firebase, MySQL
- Front-end: React, Redux
- Wrapper: Node.js
Hotel Data Cloud empowers the hotel owner to create a detailed description of their properties: star ratings, room types, contacts, loyalty cards, closest airports and much more.
In addition, hotel owners have full 24/7 control over their property listings on third-party websites. Hotel Data Cloud makes it possible to simultaneously update and distribute details like parking places or check-in times on thousands of booking channels with a single click. Automating content distribution in this way saves countless hours that were previously wasted on manual uploading. These hours can now be spent on other, more important tasks.
Also, with the help of Hotel Data Cloud, it’s possible to translate all the descriptions into multiple languages for distributing information all around the world.
Development Challenges and Solutions
The first problem our team faced while working on Hotel Data Cloud was developing a complex hotel database. All hotels have different properties that in turn have different characteristics. Due to the large amount of detailed information that must be processed and structured, it was difficult to create a single template that worked for all the hotels and turn it into a relational database. That’s why our team used a NoSQL database to facilitate data processing and improve data storage efficiency.
The second problem was the incompatibility of Ruby on Rails with Firebase. We wrote a Node.js wrapper (an entity that wraps around another entity to convert data into a compatible format), so when Ruby needed to communicate with Firebase, Node.js acted as a mediator for it.
The platform has three levels:
The Basic plan is free and provides the user with the key functions: 150-word hotel and room descriptions in two languages, standard room amenities, and standard hotel amenities and services. The user can upload a general video about the hotel, but photo distribution is not included at this level. This plan is ideal for small private hotels.
The Premium plan costs $2.70 a day and is suitable for professionally managed hotels of any size. It provides some additional features like uploading hotel and room images. Moreover, the functions of the Basic plan are expanded: The descriptions can contain up to 800 words, they can be translated into ten languages, and the amenities now can be fully detailed.
The Enterprise plan expands functionality even more: Descriptions increase to a maximum of 1000 words and the number of languages available for translation is not limited. The price for this plan is $4.25 a day.
Our team created a large database for hotels that facilitates property information management for hotel owners. This completely met our client’s goals.
The simple and intuitive UI gives hotel owners options to enter detailed information about their hotels and easily distribute that information to third-party resources, easily distribute that information to third-party platforms. This empowers them to create the highest quality listings and lets them take full advantage of what each booking platform has to offer.
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