What is Hotel Management Software?

Put simply, hotel management software refers to any software package that is designed to assist with the day-to-day management of a hotel, resort or similar property. Examples of this include property management systems (PMS), revenue management systems (RMS), rate shopper software, reputation management software and channel managers. These solutions are popular within the hotel and hospitality industry, allowing tasks that previously needed to be carried out manually on paper to be performed digitally – typically with some degree of automation.

Hotel Management Software Solutions

There are a range of hotel management software solutions that management staff can use to make daily tasks and operations easier and more efficient. At the bare minimum, every modern hotel requires a property management system (PMS), as this will allow you to digitally manage bookings, your calendar, and more. Aside from the use of a PMS, many hotels also use a variety of other solutions, including revenue management systems, which assist with optimising financial results; distribution channel managers, which help with inventory distribution across the various channels; mobile check-in apps, which improve the customer experience; and reputation and review management software, which can be used to manage online feedback on a variety of platforms.

These solutions can be used individually, but many can also be connected together, and this integration allows data to be shared between them. Additionally, some software providers offer all-in-one solutions.

5 Benefits of Using Hotel Management Software

In the modern, digital age, hotel software is used for a range of different purposes, but convenience, efficiency, accuracy and financial benefits are chief among them. Below, you will find five specific advantages associated with the use of hotel management software solutions within a property.

1. Streamlined Processes

A major benefit that can be gained from adopting a variety of hotel management software solutions is the ability to streamline processes. From automating many of the distribution tasks, to generating financial reports in an instant, software applications can make almost everything more efficient.

Automation allows certain hotel operations to be carried out even when staff are not available to intervene manually, while the ability to share data across the property and even across hotel chains can help to remove barriers. Moreover, software solutions also have the potential to reduce instances of human error.

2. Reduced Costs

Although hotel software requires an initial financial investment, over a longer time period these applications and systems can lead to significant cost-savings. This is because less human involvement is required in many day-to-day processes, while money can also be saved in a number of other areas.

Labour costs can be reduced through automation, which can allow you to reduce the number of staff you employ, reduce the number of hours they work, or simply gain from increased productivity in other areas. Review management software can boost your reputation, saving on marketing costs, while channel managers can save on costs linked to distribution.

3. Increased Revenue

In addition to helping you to save money, hotel management software can also help to increase the amount of revenue you generate. For instance, revenue management systems can allow you to optimise pricing and distribution, using past data, existing data in the books and wider industry data to help you to accurately anticipate demand.

Meanwhile, marketing intelligence software can allow you to create customised offers, based on customer data, while distribution channel managers can allow you to manage availability and visibility across online distribution channels. Demand for hotel rooms can also be increased through effective use of reputation management programs.

4. Improved Customer Experience

Another reason why hotel management software can be beneficial is because it can significantly enhance the customer experience you offer. One of the most obvious examples of this is the use of mobile hotel check-in and check-out systems, which allow for much more seamless arrivals and departures.

However, improvements extend beyond that. Many PMS solutions offer point-of-sale options, making payment for hotel services easier, while smart hotel systems also allow for things like heating, air conditioning and lights to be optimised automatically, increasing customer comfort and making your hotel more energy efficient at the same time.

5. Competitive Advantage

Finally, one of the single most convincing reasons why you should utilise hotel management software solutions is the potential to gain a competitive advantage over rivals. Many software packages will provide valuable real-time industry insights, allowing you to be more competitive in terms of room rates, or package discounts.

Furthermore, hotel software can help you to build better relationships with customers, attract more positive feedback, generate customer loyalty and save money that could be spent on other areas that will boost your performance.

The Most Important Software Solutions for Hotels

From revenue management systems to rate shopper software, the ever-growing number of hotel software solutions on the market can seem overwhelming and it can be difficult to know which are most important for day-to-day operations.

In our article, “Hotel Software: The Most Important Software Solutions for Hotels”, you will find valuable information about the most important software solutions to use in your hotel or resort.

Understanding Hostel Management Systems

Hostel management systems are functionally similar to hotel management systems, albeit with a focus on the specific operations and requirements associated with running hostel-style guest accommodation. While the specific features of these software solutions can differ, most share similar core options and tools.

If you are interested in finding out more about hostel management systems, why they are important, and the various features you might expect, read “Hostel Management Systems: Everything You Need to Know”.

Hotel management software has become widespread within the hotel industry and there are a number of different types of solutions available. Crucially, these systems and applications have the potential to streamline processes, reduce costs, increase revenue, improve the customer experience and provide you with a competitive advantage.


Types of Hotel Management System Software

In the past, hotel management software was limited to an on-premise solution. You would pay for a piece of software and install it onto the computers at your physical location. This made it impossible to use your software unless you are on location. More recently, hotel cloud solutions have arrived that make it possible to access and manage your software from anywhere you have internet access.

Since both cloud and on-prem hotel solutions are still available, let’s take a closer look at the two options and how they work so that you’ll be in a better position to decide which is right for you. If you want a more detailed analysis of the pros and cons of each, we have an entire blog post dedicated to the topic that we invite you to read.

Cloud Software Solution

Cloud-based hotel solutions offer sleek and easy to learn interfaces that allow your staff to focus on putting the guest first instead of struggling with overbearingly complex, and sometimes redundant, software. As the industry evolves and more hotels adopt cloud-based hotel software more and more functionality is being built in by developers. 

Cloud-based hotel management system solutions bring with them the benefits that cloud-based software always does. You’ll be able to access your system, in its full capacity, from anywhere you have access to a web browser. Because the software is located in the cloud, you’ll always have the latest version of it with no input needed from your IT department. Having the latest version means staying compliant with changing local laws and compliance requirements.

On-Premise Hotel Solution

On-premise hotel software has been around for a long time, so it’s features and functionality have been refined over many years as a direct reflection of the needs of the hospital industry. This often results in an organic patchwork of features that are more complex to use – especially for staff members who are not familiar with a particular piece of software.

Key Features and Functionality of Hotel Management Software

In the introduction, we gave a general overview of how hotel management systems help to make your operation run more smoothly. Now it’s time to take a closer look at the key features and functionality that are common to all hotel management solutions so you’ll have a better idea of the benefits that they can bring to your hotel.

As protel’s third-party marketplace illustrates, hotel management software can often be extended beyond these core features by add-on applications that utilize the same common interface, but provide you with additional features above and beyond the scope of the original software, so that you can tailor the software to the needs of your business, creating a true Best-of-Breed environment.

Hotel Web Booking Engine Software

In many cases, your hotel booking engine is the first exposure your future guests will have of your hotel. It functions as your hotel’s welcome mat and should be a pleasant experience for the user. A fully featured hotel booking engine software will give them the power to choose the options they most want in an easy to use and intuitive format. Providing these options also gives you a great opportunity to upsell the customer with ancillary items. This is where having a complete hotel hospitality management system comes in handy.

By leveraging all of the data across your entire system, you’ll not only be able to present the potential guest with a more complete picture of your offerings, but you’ll also know how to make that offer more appealing to your guest. As, when all of the data collected about guest journeys are available in one place, algorithms will be able to help you identify ways to appeal to different guest-segments and vastly improve the ROI from your hotel booking system.

Hotel Front Desk System

From a guest-facing perspective, your hotel front desk is the brains of the operation. Any question a guest has about any aspect of your hotel, they are going to come to the hotel front desk to get answered. It’s immediately obvious how having a hotel front desk system that ties in with all of your other systems is crucial to an efficient workflow.

Rather than having to call different departments or switch between different software programs to get answers for guests and help them achieve their goals, your staff will be able to quickly access everything from one location. Whether your guest wants to book an appointment at the spa or be reminded of which room they are in, it can all be handled from one software package.

Hotel Housekeeping Solution

With a large number of rooms to keep track of, housekeeping is a perfect candidate for the move to digital management. Your staff’s ability to quickly turn over rooms and ensure that they are up to the standard of your hotel is vital to your operation.

By keeping detailed track of all the work that needs to be done, a good hotel management system can bring all that complexity into one centralized place. Once all the tasks are neatly organized, hotel housekeeping software will allow you to assign housekeepers to a given project, automatically notify them when there is work to be done, and allow them to instantly update the system once it is.

Hotel Channel Management System

Today’s hotels can’t get away with only having one sales channel, or relying solely on walk-ins. Between the popular booking websites and travel agencies, you have a lot of different channels that you need to manage. If your room inventory doesn’t stay in sync between all of your sales channels, you could end up overbooking, and not in a clever way. The opposite problem can occur if all of your sales channels aren’t promptly notified when a room becomes available. Another benefit of having all of your sales channels in one location, is that your staff will also have easy access to all of your reservations at once.

Hotel Billing and Invoicing Software


You have reservations coming in from various sales channels which all need to be connected to a unified hotel billing and invoicing system. When those guests arrive, they may get a drink at the hotel bar or order food from room service. All of these different revenue sources and additional charges need to be tracked and managed efficiently.

With hotel management software you’ll be able to see where every euro you charge for originated, create an invoice for the customer that reflects those charges, and provide them with convenient ways to pay those bills because they are all a part of a larger system. Your billing and invoicing software will be directly connected to the POS systems used by staff around your hotel.

Hotel Reporting and Analytics Solutions

Here is where ending the data silos really shines and unlocks huge potential for business growth. In the age of big data, analytics can provide actionable insights into your day to day operation that no human would have ever picked up on. They cannot do any of this, however, without access to sufficient data.

When your systems are spread out over several software platforms – and from multiple vendors, your hotel reporting and analytics solutions package doesn’t have a complete picture of your business. Worse, you could have multiple applications with duplicate data that is not in sync. Hotel management software eliminates these data silos that result in an incomplete picture of your business and removes the potential to miss key patterns due to a lack of robust data.

Modernize Your Hotel Management System

When talking about the features and functionalities of a HMS system it is important to keep in mind that all these features need to work in unison and be integrated with hotel property management systems. In a typically functioning hotel, the front office receptionist will need to check a guest out, this requires the billing and invoicing feature.

It is vital that the billing feature be legally compliant in the county of operation. Once the guest has been checked out by the front office receptionist, the HMS needs to indicate to housekeeping that the room is ready to be cleaned. Once cleaned the HMS must make the room available for sale again. In steps the booking engine, which will make the room available across all channels. The guest then books the room which is then made unavailable for further booking by the HMS.

The guest arrives at the hotel and the guest is checked in by the receptionist. Ideally, the HMS will have a currency exchange function that will allow guests to exchange money from their currency to the local currency, this usually requires a copy of a passport, which can be made manually or with the use of passport scanning software which any modern HMS will have. The hotel billing and invoicing system allows posts (charges) to be made by the various departments within the hotel such as the restaurant, spa and any other additional rate-excluded charges.

Room (accommodation) charges and other rates, such as bed and breakfast charges should be automatically posted by the hotel HMS when the night audit runs. The room is then flagged as dirty for housekeeping to clean the room. This cycle is repeated until the guest checks out and then the whole HMS cycle is complete.