How to Make a Hotel App Like Booking
The travel and tourism industry is prospering continually and is showing a steady year-on-year growth around the globe. This boom in tourism can be attributed to the online tourism subsector of the industry.
The ability to book hotel rooms, vacation itineraries, flights, and other services online has made travel preparations simpler than before. Advancements in technology allow tourism companies to serve their clients right in the comfort of their homes.
Booking.com is one of the leading travel fare aggregators in the world. The user base of this platform continues to increase due to its effective management and useful features. That is why app developers are trying to duplicate the success of Booking.com. This article details how to make a hotel app like Booking.com.
- 1 Steps involved in creating a hotel app like Booking.com
- 2 What is Booking.com?
- 3 How to make a hotel booking app?
- 4 1. Do not begin coding the app at first
- 5 2. Listing high-level objectives
- 6 3. Listing the most important Booking.com features
- 7 4. Select the platform of choice
- 8 5. Design your hotel booking application
- 9 6. Focus on creating the back-end
- 10 7. Front-end coding
- 11 8. Produce an app landing page
- 12 9. Establish analytical database
- 13 10. App Publishing
- 14 Conclusion
- 15 General FAQ
- 16 How to Make a Hotel App Like Booking.com?
- 17 What are the features of a hotel app?
Steps involved in creating a hotel app like Booking.com
To simplify the app development process, take a look at the steps mentioned below. Following this procedure helps you develop an application like Booking.com cost-efficiently.
- Do not begin coding the app at first
- Understand your high-level objectives
- Enumerate the features in your application
- Choose the perfect OS for the app
- Application design
- Backend coding
- Frontend coding
- Landing page creation
- Creating an analysis system
- App publication
Before you can understand how to make a hotel app similar to Booking.com, you need to know more about this service.
What is Booking.com?
Apart from being a travel fare aggregator, Booking.com also acts as a travel metasearch engine for making reservations. Initially formed in the year 1996 by Geert-Jan Bruinsma as bookings.nl, the company was merged with Bookings Online four years later.
Expedia failed in its bid to buy bookings.nl in 2002, the company was eventually purchased by Priceline Group in 2005 for $133 million.
At present Booking.com is primarily owned and operated by United States-based Booking Holdings, and the corporateheadquarters is in Amsterdam. With more than 28 million listings in over 148,000 locations, Bookings.com is a worldwide travel aggregator.
The fact that booking.com handles over 1.5 million room bookings and reservations every day shows it’s a true leader in its niche. To offer greater local support, the company behind the application has integrated support for 43 languages in its system.
Keep reading to learn how to make a hotel app like Booking.
How to make a hotel booking app?
Now that you know a little more about your primary competitor, let’s look at how to build a similar app that attracts travelers and tourists.
1. Do not begin coding the app at first
The coding of the application is the most expensive and trickiest part of developing a travel aggregator application similar to Bookings.com. While you may feel tempted to begin the coding process straight away, doing so will further complicate the entire procedure.
Offshore developers charge around $20 per hour, while the cost of hiring Silicon Valley developers can be as high as $200 per hour. Therefore, before engaging developers in the coding process, you should have established a design scheme and plans for the application.
Do not let your eagerness to code compromise the quality of the finished product. Not only does premature coding lead to technical difficulties as the project progresses, but it can also drastically increase the app development budget.
Start with market research to understand the needs of your target audience. Design a unique selling point for the new app to give it an edge over Booking.com. Gather feedback from your future customers before starting to code.
Keep reading to learn how to create a hotel booking app.
2. Listing high-level objectives
The success of Booking.com has inspired numerous companies to develop travel-related applications. However, only a few succeed in making a mark in the marketplace, these are companies that have precise and distinct high-level goals.
That is why it is crucial to pen down your objectives so you can target an audience for the application efficiently. The best approach is to use the Business Model Canvas, Load Startup Method, and purchase the Start Owners Manual.
Please read the article How to Build an App and Make Money for detailed guidelines.
3. Listing the most important Booking.com features
When you know the features you want to include in the application, the pressing questions regarding how to make an app like Booking.com are answered already. For any travel-related application, here are some of the most important features.
- Hotel Owner app
- Administration app
- Guest app.
The hotel owner app mainly caters to hotel owners who are looking to list their properties for booking on your application. The guest part of the application is designed for consumers who are looking to book hotel rooms and other services during their upcoming travel.
Lastly, the administration app connects the owner and the guest application, ensuring the app functions smoothly and resolves user issues quickly.
The following checklist will help you prepare the feature list for your application.
- Interface for booking the accommodation.
- User registration for new clients on the platform.
- Push notifications to notify users regarding updates and useful information.
- A messaging system that can help travelers communicate with hotels and other service providers.
- A cancellation featurethat allows guests to easily modify or revoke their reservations.
- The ability to book a stay and also support for payment of outstanding bills.
- A special admin panel to monitor the transaction between the hotels and the guests.
- A simple and convenient search facility through which guests can find the desired hotel or other services.
Let’s discuss these features in detail to get a better understanding of their objectives.
New user registration – While registration is important for travel-related apps, mandatory registrations can limit your reach and exposure to the target audience. Instead, you can allow consumers to use the core functions of the application without registering, which is booking tours or hotels. A better option is providing social media logins to guests, which can reduce the time-consuming task of registration through emails and passwords.
Bookings Interface for accommodation – The primary purpose of your app is to allow guests to choose and book hotels as required. A well-designed booking interface can considerably increase user engagement. This page should focus on the booking functions only.
This interface must include input fields to supply necessary personal data requirements. A geolocation tracking feature is also a good option for this booking interface, as it aids people when making last-minute bookings.
In-app messaging facility – During the hotel booking process, users may have certain questions regarding features and facilities in the room they intend to book. You need to offer a viable way of communication between the hotel staff and the guest to answer such queries. A messaging service within your app that allows guests to communicate directly with the hotel’s representatives before the booking takes care of this challenge.
Push notifications – Booking.com has an effective push notification system that passes salient booking information to guests. The notification system can also be used to inform users about ongoing offers and discounts. This will help enhance revenue generation and profitability in the long run.
Search facility – If you are interested in how to make an app like Booking.com, you must already know that the search function is crucial to the success of travel-related applications. With this feature, users can search for hotels by name or simply search using locations. Adding filters to your search option is another great way to increase the convenience of using your applications.
Accommodation Details – Always include an accommodation detail page for your booking application. Users want to know more about a property they choose to stay in during their vacation. Here are some features that your accommodation detailing page needs to include.
- Image gallery showcasing the hotel and its rooms
- Basic information regarding the hotel
- Book Now button
- Option for adding the property to the user’s favorite list
- A list of reviews
- More information regarding the various facilities available in the hotel and the room in general.
Booking and paying for the stay – The feature for booking a hotel room is a must-have feature for any travel aggregator application. However, aside from reservations, you need to implement a safe, secure, and proper payment system within your application. Booking.com allows payment through credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, and even cash payments at the hotel reception. Ensure you provide as many payment options as you can to support potential guests.
Cancellation facility – While you want users to book hotels through your application, you must also provide an easy method of cancellation if the need arises. Study the cancellation policies followed by the biggest travel websites today and design a similar approach. You must also establish a hotel booking cancellations refund policy.
Admin panel – While hotels and guests are your target audience for the travel app, you need a feature to manage your app efficiently. Most apps have an Admin panel where the administrator can manage listings and perform other admin tasks such as managing records, and so on. Therefore, besides considering the cost of creating the user experience, you must invest in such backend solutions as well.
Keep reading to learn how to build a hotel booking app.
4. Select the platform of choice
People think that designing a cross-platform app that supports several platforms brings more users. However, trying to launch the app across iOS and Android platforms concurrently is not the best. For one, cross-platform development increases development costs and complicated the development process.
Therefore, to ensure a hassle-free development project, choose either Android or iOS to launch the first version of your app. Later, you can proceed with development for the other platform.
Almost 80% of smartphone users today are on Android. Therefore, if you want to capture the masses, this will be the preferred platform. On the other hand, 20% of smartphone users on Apple’s operating system occupy a niche-specific category of consumers with a higher spending capability.
Therefore, catering to the iOS crowd can help you generate more revenue in the short term.
Choose carefully and understand the pros and cons of development on the two platforms. Publishing an app on the iOS platform is costlier and trickier when compared to publishing on Google’s Play Store.
Keep reading to learn how to build a hotel reservation app.
5. Design your hotel booking application
The wireframe of the application refers to the sketch for the app’s design before coding the program. It showcases a basic outline of the different visual interfaces of the app.
The mock-up enhances the wireframe with animated pictures and colors. Lastly, prototyping the application allows users to interact with some functions of the application interface.
Prioritizing these design concepts before starting the actual coding can greatly help when trying to achieve a specific look. It also helps save costs during the development process. Apart from its cost-saving functionality, investing time in designing the mockup, wireframe, and prototype affords you a learning experience.
You can easily rectify functions and features that you feel have a problem at this stage. However, if you proceed to the development stage without undertaking wireframing, prototyping, and mockup creation, you may have to bear expensive costs when you need to make changes.
Listed below are some reasons why you must design the app before coding.
- The experience is enjoyable as you see your app creation dreams become a reality.
- You can change the designs faster than you can implement such changes in your app code.
- You can design the application without seeking help from professional designers.
- Even if you do need help from professionals, hiring a designer is cheaper when compared to hiring a developer. Some high-quality app developers charge up to $200 per hour.
Given the facts above, take some time to design how the app is supposed to look before you start the application coding.
6. Focus on creating the back-end
The majority of the functions of an app are controlled by the app’s backend. That is why the application coding should begin with the back-end. The part of an app that users interact with (frontend) is just a small part of the entire system.
Most of the tasks for the app are completed through the functions at the back-end. For instance, API generation, data retrieval & storage, and business rules are just some of the things that a fully functioning application’s back-end performs.
You have two major options when coding the back-end for the application.
- You can code the backend platform from scratch.
- You can choose from one of the Backend-as-a-Service (BaaS) providers to offer back-end solutions.
Advantages of picking BaaS – Here are the benefits of using Backend as a Service.
- Increased speed of development as developers do not need to invest time in coding a backend platform from scratch. This results in faster app publishing.
- The expense of development is reduced since the majority of the backend service is already present. Developers simply need to tweak certain aspects to fit your needs.
- BaaS already includes the necessary infrastructure, thereby reducing your hassle drastically.
Here is the top Backend as a Service options available today.
Advantage of custom back-ends – The main benefit of using a custom backend is that it offers greater flexibility forcustomization. However, creating such a back-end for the app is costlier when compared to BaaS solutions. Moreover, coding such a back-end takes longer, thereby increasing the time to market for the program.
7. Front-end coding
The aesthetic of the front-end design is immensely important in determining whether your app attracts users or not. Your app must have a clean, simple, and feature-rich appearance. Decide whether you want to develop a Web app, a Native app, or a Hybrid mobile application.
Native apps refer to the programs that are integrated into the hardware and operating system of a device. These applications have better visuals, performance, and can even run without Internet connectivity.
Web apps, on the other hand, do not have direct access to the hardware or the OS for the device. This limits their functionality greatly. However, this type of app is perfect when you are looking for a budget-friendly and fast development option. Internet connectivity is necessary for such apps.
Hybrid apps are simple native apps that integrate the web view within them. It allows streamlined development for cross-platform support. Hybrid apps are cheaper to develop, while also guaranteeing a superior user experience. Hybrid apps can work without an Internet connection.
8. Produce an app landing page
The landing page showcases the value of your application. Preparing a landing page is crucial in your quest to know how to make an app like Booking.com. The main objective of the landing page is to encourage visitors on the page to download your application.
Such a page can also increase the reputation and credibility of your company or product. A perfect landing page should also provide information regarding the app developer and its goals.
9. Establish analytical database
An analytics dashboard for your application gives you access to vital app metrics, which may aid in app improvement in the future. With the analytics dashboard, you can understand how the app users are interacting or spending time on the application.
The insights you derive from this data can help you devise better features or implement updates for the application.
Analytics also help monitor your goals, in the form of total app downloads, ratings, reviews, and other data valuable foroptimizing the application.
10. App Publishing
It is simpler to publish the application on the Google Play Store, as the approval process is more streamlined when compared to publishing on Apple’s platform.
Even when following these steps to create an excellent booking app, you must understand that the competition for booking applications is tight. . You need to introduce new and unique features to make your service stand out from the rest.
If the unique selling proposition is attractive enough, your project may match or even surpass the popularity that Booking.com enjoys at the moment.
How to Make a Hotel App Like Booking.com?
1 – Do not begin coding the app at first
2 – Understand your high-level objectives
3 – Enumerate the features in your application
4 – Choose the perfect OS for the app
5 – Application design
6 – Backend coding
7 – Frontend coding
8 – Landing page creation
9 – Creating an analysis system
10 -App publication
What are the features of a hotel app?
The features list includes:
– New user registration
– Bookings screen for accommodation
– In-app messaging facility
– Search facility
– Details about the accommodation
– Booking and paying for the stay
– Cancellation facility
– Admin panel