Operate a computerised reservations system

Operate a computerised reservations system
Operate a computerised reservations
system
D1.HFO.CL2.02
D2.TTA.CL2.13
Trainee Manual
Operate a computerised
reservations system
D1.HFO.CL2.02
D2.TTA.CL2.13
Trainee Manual
Project Base
William Angliss Institute of TAFE
555 La Trobe Street
Melbourne 3000 Victoria
Telephone:
(03) 9606 2111
Facsimile:
(03) 9670 1330
Acknowledgements
Project Director:
Chief Writer:
Subject Writer:
Project Manager:
Editor:
DTP/Production:
Wayne Crosbie
Alan Hickman
Nick Hyland
Alan Maguire
Jim Irwin
Daniel Chee, Mai Vu, Riny Yasin
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was established on 8 August 1967. The Member
States of the Association are Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia,
Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam.
The ASEAN Secretariat is based in Jakarta, Indonesia.
General Information on ASEAN appears online at the ASEAN Website: www.asean.org.
All text is produced by William Angliss Institute of TAFE for the ASEAN Project on “Toolbox
Development for Front Office, Food and Beverage Services and Food Production Divisions”.
This publication is supported by Australian Aid through the ASEAN-Australia Development
Cooperation Program Phase II (AADCP II).
Copyright: Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) 2013.
All rights reserved.
Disclaimer
Every effort has been made to ensure that this publication is free from errors or omissions. However,
you should conduct your own enquiries and seek professional advice before relying on any fact,
statement or matter contained in this book. ASEAN Secretariat and William Angliss Institute of TAFE
are not responsible for any injury, loss or damage as a result of material included or omitted from this
course. Information in this module is current at the time of publication. Time of publication is indicated
in the date stamp at the bottom of each page.
Some images appearing in this resource have been purchased from various stock photography
suppliers and other third party copyright owners and as such are non-transferable and non-exclusive.
Additional images have been sourced from Flickr and are used under:
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en
http://www.sxc.hu/
http://www.stockfreeimages.com
File name: TM_Operate_a_computerised_reservation_system_260713.docx
Table of contents
Introduction to trainee manual........................................................................................... 1
Unit descriptor................................................................................................................... 3
Assessment matrix ........................................................................................................... 5
Glossary ........................................................................................................................... 7
Element 1: Identify the features offered by a computerised reservations systems ............. 9
Element 2: Operate the computerised reservation system ............................................. 31
Element 3: Process reservations‟ communications ........................................................ 59
Presentation of written work ............................................................................................ 81
Recommended reading................................................................................................... 83
Trainee evaluation sheet................................................................................................. 85
© ASEAN 2013
Trainee Manual
Operate a computerised reservations system
© ASEAN 2013
Trainee Manual
Operate a computerised reservations system
Introduction to trainee manual
Introduction to trainee manual
To the Trainee
Congratulations on joining this course. This Trainee Manual is one part of a „toolbox‟
which is a resource provided to trainees, trainers and assessors to help you become
competent in various areas of your work.
The „toolbox‟ consists of three elements:
A Trainee Manual for you to read and study at home or in class
A Trainer Guide with Power Point slides to help your Trainer explain the content of the
training material and provide class activities to help with practice
An Assessment Manual which provides your Assessor with oral and written questions
and other assessment tasks to establish whether or not you have achieved
competency.
The first thing you may notice is that this training program and the information you find in
the Trainee Manual seems different to the textbooks you have used previously. This is
because the method of instruction and examination is different. The method used is called
Competency based training (CBT) and Competency based assessment (CBA). CBT and
CBA is the training and assessment system chosen by ASEAN (Association of SouthEast Asian Nations) to train people to work in the tourism and hospitality industry
throughout all the ASEAN member states.
What is the CBT and CBA system and why has it been adopted by ASEAN?
CBT is a way of training that concentrates on what a worker can do or is required to do at
work. The aim is of the training is to enable trainees to perform tasks and duties at a
standard expected by employers. CBT seeks to develop the skills, knowledge and
attitudes (or recognise the ones the trainee already possesses) to achieve the required
competency standard. ASEAN has adopted the CBT/CBA training system as it is able to
produce the type of worker that industry is looking for and this therefore increases
trainees‟ chances of obtaining employment.
CBA involves collecting evidence and making a judgement of the extent to which a worker
can perform his/her duties at the required competency standard. Where a trainee can
already demonstrate a degree of competency, either due to prior training or work
experience, a process of „Recognition of Prior Learning‟ (RPL) is available to trainees to
recognise this. Please speak to your trainer about RPL if you think this applies to you.
What is a competency standard?
Competency standards are descriptions of the skills and knowledge required to perform a
task or activity at the level of a required standard.
242 competency standards for the tourism and hospitality industries throughout the
ASEAN region have been developed to cover all the knowledge, skills and attitudes
required to work in the following occupational areas:
Housekeeping
Food Production
Food and Beverage Service
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Introduction to trainee manual
Front Office
Travel Agencies
Tour Operations.
All of these competency standards are available for you to look at. In fact you will find a
summary of each one at the beginning of each Trainee Manual under the heading „Unit
Descriptor‟. The unit descriptor describes the content of the unit you will be studying in the
Trainee Manual and provides a table of contents which are divided up into „Elements‟ and
„Performance Criteria”. An element is a description of one aspect of what has to be
achieved in the workplace. The „Performance Criteria‟ below each element details the
level of performance that needs to be demonstrated to be declared competent.
There are other components of the competency standard:
Unit Title: statement about what is to be done in the workplace
Unit Number: unique number identifying the particular competency
Nominal hours: number of classroom or practical hours usually needed to complete
the competency. We call them „nominal‟ hours because they can vary e.g. sometimes
it will take an individual less time to complete a unit of competency because he/she
has prior knowledge or work experience in that area.
The final heading you will see before you start reading the Trainee Manual is the
„Assessment Matrix‟. Competency based assessment requires trainees to be assessed in
at least 2 – 3 different ways, one of which must be practical. This section outlines three
ways assessment can be carried out and includes work projects, written questions and
oral questions. The matrix is designed to show you which performance criteria will be
assessed and how they will be assessed. Your trainer and/or assessor may also use
other assessment methods including „Observation Checklist‟ and „Third Party Statement‟.
An observation checklist is a way of recording how you perform at work and a third party
statement is a statement by a supervisor or employer about the degree of competence
they believe you have achieved. This can be based on observing your workplace
performance, inspecting your work or gaining feedback from fellow workers.
Your trainer and/or assessor may use other methods to assess you such as:
Journals
Oral presentations
Role plays
Log books
Group projects
Practical demonstrations.
Remember your trainer is there to help you succeed and become competent. Please feel
free to ask him or her for more explanation of what you have just read and of what is
expected from you and best wishes for your future studies and future career in tourism
and hospitality.
2
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Unit descriptor
Unit descriptor
Operate a computerised reservations system
This unit deals with the skills and knowledge required to Operate a computerised
reservations system in a range of settings within the hotel and travel industries workplace
context.
Unit Code:
D1.HFO.CL2.02
D2.TTA.CL2.13
Nominal Hours:
130 hours
Element 1: Identify the features offered by a computerised
reservations systems
Performance Criteria
1.1 Explain the benefits of and barriers to using a computerised reservations system
1.2 Identify the businesses that may use a computerised reservation system
1.3 Describe the scope of a computerised reservations system
1.4 Describe the functions that can be performed on a computerised reservations
system
1.5 Interpret the screens and displays available within a computerised reservations
system
Element 2: Operate the computerised reservation system
Performance Criteria
2.1 Access the computerised reservations system
2.2 Investigate information contained within the computerised reservations system
2.3 Check whether or not a reservation can be taken on the computerised reservations
system
2.4 Accept and create a reservation on the computerised reservations system
2.5 Retrieve a reservation on the computerised reservations system
2.6 Amend a reservation on the computerised reservations system
2.7 Print reservation details from the computerised reservations system
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Unit descriptor
Element 3: Process reservations’ communications
Performance Criteria
3.1 Print reports from the computerised reservations system
3.2 Create and process internal communications using the computerised reservations
system
3.3 Respond to external requests for information using the computerised reservations
system
3.4 Create and process communications for external consumption
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Assessment matrix
Assessment matrix
Showing mapping of Performance Criteria against Work Projects, Written
Questions and Oral Questions
Work
Projects
Written
Questions
Oral
Questions
Element 1: Identify the features offered by a computerised reservations systems
1.1
Explain the benefits of and barriers to using a
computerised reservations system
1.1
1,2
1
1.2
Identify the businesses that may use a
computerised reservation system
1.2
3,4
2
1.3
Describe the scope of a computerised
reservations system
1.3
5,6
3
1.4
Describe the functions that can be performed
on a computerised reservations system
1.4
7,8
4
1.5
Interpret the screens and displays available
within a computerised reservations system
1.5
9,10
5
11,12
6
13,14
7
15,16
8
17,18
9
19,20
10
21,22
11
23,24
12
Element 2: Operate the computerised reservation system
2.1
Access the computerised reservations system
2.1
2.2
Investigate information contained within the
computerised reservations system
2.2
2.3
Check whether or not a reservation can be
taken on the computerised reservations
system
2.3
2.4
Accept and create a reservation on the
computerised reservations system
2.4
2.5
Retrieve a reservation on the computerised
reservations system
2.5
2.6
Amend a reservation on the computerised
reservations system
2.6
2.7
Print reservation details from the computerised
reservations system
2.7
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Assessment matrix
Work
Projects
Written
Questions
Oral
Questions
Element 3: Process reservations’ communications
3.1
Print reports from the computerised
reservations system
3.1
25,26
13
3.2
Create and process internal communications
using the computerised reservations system
3.2
27,28
14
3.3
Respond to external requests for information
using the computerised reservations system
3.3
29
15
3.4
Create and process communications for
external consumption
3.4
30
16
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Glossary
Glossary
Term
Explanation
Amenity
Items in the room for guest use
Availability
Amount of rooms available for sale
Briefing
A meeting to discuss an upcoming shift
Bumping a guest
Where a guest needs to be transferred to another hotel
due to non availability
Complaint
A comment made by the customer in relation to a failure
of a product or service provided
Constructive feedback
Feedback given by management with the aim of
identifying actual performance with suggestions for
improvement
Counselling
Discussions and analysis of personal and work problems
that affect an employee‟s work performance in an
attempt to find a solution
Deviation
Where there is a difference in expected and actual
activities, information or figures
ETA
Estimated time of arrival
ETD
Estimated time of departure
Forecast
A prediction of future events
Hand-over
A period of time in which different shifts will have time to
exchange information that will benefit and ensure the
smooth continuation of the department.
In-house
A person who is a registered guest in the hotel
Monitor
To watch, observe or evaluate an activity or process
No show
A guest who has made a booking, but did not show up.
Occupancy
The term described to identify amount of rooms sold or
occupied by guests
Operations
The combination of products and services provided to a
customer
Rate
The price offered for an accommodation room
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Glossary
Term
Explanation
Registration
The process of collecting and confirming information and
signing a guest into the room
Reservations
Where a person has reserved a guest room
Room facilities
The furniture and equipment in a guest room
Room inventory
Amount of guest rooms in a hotel
Scope of authority
Given guidelines as to what action a person can take in
the workplace without having to get special permission
from higher management
VIP
Very Important Person
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Element 1: Identify the features offered by a computerised reservations systems
Element 1:
Identify the features offered by a
computerised reservations systems
1.1 Explain the benefits of and barriers to using a
computerised reservations system
Introduction
Computerised reservation systems have become an essential part of
any hospitality and tourism organisation. It is a necessary tool to
store and access a wide range of information that can be easily
accessed by a range of people in any location.
The use of computerised reservation systems describes a key sales
and operational function for a diverse range of domestic and
international tourism and hospitality products and services and
applies to the full range of industry sectors.
These industry sectors use a diverse range of computerised systems
to manage reservations, operations and sales administration
functions, so the system will vary depending upon the organisation and industry sector.
This manual covers the use of the industry-wide systems known as computerised or
centralised reservations system (CRS) and global distribution system (GDS) commonly
used by retail travel agencies when booking a supplier‟s service.
It covers systems used by accommodation providers and tour operators when receiving
and processing reservations for the supply of their product or service.
It also covers other industry-wide systems used by inbound tour operators, outbound tour
wholesalers and meetings and events management
organisations.
It can equally apply to any organisation-based computerised
reservations or operations system.
The range and complexity of products and services and the
particular reservations or operations system will vary according
to the industry sector.
Hospitality systems
A hotel reservation system, also known as a central reservation system (CRS) is a
computerized system that stores and distributes information of a hotel, resort, or other
lodging facilities.
A central reservation system is a tool to reach the Global Distribution System as well as
internet distribution systems from one single system. A CRS assists hotel managers in
managing their online marketing and sales, allowing them to upload their rates and
availabilities to be seen by sales channels that are using the CRS. Sales channels may
include conventional travel agencies as well as online travel agencies.
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Element 1: Identify the features offered by a computerised reservations systems
Hotel software is designed for all areas of hotel operation including:
Property management
Accounting
Internet / GDS reservations
Central reservations
Reception
Point of Sale (POS)
Spa, club and golf management
Guest management
Inventory management
Yield / revenue management.
Small hotel software is available for properties with less than 100 rooms and focuses on
basic front and back office functions or reservations and guest management.
One of the major types of hotel software used by the hotel industry is hotel property
management software (PMS). PMS is a comprehensive software package that manages
all aspects of hotel operations, which has front desk, and back office modules that handle
reservations, guest profile/folio, reporting, night auditing, and housekeeping, accounting,
payroll and asset and inventory management.
For reservations, there are two types of hotel software:
A CRS (central reservation system)
An IBE (Internet booking engine) - an IBE allows guests to remotely make
reservations accessing the hotel‟s website.
Hotel reservation systems will also have reservation software capability that allows guests
to make reservations using a GDS service. A CRS books reservations for multiple
properties.
Hospitality management software includes sales and catering software, which will have a
POS module to manage, and track sales from restaurants, lounge/bar, and room service.
Event management is another important module of hospitality management software.
Event management modules manage group/convention sales, room booking, function and
layout.
Many hotel property management software, hotel reservation system software, hotel
accounting software, hotel front desk software, and hospitality software companies
provide free hotel software downloads for evaluation to help hotels select the best hotel
software package that meets their operational needs.
Modules in a hospitality CRS
Modules in a CRS include:
Reservations
Profiles
Groups and blocks
Rate and inventory control
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Element 1: Identify the features offered by a computerised reservations systems
Administration
Reporting
Global distribution interface
PMS interface.
Common CRS information
Information commonly stored in a CRS includes
Room types
Rate plans architecture
Room rates and conditions - guarantee, deposit, customized cancellation rules,
minimum length of stay, maximum length of stay, closed to arrival, arrival not allowed,
departure not allowed
Room inventories
Generic hotel information - address, phone number, fax
number
Distribution content - descriptions, amenities, pictures,
videos and local attractions are stored in the CRS or in a
content management system
Reservation information
Nearby IATA cities and airports.
The information commonly stored in a hospitality CRS will be discussed in more
information later in this manual.
Tourism systems
The Global Distribution System (GDS) is an e-commerce tool introduced by airlines to
facilitate the booking of flights.
By definition a GDS is a computerised reservation system (CRS) in that it enables, for
example, travel agencies to place bookings with travel suppliers and their booking
systems via a worldwide distribution network.
There are four major Global Distribution Systems:
Amadeus
Galileo
Sabre
Worldspan – merged with Galileo in late 2006.
The Interactive Travel Services Association has produced a
Fact Sheet „Global Distribution Systems – Meeting every
traveller‟s every need‟ that advises that these systems enable
travel agencies to:
Search lowest fares for nominated destinations
Automatically re-calculate fares for changed itineraries
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Element 1: Identify the features offered by a computerised reservations systems
Store client data and records
Access world-wide options almost instantaneously including:

Over one billion fare combinations

More than 95% of available world seats

More than 750 airlines

More than 50,000 hotel properties

Over 400 tour operators

Nearly 30,000 car rental locations.
The Fact Sheet also advises that GDS systems are capable of booking:
One way and roundtrip airline seats
Hotel rooms
Rental cars
Tours
Cruises
Bus and rail tickets
Insurance
Limousines
Event and theatre tickets
Dining reservations.
Benefits of a computerised reservation system
Benefits of using a CRS include:
Speedier processing of requests and bookings, ticketing and quotations
Central location of information, after data has been initially loaded onto the system,
immediate access to comprehensive information on clients and allied reservation
details are available through links via one screen; examples include:

destination information, currency, weather, attractions, transport options,
languages, time zone

costs of any product/service, including options, packages,
deals, special offers and conditions

airfares, including full flight details such as departure
times, flight times, aircraft configuration, aircraft
type/details

airport taxes, application, amount/s and whether included
or additional

availability of products or services, including information
such as minimum stay/quantities, seasonal price
fluctuations, peak and low times

vehicle details, including details about engine capacity,
seating, options, rear or front wheel drive
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Element 1: Identify the features offered by a computerised reservations systems

touring inclusions, describing the „side‟ trips, cruises, transfers, meals, upgrades,
visits and experiences included in the price

product information, providing extensive detail about a wide range of products and
services such as brand names, styles, colour, dimensions, weight, options

payment requirements, explaining the deposit and full amount, payment options,
due date and refund conditions

health recommendations/pre-requisites, bookings such as action holidays, require
a certain level of health/fitness of participants

customs and immigrations, detailing the items that must be declared, the legal
movement of items between countries and the requirements and limitations that
apply to passports, visas and permits
Integration with web-based/online booking systems
Allowing multiple uses and multiple sites
Preserving privacy and confidentiality through passwords, operator only designations
and system administrator status
Allowing pre-set limits/allocations/changes, such as dates, times, maximum room
numbers, maximum bookings to be programmed into the system.
Barriers of a computerised reservation system
Barriers of a CRS include:
Cost of initial establishment
Training of staff
System breakdowns and malfunctions
Need for system back-ups, system maintenance
and system updates
Discrepancies occurring between properties
operating a manual reservation system and the
computerized reservations system
Operational staff tend to focus on the screen/system as opposed to being customerfocused.
It is quite clear to see that there are many reasons why many hospitality and tourism
organisations will use a CRS system to help them manage their businesses.
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Element 1: Identify the features offered by a computerised reservations systems
1.2 Identify the businesses that may use a
computerised reservation system
Introduction
The use of computerised reservation systems is common across all hospitality and
tourism organisations. The actual software systems inclusions will differ to meet the
requirements of different types of businesses within the industry.
Businesses using a CRS
Businesses that may use a computerized reservation system
may include:
Retail travel agencies – including retail travel consultants,
corporate consultants, inbound tour coordinators
Hotels
Visitor information centres
Airlines
Coach companies
Car rental companies
Entertainment providers
Tour operators and wholesalers
Event coordinators - including account managers for
professional conference organisers, event coordinators
Tour desk officers
Operations consultants
Owner-operators of small tourism businesses
Reservations sales agents.
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Element 1: Identify the features offered by a computerised reservations systems
1.3 Describe the scope of a computerised
reservations system
Introduction
Within these organisations the use of a computerised reservation system will differ
depending on the requirements of the organisation and the need to share or access
information amongst several properties and beyond.
Scope of a computerised reservation system
Scope of a computerized reservations system may be related to:
Industry-wide access and use
As can be seen in the previous sections, many systems will need to make a number of
bookings or source information from cross sectors of the industry.
Use only within an individual property
There may be information that is designed to be shared internally between:
Hotels within a chain
Regional hotels
Brand hotels within a chain
Departments within one specific property.
Whilst the use of an intranet is a great way to share information
an internally focused CRS can share information between staff
of a hotel organisation.
The types of information that can be shared internally include,
but certainly not limited to:
Rates
Special promotions and packages
Room inclusions and specifications.
Agents
It is common for agents seeking to make commission-based
reservations with travel, accommodation and other suppliers to
require access to a range of products and services in which
bookings or reservations are required.
Service providers
Service suppliers processing requests from customers, agents and
other properties within the same organization for travel,
accommodation and other services will also require a level of CRS
access.
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Element 1: Identify the features offered by a computerised reservations systems
Direct customer bookings
Naturally one of the most common sources of booking and reservations are those made
by domestic and international customers. These bookings and reservations can be made
for endless products and services including:
Inbound and outbound transport
Private and corporate bookings
Accommodation
Tourism day trips
Sporting and entertainment events
Transfers
Meals
Car rental
Cruises
Theatre tickets.
1.4 Describe the functions that can be performed
on a computerised reservations system
Introduction
The range of functions that can be performed by a computerised reservation system is the
greatest advantage and reason for their popularity, use and necessity by hospitality and
tourism businesses, regardless of size and style of operation.
This section will explore some of the key functions commonly performed computerised
reservation systems.
The diversity of CRS functions
There are many computerised reservation systems (CRS) in use today and while they all
provide similar functions, menus, sub-menus, options, reports, statistics and accounting
facilities the individual programs are all unique.
This means that the specific operational aspects of each CRS will differ for each separate
system including:
The way you log on
The terminology used
The classifications provided for
How you enter guest information
Move between screens
Create new files
Manipulate information
Modify and retrieve bookings
Print accounts and reports.
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In addition, there will also be system variations in Hot Keys, defaults, abbreviations,
information descriptors and acceptable responses to prompts and question boxes.
Functions performed on a central reservations system
Functions that can be performed on a computerized reservations system will vary
considerably depending on the system in use and the other systems to which it is
interfaced, but may include:
Interrogating and amending existing data
Making reservations, including group, individual,
corporate, in-house, commission basis
Amending reservations, such as extending or changing
dates, altering flights, changing room numbers
Determining vacancies and current level of availability,
including tickets, seats, rooms
Recording customer details
Recording special request details
Creating internal and management reports
Generating client histories and preferences
Generating mailing lists
Creating marketing information
Preparing limited accounting statements.
Hospitality CRS information
Naturally, the range of menus and information contained within a hospitality CRS system
will differ to that of tourism CRS. Following is a list of information and functions that are
common amongst hospitality CRS software systems.
Reservations
Individual, group, shared, and multi-rate reservations
Add, change, and cancel bookings including multiple legs
Standard, package, negotiated, and group rates (via on screen
button)
Multi-Currency rate displays
Sell messages dynamically linked to CRO office, property, rate or
allotment code
Geographical and regional single or multi-property search
Property details including pictures, raster maps, rate and room
type lists, nearby attractions, and point of interest information
Links to external context databases to provide in-depth property,
rate, and room details
List of room types and rate codes
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Element 1: Identify the features offered by a computerised reservations systems
List of rate availability strategies and restrictions
User definable products by rate code
Waitlist capabilities
Quote rates system set up initial and secondary rates per property, per day
Query system for reservation action items
Intuitive, logical sales process flow.
Profiles
Individual guest, groups, corporate, source, travel agency, and wholesales profiles
Multiple address and phone number capability for each profile
Membership or club numbers and tracking
Comparison and merging of profiles
Notation for special commissions for client, agent, or
source
Relationship linking
Unlimited credit card numbers
Outstanding history statistics for past and future stays
Profile protection
Profile privacy
Nightly process to identify duplicate profiles and merge them automatically.
Groups and blocks
Groups room control
Room inventory allotments with cut-off date or days
Elastic room limits to be sold out of general inventory
beyond block
Tour series (recurring group stays)
Super Group Blocks -single group staying at multiple
properties
Multiple rate assignments for shoulder dates
Blocks fully integrated with selling screen
Rooming list.
Rate and inventory control
Single and Multi-Property availability display
Unlimited room classes and room types
Multi-level inventory control by room class and room type
Strategic overbooking levels
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Element 1: Identify the features offered by a computerised reservations systems
Unlimited number of rate plans
Detailed rate availability display
Rates in multiple currencies
Rates confirmed in multiple currencies
Flexible package price calculations
Negotiated Rates
Versatile tax calculations
Chain cross sell capability with schedule
Supports generic room types
Room and rate management and restrictions
Ability to open/close room types by rate code,
property, room class, etc.
Central interface to yield systems and ability to
update the properties with yield information via the
Two-Way Interface (where supported)
Best available rates
Rates based on rates
Rate seasons
Unlimited number of guarantee, deposit, and cancellation policies, by property.
Administration
Transaction activity by agent and CRO
User definable Global Messaging display
On-line, written, or faxed confirmations
Multiple Chain (brand) definition
Brochure requests and on-line customer surveys
Extensive revenue and forecasting reporting
Security controls
Multiple time zone support
User definable Closing Script
Configurable Profile, Booking, and Display Information
Screen layout
Multi-tiered source of business tracking
Multiple configurations to support regrets and denials.
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Reporting
The CRS reporting system provides a number of standard reports. Additional reports can
be created using the integrated report generator by your IT Specialist. System reports
may be generated automatically and may be run daily, weekly, monthly, yearly or
manually upon request. Reports include:
Expected Arrivals
Reservation
Property Forecast
Total Booking Activity
Stay Activity
Monthly Booking Activity Summary
Daily Booking Activity Summary
Property Detail
Property Detail - Room and Rate Information
Agent Activity
Automatic Allotment Release
Delivery Queue Purge.
Tourism CRS information
A major benefit of using a CRS in the travel industry is that the system not only allows a
reservation to be made but also enables the user to access a deal of information relating
to the service in question.
For example, where the details have been entered, a CRS user can access information
and relay it to the customer or guest about:
Costs – of any product or service including tourism
products such as tours, hotels and rental cars which may
address options, packages, deals, special offers and how
they may change at different times or dates
Airfares – full flight details including departure times,
flight times, aircraft configuration, aircraft type
Airport taxes – who they apply to, when they apply, how
much they are and whether they are included or are „extras‟
Availability of products or services – including information such as minimum stay
seasonal fluctuations, peak and low times
Vehicle details – useful when hiring a vehicle; details about engine capacity, seating
capacity, options, rear or front-wheel drive, whether or not a special licence is required
Touring inclusions – describing the „side‟ trips, cruises, transfers, meals, upgrades,
visits and experiences that a tour includes in the price
Product information – extensive detail about a wide range of products and services on
offer
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Product rules – such as deposits required, when
deposits must be paid, limitations that apply to deals
or packages
Payment requirements – explaining the type of
payment, when it is required, refund conditions
Health recommendations and pre-requisites – some
bookings, such as for action holidays, require a certain level of health or fitness for
those wishing to participate
Customs and immigrations – detailing the items that must be declared, the legal
movement of items between states or countries and the requirements and limitations
that apply to passports, visas and permits
General industry information – which can be almost anything such as comparative
time zones, currency issues, destination weather, tourist attractions, „no-go‟ zones.
Note that much of the information available through a CRS is also now available to the
public on the Internet but it can be very time-consuming to access it on an individual site
basis.
The exact processes used to perform the functions will vary with the system but you will
need to become familiar with and competent in what applies with your system.
For example, when preparing a quotation you will need to know how to:
Understand system assumptions for a quote
Interpret system codes and abbreviations
Enter the relevant segment, passenger, destination and date details
Create the quote
Search the „best fare‟ quote
Cancel the quote
Amend the quote
Update the status of the booking.
Specialised GDS training
Specialised GDS training courses need to be undertaken to attain necessary
competencies with individual GDS systems.
These specialised courses relate to the features and functions of the individual system
and address topics such as:
Key functions
Encoding and decoding
Status codes
System help facilities
Selling flights
Creating and updating files
E-ticketing
System abbreviations.
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For example, Galileo requires that users become familiar with „CrossCheck Travel –
Client Management Guide‟ which addresses actions associated with:
Creditors, debtors and cashbook
Client and Trip file management and accounting including:

Accounting transactions

Creating Transactions

Creating, reprinting and reversing receipts

Ticket requisitioning

Cheque requisitioning, invoices and credit notes

Payments and reversing payments

Debtors files

Recording fees
Documentation – associated with faxes, visa support letters, trip documents, creditor
documents, debtor documents and client documents.
1.5 Interpret the screens and displays available
within a computerised reservations system
Introduction
Most computerised reservation systems are able to perform
many diverse functions and in reality many operators are
not fully aware or skilled in being able to use these systems
for the greatest possible advantage.
Many operators will need to undertake some level of
training to be able to successfully and efficiently manoeuvre
between system screens and displays.
This section will identify some of the key screens and displays that are commonly found in
hospitality and tourism systems.
Accessing and interpreting system displays
Every system is different and the user manual should be consulted to identify what
applies to each system. That said system displays are usually accessed by:
Clicking on the appropriate icon on a tool bar or menu
Keying in a prescribed sequence of keystrokes – such as „<Alt> M‟.
Most system areas will also include one or more sub-menus or drop-down menus that
need to be navigated and completed, checked or ticked in order to access the desired
area, manipulate the desired information or produce the required report or printout.
Movement between screens can occur by clicking on an „Exit‟ or „Back‟ icon or by
selecting an alternative or the next icon in the procedural sequence.
In some cases screens may have „left‟ or „right‟ arrows and you will need to click on these
to expose more of the targeted display.
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For example, a „normal‟ room allocation display may show a 7-day
period and the left and right arrows will enable previous and future
dates to be displayed.
In other instances, such as when dealing with transaction, scrolling
down the page is a common option to allow you to access more
information or statistics.
Some screens will also contain boxes within the display where
horizontal (up and down) and vertical (left and right) scrolling
allows full access to further fields of information, That includes the
blank spaces where you are able to or required to input
information.
For example, in the guest reservations screen you may be required to arrow up or
down/left or right to fully access and insert information into all booking detail fields.
Yet again, where there are various field of information, the system may not allow you to
leave a screen until certain fields have been completed. A prompt will appear to assist
you, highlighting the areas that must be populated.
For example, the system is unlikely to allow you to finalise a reservation if you have not
populated the „Arrival date‟ or „Departure date‟ fields, or if you have entered a prior date,
such as entering 04/05/2012 when you are in the year 2013.
In addition, some systems will generate a „box‟ that is superimposed on the screen for
some purposes. For instance, using the previous room allocation example, a box may
appear when a room change is required asking specific questions and giving a choice of
further actions, such as „OK‟, „Continue‟ or „Cancel‟.
In many cases this serves to allow you to re-think and confirm the entries you have just
made:
Is the new room the right one?
Is the guest identified actually the one who wants the
room change?
Have you moved them from the right room?
In most cases movement between fields in a display is
achieved by using the mouse to click on the required field,
drop-down menu or icon.
Other methods of moving between displays or continuing an entry that has been started –
include:
Clicking on (for example) on-screen prompts such as „Yes‟ or „No‟, „Continue‟, „OK‟,
„Print‟, „Apply‟, „Screen‟ or „Update‟ as appropriate for the function you want to process
Clicking on an option between two or more choices and then pressing <Enter>
Entering the first letter of a name, command or transaction type and pressing <Enter>
or entering the entire name etc and pressing <Enter>
Selecting, ticking or checking a circle or square.
Some systems will take you to a „read only‟ screen that allows you to view the information
that has already been inputted but will not allow you to add, delete or modify it.
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These „read only‟ fields are usually differentiated from fields where information may be
inputted by their colour: read only fields may be a grey or yellow in colour, whereas fields
that may be populated or amended are usually white.
„Read only‟ areas may be „active‟ fields for those who have „Administrator‟ access to the
system – meaning that, for example, only a supervisor, owner or manager can change
these fields.
Interpret the screens and displays
Whilst the above describes a number of examples relating to interpreting and accessing
screens and displays, each system will be different and require different steps or keys to
access different screens and displays.
Regardless of the CRS system used it is important for users to be competent in being
able to interpret the screens and displays relating to:
Identifying menus and sub-menus
Identifying information fields
Identifying drop-down menus
Identifying self-populating fields
Identifying multiple choice fields
Identifying mandatory fields
Identifying character limitations within information fields
Using the toolbar menu and using keystrokes to access fields and menus
Differentiating between levels of authorization and access
Creating and using passwords and User Identification to access screens and data
Using system-specific techniques to move between fields and screens.
Interpreting system displays.
Once more, you must refer to the manual for your system in order to identify and interpret
the displays that your system provides.
In essence, interpretation of system displays means that you need to know and
understand the characteristics of your system so that you can read and action
information.
For example, you must become conversant with the meaning, function and explanation of:
Prompts – what impact will clicking on „OK‟ really have?
Buttons/Tabs – what will happen if you click on „Screen‟ or
„Cancel‟?
Options – when should you select „Yes‟ or „No‟? Can you
undo these choices?
Abbreviations – what does „C‟ mean? „Closed‟ or „Clean? Is
„AR‟ accounts receivable or arrival?
Acronyms – „F&B‟ is pretty straightforward but what does
„MLOS‟ stand for?
Questions – what other information is changed or updated when you answer „Yes‟ to
„Are you sure you want to modify this booking?‟
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Information fields – what sort of text-based written information is typically entered in
these areas?
Dates – does the system use a 02/04/07 format or the DDMMYYYY (Day, Month,
Year) format? Does it matter which is used?
In-house interpretations of displays
In order to customise a system to the demands and requirements of an individual
property, various designations are able to be defined in a way that supports the operation
of each venue.
This allows different establishments to describe and define certain fields with meanings
and data, such as:
Dates
Prices
Room types
Room numbers
Packages.
particular to their operational needs.
Further, systems may have codes to depict various pieces of
information such as:
Different revenue stream – which will usually in some way
relate to codes presented on guest accounts
Guest type
Marketing information that the property seeks to capture
for market research purposes
Payment methods
Booking source.
You will also need to become familiar with in-house abbreviations of words and the
identification of staff members from their initials. For instance, in fields such as
„reservation taken by‟.....
Need for CRS training and support
In order for any staff using a CRS system to become competent with the software being
used in their workplace, they must:
Obtain, read, refer to and use the User‟s Guide/Manual for
their system
Obtain practical workplace training in the physical
operation of the system
Research, understand and utilise the software support
provided by the system suppliers.
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User Guides/Operations Manuals
Every legitimate software program sold to a property will come complete with a
comprehensive set of instructions. There may be just one copy, or there may be multiple
copies.
You must obtain a copy of this manual, guide or instructions and read it to become
familiar with:
The conditions of use of the system and program
The capabilities of the system
How to use the system
Trouble-shooting techniques
How to access support
Training materials – such as CDs or specific training
sites which are not integrated into actual operational
areas.
Practical workplace training
Becoming proficient in the use of a CRS requires two things:
1. An understanding of what can be done, why it is done, and when it should be done,
and
2. Practice in applying that knowledge and understanding to the system.
Initial workplace training will usually involve you in:
Reading the User‟s manual
Observing and listening to an experienced operator
Asking questions about what is happening and why
things are done the way they are
Writing your own notes – in some way this can be
seen as your own personal Operator‟s manual written
by you, for you to suit personal preferences and
address the issues you find you have most trouble
with
Participating in formal training which may be provided
by the property or by the software supplier
Utilisation of dedicated training software that duplicates the real operating system but
which ensures the real system is not accessed, breached, modified or corrupted
On-going coaching and mentoring to enhance your competency once the basics have
been mastered.
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Software support
Given the nature of the hospitality industry where many properties operate 24 hours a
day, 7 days a week, there are likely to be times when in-house CRS support is
unavailable.
In addition, there is always the possibility that there may be situations or problems that
even experienced operators are unable to address, solve or rectify.
In these cases, the software support provided by suppliers has to be used. Suppliers may
offer:
Basic level support – such as phone support during
nominated, restricted or business hours
Extended or advanced level support – such as a
dedicated phone number where help can be obtained
24/7
On-line support – this is where the system supplier
undertakes to respond by email or by phone to your
query within a nominated period, commonly 24 hours.
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Work Projects
It is a requirement of this Unit you complete Work Projects as advised by your Trainer.
You must submit documentation, suitable evidence or other relevant proof of completion
of the project to your Trainer by the date agreed to.
1.1. To fulfil the requirements of this Work Project you are asked to research and identify
two central reservation systems of your choice and explain the possible benefits and
barriers of these systems.
1.2. To fulfil the requirements of this Work Project you are asked to identify the different
types of businesses that would use the systems you mentioned in the above
mentioned activity.
1.3. To fulfil the requirements of this Work Project you are asked to identify the scope in
which these systems can be used.
1.4. To fulfil the requirements of this Work Project you are asked to identify 10 key
functions of the systems you have chosen.
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Summary
Identify the features offered by a computerised reservations systems
Explain the benefits of and barriers to using a computerised reservations system
Hospitality systems
Tourism systems
Benefits of a computerised reservation system
Barriers of a computerised reservation system.
Identify the businesses that may use a computerised reservation system
Businesses using a CRS.
Describe the scope of a computerised reservations system
Scope of a computerised reservation system.
Describe the functions that can be performed on a computerised reservations system
The diversity of CRS functions
Functions performed on a central reservations system
Hospitality CRS information
Tourism CRS information.
Interpret the screens and displays available within a computerised reservations system
Accessing and interpreting system displays
Interpret the screens and displays
Interpreting system displays
In-house interpretations of displays
Need for CRS training and support.
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system
2.1 Access the computerised reservations system
Introduction
In the previous section we have explored the different types of computerised reservation
systems, their various functions and how to negotiate around the system screens
themselves.
This section will start to explore the role of the reservationist and the steps associated
with taking and managing reservations, with a focus towards hotel reservation
management.
Role of reservations
The reservations department is a vital link in any
hotel operation and whilst each department of the
hotel is important, the reservations area is where
guests have their first contact with an organisation
and therefore make their first impressions.
The way they are treated may be the reason why a
potential customer chooses to stay in one hotel over
another.
Whilst the role of internet websites have resulted in many customers searching for
information and making bookings on-line, the role of reservations still remains important
for many reasons.
Before we look at how reservations managers can monitor the services within their
department, it is a good idea to gain an understanding of the department and the different
roles within reservations.
The primary role of reservations is to sell hotel rooms or packages. There are a number of
activities that help facilitate this aim. These are identified below in a brief summary;
however help to outline the main aims of the reservations department.
The various activities associated with reservations will be
explained in more detail throughout the manual.
Providing relevant information
This involves providing accurate information that the potential
customer may want. This information may relate to:
Hotel facilities and services
Room types
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Room rates
Rate inclusions
Packages
Local attractions
Location
Transportation options
Check in and out times
Methods of payment.
Encouraging the sale
Encouraging the potential customer to make a booking involves:
Using effective communication skills
Using sales techniques
Asking for the sale.
Making the booking
This process includes:
Identifying dates
Identifying type of room or package
Recording personal information of customer
Determining and processing method of payment
Sending confirmation of reservation.
Passwords and user IDs
Before a reservation can start to be taken, the operator must access the system.
In order to protect the integrity of the system from unauthorised access and also to
maintain the confidentiality of establishment information and guest details, it is usual for
passwords to be used.
Each person has their own dedicated password and may also have a
user identification.
Access can be restricted via this password to certain areas of the
system.
For example, owners or management will have full access to all areas,
a as Administrator for the system, whereas receptionists may be
locked out of the „Reports‟ and „System Configuration and Setup
areas‟.
Passwords commonly require the user to enter their name in a predetermined manner,
which may be upper and lower case sensitive, plus their initials or ID, and then their
unique „ID‟ or „User‟ number when they log on.
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Sequences and protocols
Some systems will require one or more of these steps to be repeated as a means of
confirming the authenticity of the operator before log in is granted.
Successful completion of this process allows the individual access to the system at the
levels they have been allocated and tracks their usage of the system.
Operators should log out when they finish their shift or go for a break so as to prevent
unauthorised access via their password to an „open‟ system.
Security and privacy SOP’s
Establishments may have Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in relation to their CRS
that require passwords to be changed on a regular basis in order to help maintain
security.
For example, you may be required to change your password every 30 days. It should be
standard practice:
Not to reveal your password to anyone
Not to write your password down anywhere near your
terminal
Not to allow anyone to access the system using your
password
To immediately change your password if you believe it
has been compromised and notify management accordingly.
2.2 Investigate information contained within the
computerised reservations system
Introduction
Before actual reservations can be taken, it is important that CRS operators are competent
in not only the functions associated with the CRS but also in being able to access and
interpret information which is contained within.
As can be seen when taking reservations or undertaking any
activity on a CRS being able to locate , identify, interpret, use
or provide information to tailor and improve guest service in
a timely manner is essential.
Investigating information
Investigate information may include:
Applying access codes
Interpreting and using on-screen prompts to determine required information – these
may include prompts such as „Yes‟, „No‟, „OK‟, „Continue?‟, „Apply‟, „Update?‟, „Edit‟
and „Print‟
Interpreting and applying on-screen abbreviations, acronyms and options
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Using navigation tools such as buttons and tabs
Applying correct date formats within the system
Adhering to system protocols and field size limitations
Completing required fields
Describing the field and menu links available between
screens.
Use all system features to access a range of information
It seems that most CRS have features such as various reports, functions and capabilities
that are never used or nor used to their full potential.
Many operators use only a small portion of the screens and options available. Some will
even resort to hand-written work rather than fully use the system‟s abilities.
There are often elements of the old manual reservations system running in parallel with
many CRS operations!
Using system features to access a range of information
The limited use of the system can be traced back to the predictable and repetitive nature
of the work performed by receptionists.
Typically a receptionist with responsibility for bookings will repeatedly be involved in:
Checking for room availability on the required dates
Entering the guest and reservation details
Varying the booking as required
Checking the guest in
Posting charges to guest folios
Preparing and presenting guest accounts
Accepting payment
Checking the guest out.
However, in addition to these basic functions, your CRS will have the ability to perform
many more tasks. Again, your User manual should be referred to for the specifics that
apply to your system.
Because the notes in later sections will focus on reservations, this section will describe
the other functions that a hospitality front office CRS could be expected to provide. The
examples are intended to be indicative and not exhaustive.
Examples of information that can be accessed
The information that can be accessed through your CRS is limited to either information
that you have entered, that someone else has entered or information available through
the integration of your CRS with another system.
Also, the nature of the information will depend on the type of user. For example, the
information contained in a CRS used by an airline, ticketing agency or travel agent will
differ substantially from the nature of information contained in a CRS at a travel
information centre or an accommodation-based hospitality outlet.
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In terms of a front office CRS in the hospitality industry, the following range of information
may typically be provided for and accessed:
Back of house
Folio clearance
This is essentially a front office „housekeeping‟ function as it allows
all guest account information that is over a specified age e.g. one
month, to be deleted thereby freeing up system space and
removing unnecessary folios.
Your system may also allow you to nominate an alternative period
for this activity by entering a „period start‟ and „period finish‟ date.
This feature is an example of one that often remains unused in
many properties. Check the situation in your workplace and identify
who has authority to run this function, when it is done, why it is
done and what information is removed.
Night audit
This is a management function performed at the end of each day or before the start of the
next day‟s trading, usually during the night shift, to post charges and reconcile and audit
accounts.
The CRS will automatically change the date and prepare the system to generate a
number of reports as required by the property.
Room charge update
This allows daily posting of room charges to guest accounts on an individual basis before
the night audit for the day in question.
This function can usually be used as often as required throughout the day to post
accommodation charges so as to facilitate early or unexpected departures where, for
instance, the property elects to impose a day use charge for the extra stay, internal
auditing requirements or management requirements.
Rooming rebuild/Calendar update/Diary reconstruction
This feature allows the system to be re-arranged and rebuilt after certain changes have been made to
reservations such as:
Changes to lengths of stay
Changes to arrival and departure dates for guests
Re-allocation of actual room numbers as opposed to
room types
Room blocks.
This function re-constructs the „database‟, fixing any irregularities, such as a designated
guest arriving on two consecutive dates or days, a double booking being roomed in a
single room, conflicts with room allocation and errors with room availability, so that they
align with new information.
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This procedure ensures that all system information about a specific reservation is
matched accurately across the system and helps prevent unintended over-bookings,
double-bookings of the one room and confusion relating to room allocation.
This function involves the processing of a great deal of information and can take quite a
deal of time. For this reason, it is usually run during night shift and commonly run after the
night audit as the night audit figures and reports traditionally take precedence over rebuilds.
Those undertaking this function must be sure they have backed up relevant data, as
executing this function may delete certain data once the re-build has been completed.
Transaction summary
This enables an overview of revenue broken down into revenue sections, sub-sections,
departments, streams for the last period that is from the time of the previous transaction
summary to now.
Options include setting specific alternative dates for this
report.
In some cases the screen will re-set to zero balances
when the summary screen is printed so care must be
taken to ensure you have the authority to do this, or that
suitable back-up has been done.
This summary may be restricted to management only, or it
can be used by reception staff to assist in trial balances,
folio reconciliation and banking.
Internal management reports
Different systems allow for the generation of a variety of reports to meet a range of sales
and operational needs.
More information on these is presented in Section 3.1.
Night audit information
At the end of each day, usually during the night shift, a night audit will be conducted.
Using a CRS this process is essentially automatic given that all necessary postings have
been made.
The User manual for your system will prescribe the exact actions and their sequence, in
order to conduct the night audit: senior staff or management are usually responsible for
night audit procedures.
The following is an indicative list of actions that may be taken with a CRS in order to run a
night audit:
Check arrivals – to ensure there are no pending late arrivals which will require posting
of accommodation charges
Check departures – to ensure all „check out‟ guests have, in fact, departed and have
not decided to extend their stay perhaps without informing us
Check house status – this involves printing out a list of bookings for the day plus a list
of current in-house guests and reconciling the two
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Conduct the actual night audit - an audit is a daily
review of guest accounts and financial transactions
and a front office audit is called a „night audit‟ because
the audit itself is performed during the night shift, as
that is traditionally the quietest time in terms of guest
traffic through the front office, and because most of
the revenue earning outlets (restaurant, bar, etc.) are
closed
The main purpose of the night audit is to check and verify the accuracy of accounting
records against departmental transaction reports
It double-checks that monies from an outlet are correctly recorded against that outlet
and that other financial transactions are accurate and truly reflect the operation of the
property for the day in question
It also requires a thorough check of all postings for the day, to check that the right
charges have been posted against the correct guest account. Errors in posting may
mean that charges go unpaid, posted to the wrong account), or that charges are made
for the right amount but for the wrong goods or service
Print reports – each property will vary as to the daily reports it generates but common
ones include Housekeeping Report, Occupancy Report and Revenue Report
Print an Arrivals List for the next day – complete with Registration Slips to speed up
guest check-in.
Note that many variations exist in relation to what information is required by management
of a property. Some properties will generate a dozen reports while others will produce
only two or three.
2.3 Check whether or not a reservation can be
taken on the computerised reservations
system
Introduction
Whilst it would be ideal to be able to sell every room at the highest possible price, it is not
realistic. For many hotels, room nights are sold to a variety of guest types. These different
types of customers have different needs, travel at different times and have different price
expectations.
The role of the reservation manager is to find the „right mix‟ of guest types to achieve the
highest possible of sold rooms, not just on one particular night, but on a consistent basis.
Each organisational will have their traditional periods of high and low demand, each with
their own challenges.
When times are quiet, a manager will rely on large groups,
corporate customers and other customers paying lower
rates, through promotions or packages, to help fill rooms.
When times are busy, the manager must try to fill the hotel
whilst:
Not overbooking the hotel
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Generating higher room rates
Keeping the above mentioned customers on lower rates happy.
Just because the hotel is near full, does it mean you can turn away business that you rely
on in quieter months. As mentioned, it is a balancing act.
Therefore managers must develop strategies when handling inventory when times are
busy.
Importance of checking reservation availability
All booking requests must be checked on the system before they are accepted. Whilst in
most cases hotels or other hospitality and tourism businesses will try to find a way to
ensure a reservation can be taken, at times however this is not possible.
Given that there is a set amount of hotel rooms or flight seats available, these must be
managed in a way in which not only looks after the interests of the organisation but
hopefully to the greatest amount of customers.
As an example at times reservations may not be able to be
accepted because:
Some guests may have priority over others – because of
their status in terms of loyalty, being repeat or influential
guests etc
The policy of the property in relation to over-booking.
This section will explore the different impacts on reservation availability in more detail.
Methods of booking
Requests for bookings can come via the following mediums:
Telephone
Fax
Internet
Face-to-face walk-in enquiries
Mail.
Sources of bookings
These bookings may come from:
System referrals from other properties in the chain
Travel agents
Tour operators
Airlines
Family and friends of the guests
The guest themselves
Businesses
Groups – such as sporting or common interest groups.
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It is important that all initial contacts enquiring about a reservation are regarded as
„requests for a booking‟. It must never be assumed we can meet the request and
accommodate the persons because:
We may not have any rooms
We may not have the type of room sought
We may not be able to supply a rate asked for
We may not be able to provide accommodation for the duration being sought.
All this combines to make the first rule of accepting a booking to „check the availability of
the required booking‟.
Obtaining the basic reservation information
In order to check room availability you must determine:
Date of the first night – preferably confirmed by
reference to the day of the week
Date of the last night – also confirmed by reference
to the day of the week
Confirmation of the number of nights the booking is
for by using the two dates above
Type of room sought – double, twin, suite, family room, executive etc
Name of guest or business seeking accommodation – in some cases such as where a
„Stop‟ has been put on selling rooms for a certain night, knowing the name of the
guest can be useful
If they are a regular guest the property may have a policy of rooming these people „at
all costs‟. They may reserve a number of rooms especially for these people, or other
guests, (even those with confirmed reservations, may be bumped
In other cases, the system may reveal that this
person has been „blocked‟ or „black listed‟ and must
be refused accommodation because of some
previous event such as unacceptable behaviour, bad
language or failure to pay
Identification of any other potentially limiting factors –
such as smoking or non-smoking, female only floor,
internet access, facing east, overlooking the harbour,
on the top floor, not near lifts, quiet room.
In some cases, such as bookings via fax, mail or the internet, you may have to contact the
person seeking to make the booking to obtain all the necessary information.
People will commonly omit necessary bits of information such as departure date, number
of persons, and type of room and there can also be confusion where days and dates do
not match.
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Checking room availability
As a front office receptionist it is to be expected that your Password and User ID will allow
you to access the Front Office/Front-Of-House area of your CRS.
Within this area you will select the „Room Availability‟ or „Rooms‟ option. This is usually a
choice between a 1 or 2 week display.
Where the default setting does not cover the date of the reservation you need, you can
either:
Arrow forward - to the right
Arrow backward - to the left
Input a date - in the acceptable format such as
DDMMYYY
Select a date from a drop-down pick-list.
You will then click on „Enter‟, „OK‟, „Continue‟ or „Apply‟-type icon, tab or button.
Depending on the CRS, and if the room type is known, you may be able to choose to view
a „room availability by room type‟ screen.
These screens function as density charts and can be expected to present:
Quantities of rooms available on a date-by-date basis
Availability of day use rooms
Availability of „other‟ rooms - such as conference rooms or function rooms
Standard rack rate for each room type – note however that this screen usually does
not include details about discounts that might apply or packages that are available,
although links to this information may be available
Rooms that are off the board – such as Out-Of-Order
rooms
An indication as to how many people, but not their
names or details, have been placed on an internal
„Wait List‟ for that type of room on the date in
question where a „full house‟ situation exists
An indication of both the numbers but, again, not the
names or details, that are due to check-in and checkout on that day. This helps to identify the expected guest movement and indicate the
possible chances arising of a vacancy arising based on house knowledge of noshows, early departures, requests for extensions etc.
The information you have in relation to the booking that has been requested may
determine the screen you use or select: note that in peak periods, guests are often
prepared to negotiate down their initial request.
For example, a guest who requests „a twin room on the top floor overlooking the city‟ may
be happy to accept a double room on the second floor with expansive views of the rail
yards!
In addition, these screens may also be linked to, or provide within themselves, further
information that needs to be checked before accepting a booking.
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Minimum stay lengths/minimum nights
During certain times of the year such as public holidays, school holidays, specific
seasons, times when there are local events there may be a house requirement, entered
into the system at system configuration, that a guest stays a minimum number of nights
before a booking will be accepted.
This practice exists to maximise room revenue during
times of peak demand.
Requests for accommodation for lesser periods will be
refused. House policy may require you to advise guests
about these minimum nights, or it may specify you do not
mention it.
Minimum stays average between 2 – 5 nights but can be
longer.
Peak time/prime time
This screen, which may be integrated with the room availability screen through colourcoding or coded abbreviations, reminds staff of certain times or events that may be of
interest.
In some cases, pop-up screens may appear when relevant dates are accessed.
For example, if there is a major sporting event on that weekend, the staff may refuse to
negotiate on room rates or not mention special deals or packages.
Stops/stop sell
This screen, which again may be linked to room availability as mentioned above, enables
staff to insert written notes that indicate bookings must not be taken on or from a certain
date (for all or nominated room types, packages, deals) for a given reason.
This helps prevent overbooking and can be used by management to, for example, restrict
patronage during a specific event at the property or at times when staff levels are at
unacceptable levels.
This option, as opposed to blocking the rooms on room availability, still allows reception
staff to accept regular bookings and frequent walk-in guests.
You must make it part of your Standard Operating
Procedures to check the above fields when considering a
booking. Never simply accept a booking no matter how
attractive it appears on the surface without checking these
aspects. „Accept in haste; regret it at your leisure!‟
However, when all relevant screens and fields have been
checked and you are assured an appropriate room exists
for the nights requested, you should accept the booking.
Note however, as mentioned earlier, that you must also check to ensure that the guest is
not listed on an internal „Black list‟, „Stop list‟ or other „list‟. The Guest details screen may
contain a field nominated as „Guest Status‟ and this option can be used to identify those
who are to be refused.
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2.4 Accept and create a reservation on the
computerised reservations system
Introduction
To create a new reservation you will need to access the Front Office/Front-Of-House area
of the CRS.
Usually, guest information or guest details must be entered before a
booking can be made, however where the guest has stayed with you
previously their details may already be stored in the system and this
information can provide the basis for their new reservation.
Note, though, that people‟s details change and this must be updated
as necessary including telephone numbers, address, married name
etc.
A link (tab or icon) from the Guest Details will take you to the
Reservation section or screen.
Creating new reservations
To make a new reservation you will need to enter or confirm certain information that will
vary depending on the type of reservation being process. The information that may be
required by the system can include:
Date of arrival – this can usually be manually entered (DDMMYYY format), or selected
from a drop-down calendar where relevant days, months and years are highlighted
and clicked
Date of departure – see immediately above
Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) – where applicable you
may enter the guest‟s ETA. This can be useful where
they are expected late or are arriving by air, which is
frequently unreliable. Some systems will insert an
automatic default time
Manual times will be in either a 24 hour clock format
(such as 22.30 for 10.30pm) or in the AM/PM format
(such as 02:00PM for 2 o‟clock in the afternoon)
Estimated Time of Departure (ETD) – this may be a default setting (such as 10:00AM)
but can also be manually over-ridden where the guest asks for a late check-out, is a
regular guest or where management wishes to extend some privilege
Number of nights – some systems will automatically generate this calculating it from
the arrival and departure dates already entered. Alternatively, entering the arrival date
and the number of nights will auto generate the date of departure. Receptionists tend
to have their own unique way of sequencing these items and it is really a matter of
pure preference
Room type – a selection may be made from a pick-list or can be manually entered via
abbreviation or code
Number of adults and children – these fields can be entered manually or from a drop
box pick-list and some systems will default to 0 children
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Some systems will allow for a „Baby/Infant‟ field which can be useful in reminding to
ask if a cot is needed. It is usually mandatory to enter a figure in every one of these
fields (where no children or babies will be staying, a 0 may be required) before the
system will allow you to save or continue, however some systems will let you <Tab>
past these fields
Package type – where the booking is part of a
package, either sold by property reception staff or sold
by other agents, you will need to enter the appropriate
package description from a drop-box, code or
abbreviation. This is vital as it will impact on the room
rate charged to the folio and possibly other charges
such as breakfast, other meals, equipment hire and
various nominated services.
Check with management to see if it SOP at your property to make guests aware of
packages if they make a booking that would qualify them for one. Some venues let
guests know that it would be better value if they took a particular package whilst other
establishments will keep quiet about it.
Where the reservation details are contrary to the configured parameters of the
package type selected, a prompt will appear when you try to continue, highlighting the
area that requires attention.
This can be a source of frustration to guests when
reception staff are unable to book them in because of
some simple variation from the explicit details of the
package, such as trying to reserve 2 adults, 2 children
and a baby under a package that specifies only 2 adults
and 2 children. The problem is not that you are
deliberately trying to be uncooperative but that the
system won‟t allow 5 people to be entered into a
package for 4!!
Room rate – the system will populate this field automatically, based on previous
information such as number of people, package type, dates and even room number,
but again you can manually override the auto rate and insert another rate.
This allows you to take the above reservation with the baby by charging an extra tariff.
Rates shown traditionally include GST.
Booking taken by – the person making the booking
must enter their name, operator ID, initials or code so
that, if there is a query or problem with the booking,
people know who to contact
Notes/Comments – the screen will probably contain a
space for you to record personal comments, thoughts
or suspicions about the booking, to note guest
preferences or to capture guest requests.
These notes or comments can be combined into „Notes/Comments Report‟ and be
incorporated into the Housekeeping report, aligned against the appropriate room
number, so that guest needs are catered for.
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Room number – allows you to allocate a specific room
number for the booking. The system may auto select a
suitable room number from those available at the time of
booking or you can override it manually or from a drop-box.
Rooms shown as O-O-O for those dates will be barred and
many systems will display available room numbers within this
section to assist in this.
Marketing information – your CRS will also provide space for you to enter various
guest related information. Where this option exists, you will not always have all the
necessary accurate information that the system asks for, so often a „best guess‟ will
have to suffice to allow you to move on.
The marketing information may relate to:

The source of the booking - travel agent, chain
referral, walk-in

Their home location - overseas, state, town or post
code

Market segment - such as tourist, leisure, business,
family, government, lay-over, group.
In cases where a booking confirmation has been requested or where it is house policy to
send one, completion of the reservation details will enable a system generated
confirmation slip to be printed.
Where the reservation is not confirmed and is only regarded as a tentative, provisional or
„subject to‟ booking, the system may allow you to make an entry or tick a box to indicate
this.
Ticking this box or making this entry may prevent a specific room number being entered
for the booking, deny access to printing a confirmation slip and may automatically flag the
reservation for future follow-up at a later date.
Further, creating a reservation for a guest will automatically create a
matching guest account and number. This may need to be accessed
prior to guest arrival when an advanced deposit is received and it
can be accessed through either the accounting function by guest
name or date of arrival or via the numbered reservation generated
by the CRS.
Note: when satisfied with the details that have been entered or
selected, „Save‟, „Next‟, „Book‟, „Continue‟ or similar must be clicked.
The system will auto generate a booking number (which may be
used for future easy access to this particular reservation) and the
system should show the guest as having not yet arrived.
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Types of reservations
A CRS can process reservations for a diverse range of products and services.
The nature of the booking will be reflected by the type of information the system requires
you to input.
For example, seating preferences may be a „mandatory field‟ when processing an airline
seat but not when processing „transfers‟. Training and on-screen prompts (plus User
manuals and on-line Help) combine to complete the support you will need to use these
CRS functions that may be unusual to you.
You can expect various CRS systems to process reservations and details for the
following:
Airline seats
Hotel rooms and accommodation at other facilities
Rental cars and other vehicles
Transportation – such as public and private transport companies
Transfers – between airport and hotel etc.
Entertainment – such as sporting events, arts etc.
Tours and cruises – at destinations
Entrances to tourist attractions, tourism sites or other sites of
interest or significance
Travel insurance
Tour guiding services – for group tours or special
interest tours
Activities – such as bungee jumping, sky diving, white
water rafting etc
Meals – at accommodation and other dining-specific
venues
Functions – where the system may load the guest as a
confirmed attendee and make provision for
accommodation, meals etc.
Special items with customer‟s corporate branding
Special events – either venue-specific, local, national, religious, sporting, historical
Venue facilities – such as booking tennis courts, spa treatments, use of limited
facilities
Convention facilities – by entering client details and
requirements which can involve many of the above
sales sets such as food, beverages, accommodation,
activities for „free time‟, entertainment etc
Speaker services – where a convention etc elects to
engage one or more „key note‟ or other speakers to
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Audio-visual services – often required by convention organisers seeking to record
their event or to create a certain ambience in the room: can include the basic such as
podiums, microphones, data projectors right through to the more elaborate items such
as spotlights, mirror balls etc
Meeting or event equipment – where the venue is
unable to supply all the resources needed for an event,
arrangements are made with local suppliers to provide
the items needed
Special event consumable items – such as name tags,
event kits, catering requirements, pens, caps etc
Food, beverage and general catering requirements –
for functions and events.
Reservations may be created for a wide range of people and organisations including:
Individuals
Groups – regular and one-off
Industry personnel – such as tour guides, bus captains, staff
from other venues, air crews and other touring personnel
including drivers, security, interpreters, cooks
Domestic tourists
Inbound and outbound tourists
Meeting and conference delegates
Event attendees.
Inputting customer details
As mentioned above, this step may need to precede the making of a reservation.
It will depend on the system, the software and the set-up.
Most systems contain prompts to ensure that all the details regarded as „necessary‟ by
the system are captured and recorded before the system will allow you to finalise the
procedure.
To create a new guest or someone who has never stayed with us before, the Front
Office/Front-Of-House will be used and a tab such as „Guest‟, „Guest Details‟, „New‟ or
similar will be actioned.
In the appropriate guest details display, you will be required to input
information such as:
Name
Fields will exist for Surname and a given name together with a Title
field such as Mr, Mrs, Ms, Dr, Prof, and Sir Etc.
Most systems will provide room for you to enter multiple guest
names enabling you to identify all people who are to be roomed in
the one room or under the one booking.
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Name/code/initials of person entering the data
So that others using the system know who to contact if they have a query about the
booking.
Account type
Most guests pay by cash or credit card but many guests, especially businesses and
government bodies, will have been extended credit facilities so they will pay by account.
Other guests may be paying via vouchers, charge back to travel agents or be activating
some contra deal, a promotion or complimentary prize or offer.
Business name
Where the guest is a company booking, the name for the account is entered here for
billing purposes.
Addresses
This is where the guest/business residential and where applicable, separate postal
addresses are entered.
Most systems will auto insert a suburb or town when the post code is selected.
Pay attention when a guest instructs you to not forward mail including advertising
material, offers, accounts, lost and found etc to their residential or other address. They
usually have a good reason for requesting this!
Method of payment
You may type this in or select from a drop-down list of
options.
Where a credit card (CC) is selected, you may be required
to select type of card and enter a card number and other
card details
Discounts
All guests entered into the system have the potential to be classified as receiving one of
many discounts that the property may offer such as being a member of an organisation or
association, corporate rate, senior‟s discount, frequent stayer etc.
This said, many guests do not attract any discount but where they do, this is where it is
entered. Naturally this discount classification can change over time so it may need to be
periodically changed to reflect the guest‟s status.
The selection of a discount rate will auto adjust the accommodation and „other‟ charges,
where applicable on the guest‟s account.
In some systems, the account will show the full rack rate for the room and then, on the
next line, display the discount that has been applied. This demonstrates to the guest that
they have, in fact, received their allowable discount and shows them how much it was
worth.
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Phone, fax and e-mail details
Fields exist to allow the insertion of phone numbers
including home, business and mobile, fax numbers and email addresses.
Again, where the guest instructs that a certain number not
be used, such as their private number, this must be
respected, regardless of how desperate or urgent the need
may appear.
With group bookings, the „tour leader‟ may be the only
contact number.
Vouchers
Where the guest will be using vouchers to settle their account in full or in part, the details
of the voucher must be entered here.
Specifically you must record what expenses the voucher covers and any dollar amounts
that apply.
This is an extremely important aspect as many travellers using vouchers are confused
about exactly what the voucher entitles them to. There may be language barriers that
cause the problem, or there may be guests who are simply „trying it on‟ to see what they
can get away with.
When these guests check-in you must ensure you explain and clarify exactly what the
voucher covers specifying and giving examples of the items that will need to be paid for
as „extras‟.
Guest status
Some systems provide an option where properties can describe a guest according to
internal interpretations for their own use.
Most guests will default to „normal‟ or some code (such as A1).
Other guests may be designated as „Deny‟ or „Refuse‟ to show
they have been black-listed.
Still other guests may be designated as „No mail‟, „Exclude‟ or
„Private‟ meaning they are not to be sent any mail of any kind
under any circumstances. This is usually as a result of a specific
request made by the guest or may be a management decision or
system default setting where a guest has not re-visited us after a
nominated period such as 1 year.
We must always be mindful of exercising tact and discretion in
front office situations and of maintaining guest confidentiality and
privacy, regardless of our own personal thoughts!
Note: where information has been entered into „Guest details‟, there will be no
requirement to repeat this information when accessing related screens. It will auto
populate in-line with the entries made in guest details, including translocation into reports
and system alerts where necessary.
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Handling special requests
Most establishments are able to cope with a variety of special requests made by
customers.
It is part of your product knowledge to know the special requests the property can meet
and those that it can‟t.
It must be standard practice to never accept a special request unless you are absolutely
sure it can be met. If you are unsure, advise the caller you are unsure, and that you will
make enquiries and will get back to them.
Accepting a special request that can‟t be filled creates extreme disappointment for the
guest and leads to a negative reputation for the property.
Examples of special requests
Depending on the services the establishment offers or is able to provide, a special
request may include any of the following:
Disabled room
Room that has a balcony or outside are where people
can smoke
Cot or high-chair
Fold-away bed
Champagne and chocolate on arrival or at nominated
times
Fresh fruit platter in the room
Flowers
Room facing the ocean or garden or some other identified aspect
Interconnecting rooms, usually for families – this are two adjoining rooms where there
is a door between the two rooms
Adjacent rooms – rooms that are next to each other: a common requirement for
groups
A room located away from the lift
Bed board – a board placed under the mattress: used when a guest has a back
problem
Extra clothes hangers – common request for long-stay guests
who will have „more‟ clothes
Glass vases
Voltage converters (240 to 220 volt) – for overseas guests
Iron and ironing board – if not already in the room
Booking in the dining room – guest may specific location in the
room
Special food and beverages – to cater for national taste, medical
situations, celebrations, personal preference.
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Some requests are charged for and some may be provided free of charge.
The guest must be made aware of what applies for the special request they have asked
for. If they have to pay, let them know that and let them know how much is involved.
2.5 Retrieve a reservation on the computerised
reservations system
Introduction
All bookings entered into the system will need to be retrieved at some stage.
Some bookings require more frequent retrieval especially where there are changes to the
initial reservation.
If there are no changes to the initial booking, the reservation will still need to be accessed
when, or just prior to, the guest‟s arrival.
Retrieving bookings
Once a reservation has been made, you may need to retrieve it so as to:
Convert a tentative booking into a confirmed one
Modify the booking in one of many ways as advised
by the guest
Add an advanced deposit
Cancel a reservation
Allocate a room
Effect a room change.
Bookings can be retrieved by accessing a „Reservation Update‟, „Bookings Maintenance‟
or similar display within the Front Office/Front-Of-House section.
The following methods generally apply:
Searching, identifying and clicking on guest name
Entering the reservation number that the system has auto generated when the
booking was entered onto the system
Entering the room number, where one has been allocated
Entering the start date of the stay.
The swiftest way is to use the reservation number as it is absolutely unique and will never
identify a conflicted booking or two alternative choices. However this is not always known
when a booking needs to be retrieved such as when the guest has rung up and is waiting
on the phone but doesn‟t know their booking number.
Any aspect of a booking may be changed provided the change doesn‟t cause a conflict
between designated system configurations.
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Examples of such conflicts may be where a guest seeks to reduce their length of stay at a
time where the system requires a longer minimum length of stay, where altering the days
of the stay no longer qualify the guest to avail themselves of a discounted package, where
adding a child to the room increases the room rate.
Normally, when a guest has registered or checked-in, you can still modify the booking but
you will probably be unable to amend their „date of arrival‟.
Some systems will only allow you to access one file at any one time meaning that other
screens must be „saved‟ or finalised before leaving it for another display.
2.6 Amend a reservation on the computerised
reservations system
Introduction
Where the guest has requested a change to an existing reservation and we are sure we
can accommodate the requested change the details of that alteration must be entered
immediately and accurately into the system.
Failure to enter information correctly can result in lost revenue, over-bookings and other
service delivery problems.
The attention given to updates and amendments must be the same that applied when
entering the initial reservation details.
Types of amendments
Amend a reservation will depend on the conditions applicable to the booking, but may
include:
Cancelling the reservation
Changing the date/s
Changing times
Changing customer names – this may not be permitted in
all situations. For example, terms and conditions of the
booking may expressly forbid it
Changing the number of people
Adding children or additional customers
Changing seating arrangements
Adding special requests
Seeking a variation in rate
Splitting a reservation
Entering a deposit paid
Changing the itinerary
Adding/deleting products or services
Changing customer name
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Entering invoice and payment details
Entering ticketing and voucher details
Cross-referencing multiple bookings.
Common hospitality amendments
However, given the hospitality nature of this manual, we will concentrate on:
•
Converting a tentative booking
•
Modifying a booking
•
Cancelling a reservation
•
Adding an advanced deposit
•
Allocating a room
•
Effecting a room change.
within an accommodation context.
Converting a tentative booking
When a tentative booking is confirmed, you will need to convert the provisional booking
into a conformed one.
This is usually done simply by un-checking the „tentative reservation‟ box: the system will
then allow a confirmation slip to be produced and house policy may require the guest to
now supply an advanced deposit.
Converting the booking may also generate the guest account, and may allocate an
automatically generated room number.
Modifying a booking
Modifications to a booking are simple to input but can be difficult to manage from a guest
relations perspective. There are many times when the required changes raise system
conflicts and present us with problematic situations.
Common modifications required by guests include:
Variation to date of arrival
Variation to date of departure
Variation to length of stay
Variation in room type
Request for room rate variation such as asking for a
discount of some sort, or asking to be converted to a
package that they have become aware of
Request for an extra room to accommodate family or friends or extra business
colleagues who are also attending the same event or conference
•
Request to room additional people in the room already booked
•
Variation to ETA
•
Request for a later check-out.
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The processes identified as being necessary to accept a booking must be followed when
considering modifications to a booking. That is, you must still check room availability,
guest status and comply with all in-house policies. This includes check-out times,
maximum number of guests per room, packages terms and conditions, room rates etc.
To modify a booking, select the booking by name, arrival date or booking number and
then click on the „Modify booking‟, „Update‟ or similar button. Next, click on the fields that
require change and input the necessary amendments.
The changes made here will, again, flow-on into other related screens.
Cancelling a reservation
Where a guest does us the courtesy of notifying us that they would like to cancel a
booking allowing us to try to re-sell the room rather than just having it as a no-show, the
following procedures will normally apply:
Access the booking – by reservation number, guest name or start date
Click on the appropriate button such as „Remove booking‟, „Cancel‟, „Delete‟ or similar
Print a cancel slip.
Both tentative bookings and confirmed bookings may be cancelled or removed from the
system.
Cancelling a reservation puts the room back into the system for sale and also shows that
a reservation was made but has been cancelled, when and by whom.
The system will also update guest details, recording the
cancellation against the guest‟s database.
Internal policies and procedures must be followed to
ensure the return of any advanced deposits in accordance
with any deductions the property may make in-line with
their stated terms and conditions. A copy of the cancel slip
is commonly mailed out along with the cheque that returns
the deposit.
Some properties will include a pro forma letter thanking the guest for informing us of the
cancellation, offering future services and ensuring the guest feels welcome and
comfortable about making another booking with us.
Adding an advanced deposit
A guest account may have been auto-created when the guest details or the reservation
were entered. This account will have a unique number, similar to the unique number given
to the reservation that will identify it and assist in its retrieval.
Where an advanced deposit is received, the appropriate guest account can thus be
accessed through the reservation screen where the folio number will be displayed or by
entering the account number directly into the relevant Accounting area of the CRS.
Within this guest account screen, a number of transaction options will have been entered
when the system was set-up. Select and click on the appropriate button which will be
named „Advanced deposit‟ or similar, and then click „OK‟, „Apply‟ or similar.
Next, select the type of advanced payment method (such as CC, cash, cheque) usually
available via a drop-down menu.
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When an advanced deposit is received, it should be the first line on the guest‟s account
indicating that the guest is in credit. It is unacceptable for a charge to be the first account
entry especially before the guest has even arrived! The cumulative total box should now
show that the guest account is in credit by the amount of the advanced deposit received.
The amount of the deposit received must always be checked against house policy and
requirements, and appropriate follow-up should be taken where the amount forwarded is
less than the amount required.
You will also find that some CRS allow for each guest to be allocated multiple accounts,
or to be allocated just one account. It depends on house policy and guest requests as to
what method will apply.
Where the guest is allocated just one account, all the transactions including payments
and charges will be shown on the one screen or printout. This means that advanced
deposits, room charges, meals, disbursements, beverages, equipment hire will all be
shown on the one account in date order.
Where the guest has requested or house policy dictates,
there can be one account for nothing but accommodation
charges, which will record both payments and postings,
and other accounts as designated by the system.
For example, there may be a separate folio for food and
beverage or another for all „other charges‟ and a separate
one for „disbursements‟.
This facility can be useful for business guests where head
office will pay for their accommodation but the guest is responsible for all other charges
incurred.
The system will allow for guests who are sharing a room such as groups who have
accepted twin share arrangements, to have individual accounts or multiple folios attached
to the same room number.
Allocating a room
Allocation of a specific room number to a reservation may be done automatically by the
system when the reservation is made, or it can be inserted manually from a drop-down
pick-list relating to each different room type offered by the property.
As rooms are allocated, they are automatically removed from room availability for the
length of the booking to prevent one room being allocated a number of times for the same
date.
Where the guest has already been allocated a
specific room number when the reservation was
taken it will automatically transfer into the Room
Allocation database. For example, the guest may
have requested Room 1269 because they have
stayed there before and like it, or it has certain
positive memories for them.
Room allocation is usually accessed through the
„Guest reservation‟ screen or the „Booking Update‟
screen to a dedicated „Room allocation‟ display.
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Where you want to allocate a room, the following will generally apply subject to the
peculiarities of individual CRS:
Enter the required start date of the reservation and click „OK or Enter‟ – the screen
should display the standard range of days from the start date, depicting property
rooms and showing those that are off the board, booked rooms and length of stay
Check visually to ensure the guest has not already been roomed by another front
office staff member
Double-check that the room you intend to allocate is of the required type. Some
systems will alert you to a conflict if you try to room the guest in a room type that is not
in accord with the reservation details
Also check that the room you intend to allocate is an appropriate room within the
specified room type
Enter the guest name against the selected room number for the required length of
stay using the procedure appropriate for your CRS. Note that where the room
allocation screen has been accessed through the guest reservation to auto-input
these details. When in the room allocation screen, clicking on a guest, business or
company name will lead you to a guest information screen where the guest
preferences (and notes/comments) and the guest reservation can be readily
accessed: this is useful in ensuring that guest requests and preferences are complied
with.
The room allocation screen will also typically contain a range of general information such
as:
Expected arrivals and departures for the start date – which gives an indication of
expected activity for that time and may help identify the possibility of early check-outs,
no-shows etc
Number of rooms available and occupied – this will
change as different room types are selected, as well
as those that are off the board
Links to other screens – that will explain abbreviations,
colour codes etc
A print facility to print out the screen
A button to enable a guest room change.
Effecting a room change
Guests can request a room change for many reasons. They may not like the room they
are in, the colour scheme, facilities, view, size, noise or they may prefer an upgrade or
need a downgrade.
Alternatively the property may need to re-room the guest where they wish to provide a
free upgrade perhaps to apologise for some problem or to reward their regular custom, or
because there is a problem with the room because it smells or something isn‟t working.
The guests may wish to extend their stay and we need to re-room them because their
current room is promised to someone else.
Room changes are usually effected by accessing the room allocation screen, highlighting
the guest involved and checking a „Re-room‟, „Room change‟ or similar tab.
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This will reveal a screen or box that requires you to enter
the number of the old room, the new room and various
account details to enable the system to update the room
rate on their account where this is necessary.
It is important that these details are entered accurately. For
instance, if we have upgraded or re-roomed the guest to
apologise for some service failure, we don‟t want to charge
the guest for a free upgrade! We will only be making a bad
situation, worse.
When all necessary information has been entered click „OK‟, „Apply‟ or similar to effect the
change.
This will re-designate the room allocation, relevant reservation details, folios and other
related screens.
2.7 Print reservation details from the
computerised reservations system
Introduction
It is common practise for a confirmation to be sent to the
guest. In today‟s age this is normally sent to the guest in
electronic format, however at times, where tickets are
also sent, reservation details may be printed.
In addition in-house reasons to print the information exist
where:
There is a query about the booking
There is a conflict regarding the reservation
Special requests for a hard copy is made for a certain reasons, such as to assist a
porter comply with a special request.
Downloading and printing reservation details
The process of downloading reservation details will occur when the appropriate „OK‟,
„Enter‟, „Save‟ or „Apply‟ buttons are clicked or when the „Modify‟ tab is clicked after
making updates.
This action serves to transfer the entered information to all related screens and fields as
provided for by the individual CRS or the system configuration protocols.
Printing of reservation details is achieved by clicking the „Print‟ button or icon within the
reservation screen.
Note that you may be unable to print the reservation until certain fields are appropriately
populated.
In addition, the system may allow the printing of a confirmation slip and cancellation slip.
This is commonly achieved by retrieving the booking, processing the booking or
cancellation and them clicking on the „Print‟ button.
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Work Projects
It is a requirement of this Unit you complete Work Projects as advised by your Trainer.
You must submit documentation, suitable evidence or other relevant proof of completion
of the project to your Trainer by the date agreed to.
2.1. To fulfil the requirements of this Work Project you are asked to understand and use a
central reservation system of your choice. As part of this practical exercise you are
to demonstrate how to:
Access the system
Check to see if a reservation can be taken
Accept and create a reservation
Retrieve a reservation
Amend a reservation
Print and explain the reservation details to your instructor.
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Summary
Operate the computerised reservation system
Access the computerised reservations system
Role of reservations
Passwords and user IDs
Sequences and protocols
Security and privacy SOP‟s.
Investigate information contained within the computerised reservations system
Investigating information
Use all system features to access a range of information.
Check whether or not a reservation can be taken on the computerised reservations system
Importance of checking reservation availability
Methods of booking
Sources of bookings
Obtaining the basic reservation information
Checking room availability
Minimum stay lengths/minimum nights
Peak time/prime time
Stops/stop sell.
Accept and create a reservation on the computerised reservations system
Creating new reservations
Types of reservations
Inputting customer details
Handling special requests.
Retrieve a reservation on the computerised reservations system
Retrieving bookings.
Amend a reservation on the computerised reservations system
Types of amendments
Common hospitality amendments.
Print reservation details from the computerised reservations system
Downloading and printing reservation details.
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Element 3:
Process reservations’
communications
3.1 Print reports from the computerised
reservations system
Introduction
There are many, many ways in which the data and statistics in a CRS can be
manipulated, configured and presented. The following is a representative list.
Most reports or the ability to generate and print reports are protected from unauthorised
access and an appropriate User ID must be entered, in addition to a recognised
password, to activate or access these reports.
Some reports require quite a deal of „number crunching‟
and may take quite a while to develop before they can be
displayed or printed.
Many reports are generated daily as part of the Night audit
process and are printed and distributed to management
ready for perusal at the start of the next day.
Types of reports
Depending on the system being used, it is possible that available reports may include:
Accounting reports
Sales reports
Reservation reports.
Reports may be specific to a department or cover the whole organisation.
Sales reports may focus on the overall position for the business or refer to sales
generated by individual staff members.
These reports can help to determine the workloads for the next day and the priorities that
apply as well as provide information to help management make other operational
decisions.
Reports can be used:
For the purposes of comparing cost from various
product suppliers
Determining usage rates for various product suppliers
To help negotiate rates
To determine the currency of information held in the
system.
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Examples of specific reports
As previously mentioned, the CRS reporting system provides a number of standard
reports. Additional reports can be created using the integrated report generator by your IT
Specialist. System reports may be generated automatically and may be run daily, weekly,
monthly, yearly or manually upon request. Reports include:
Expected arrivals
Reservation
Property forecast
total booking activity
Stay activity
Monthly booking activity summary
Daily booking activity summary
Property detail
Property detail - room and rate information
Agent activity
Automatic allotment release
Delivery queue purge.
Weekly summary
This report provides information on income such as:
Revenue types - cash, cheques, travellers‟ cheques, credit card, overseas currency,
account, complimentary rooms
Revenue by room type
Revenue by guest type
Revenue by department
Occupancy - by bed or room.
Commonly a cumulative total option is available which gives a „Month To Date‟ (MTD) or
„Year To Date‟ (YTD) total. Comparison between „this week this year and this week last
year‟ are also possible.
By changing the „Week ending‟ date for a weekly summary, a specific 7-day period other
than the current one can be accessed.
Advanced deposits received
Many systems will produce a number of different „Deposit‟
reports but they are all essentially variations on a theme.
Essentially the information provided details guests by
name and pax who have made a reservation and the date
of that booking, and who have paid a deposit including the
amount of that deposit, when it was received, and whether
it is a full or partial deposit.
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The report can differentiate between guests who have checked in and those who haven‟t
which can be useful in deciding whether or not to accept any more bookings when the
property is approaching a „full house‟ situation, and in following-up and processing
refunds (or charges) for non-arrivals and late arrivals.
Guest folios/accounts
Depending on the CRS being used, this facility commonly allows for a range of guest
accounts reports to be generated.
Account balance
This provides a list and total of all outstanding guest accounts.
It details all guest accounts that have yet to be paid including guests are currently inhouse by name, room number and individual amount. The report will also highlight any
expenditure that is above the set department/house levels for follow-up including a
request for payment or part payment or from guest, expected payment method, folio
account number and debtor assignation by code.
Future summary period statement
This report combines advanced reservations into a report that shows projected occupancy
for the next X days from the date entered, on a day-by-day basis.
This report is thus a predictor of activity within the property such as the dining room,
housekeeping, bars, etc and is useful to management in areas such as cash flow
management, rostering of staff and the purchasing of stock and food.
Guest details
As the name suggests this provides a full array of all current in-house guest information
including name and address, and their folio number to facilitate cross-referencing and
ease of access.
The report may list their domestic address plus a business or mailing address for
accounts and mail or lost property. The report can be manipulated to produce a report for
specific guests – such as those with surnames starting with the letter „R‟ or all those
between two given letters (such as „C – L‟).
Guest revisits
This report prepares a list of all in-house guests including:
Their names, address and other contact details
Previous room number or type
Previous spends by department and amount
Accumulated spends.
This can assist staff in welcoming those people back to our
property, and identify regular visitors whom management may
elect to call on personally, or to whom they may wish to extend
some courtesy or complimentary service.
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Occupancy reports
There is much confusion, deceit and misinformation in the accommodation sector about
occupancy. It is essential you fully understand exactly what is meant at your workplace
when „occupancy‟ is discussed. Some properties will use room occupancy as their
measurement, while others will use bed occupancy. It is obviously easier to get all rooms
full rather to have all beds occupied.
Some properties will include Complimentary rooms in their calculations even though they
generate no room revenue, and some properties will exclude Out-Of-Order rooms
deeming them to be unsaleable and hence unable to be offered for sale.
All these factors combine to make it difficult for one property to compare their true
occupancy levels to those of another property: the real occupancy rates are also often
closely guarded secrets and staff are usually required not to discuss issues such as
occupancy levels with anyone.
Regardless of which orientation is adopted, it is also a fact that high levels of occupancy
do not necessarily translate into optimum room revenues. You can have a fully booked
property that has sold all its rooms at „Specials‟ rates, to group bookings etc which will
generate substantially less revenue than if they had been sold to FITs (Fully Independent
Travellers – who are charged at full rack rate).
Nonetheless, and with this in mind, occupancy reports allow the production of lists for a
given period that identify:
Source of the booking – such as travel agent, walkin, referral from member organisation
Market segment – identified usually by codes that
represent characteristics such as age, gender, group
or individual, business booking or tourist, return
visitor
Room nights sold – by day of the week and room
type
Bed nights sold
Room nights or bed nights still available for the period – on a daily basis
Average spend per room or per guest on accommodation or other in-house purchases
(excluding disbursements)
Average room rate charged – by room type and overall
Average occupancy – by whatever method deemed appropriate per day and for the
period. This may be compared to same period last year
Guest numbers – per room average and total in-house numbers for the property per
day
Revenue by revenue department – daily and totals.
You can enter alternative „Start‟ and „Finish‟ dates in order to generate this report for any
given period provided the information has not been deleted manually or by virtue of
initiating some other system facility.
In addition, you can further refine the report to suit specific needs by including or
excluding certain guest types such as groups, FITs, singles or certain market segments,
statistics, ratios or guest-related information.
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Corporate reports/business reports
Where a large number of companies use the property and management regard them as
an important element to track, this report provides an overview of their activity with us
between nominated dates. Information provided will include company name, number of
nights, number of beds, number of stays, average length of stay, number of guests (adults
and children) and various revenue totals.
Marketing reports
These reports are growing in importance and their use appears to be expanding as
operators seek to gain more and more information about and understanding of their
guests with a view to using it to maximise reservations and profit. The marketing report is
a good example of how information from other areas, fields and screens can be
manipulated and combined into a useful and new display.
The marketing report will display an overview of guests or
companies that have stayed at the property in the designated
timeframe. It will set out their names, nights stayed, revenue
and coded groupings that relate to a specific demographic
characteristic such as age, gender, ethnicity, marital status,
children, mode of travel to get to the property, residential
distance from the property, postcode or country of origin.
This information can be used to target market the property to proven and established
guest profiles.
Forward reports/future projections
These reports look to the future on a rolling basis for various periods such as 1 month, 3
months, 6 months to analyse advanced bookings, deposits received, occupancy levels,
room availability, revenue, check-ins and check-outs on certain days, lengths of stay and
method of payment.
This report can help to identify when selling „stops‟ need to be considered, when extra
promotional activities need to be undertaken and what staffing, purchasing and
housekeeping activities may be required.
Mailing list
Using individual guest details this report prepares names and postal details of those who
have stayed with us including those who have paid a deposit but have yet to check-in.
The report may be able to be divided into individual guest types so as to prepare separate
reports for corporate clients and for families or „other‟ guests. These lists are commonly
use for follow-up promotions, for market research purposes, to mail out accounts and to
return lost property.
The mailing list is a valuable database for any property and should never be deleted
without express and specific instructions to do so.
Guest requests
This report provides an overview of all outstanding requests or notes that have been
made by guests regarding their stay. Examples of requests are „flowers in room‟,
„champagne on arrival‟, „cot in room please‟ or requests for tickets to a show or event.
This list helps to ensure that all requests are actioned and that guest‟s expectations are
met: there is nothing worse than for a guest to arrange something, either a necessity or a
surprise, only to arrive and find it hasn‟t been done.
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It doesn‟t get the stay off to a good start and we always seem to be playing catch up with
such a guest, the chances of them returning are small and the chance of them
recommending us to anyone are virtually non-existent.
3.2 Create and process internal communications
using the computerised reservations system
Introduction
As can be seen in the previous section a number of reports are commonly prepared,
mainly for internal use. These reports are one key type of internal communication,
however there are many other types of communication that are required by other
departments or individuals within the property who need access to, or have responsibility
in relation to reservation information such as food and beverage outlets, housekeeping,
accounts, functions etc.
Purpose of internal communications
Internal communications may relate to:
Providing designated information, data and statistics to other nominated staff who are
linked to the system
Providing system update information to other departments within the enterprise to
allow them to plan for changing booking levels
Ensuring only designated material is available and accessed
Ensuring currency and accuracy of material
Requiring confirmation of data sent to others.
Accessing internal communication
Within the property, the CRS will need to create communications
for various individuals or departments.
These communications are essentially:
Viewing of the system through password-protected access to
nominated screens. This access should be restricted to readonly access so that details cannot be amended and the
internal system sabotaged or deliberately corrupted.
Access by staff to system-generated reports and comments
that relate to their operational areas such as housekeeping,
sales, food and beverage, room service, maintenance etc.
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Types of internal communication
Much of the information obtained by reservation staff needs to be passed on to other
departments and people so that they can action the requirements of the guest.
Especially important is the need to communicate information that relates to special
requests and to changes in booking levels.
This information must be passed on:
To the relevant department – there is no point in notifying the kitchen about a request
for flowers to be placed in a guest room on their arrival
In a timely fashion – there must be enough time for the relevant department to prepare
for and take action on the request
Comprehensively – all the details of the request together with any relevant
background information that could impact on service delivery needs to be
communicated.
Details for communication
The possible list of things that may need to passed on to other departments is endless,
but traditionally they can be seen to be classified as:
Special requests
Timing details – for arrival, check-out and internal functions, meals, activities etc
Special needs – such as wheelchair access, interpreters, dietary and cultural
considerations as well as personal and business needs such as secretarial services,
access to photocopiers etc
Payment arrangements – relating to method of payment, timing of payment and the
currency to be used
Entertainment – such as the need for, for example,
children electronic games or Play Stations etc
Information relating to individual customers – while it is
true that all guests should be treated as welcome and
privileged guests, the reality is that some guests such as
VIPs, some special interest groups, media people, travel
and accommodation writers, and influential people in
society or the industry receive preferential treatment. It is
important that all staff know who these people are and
where they are so that this service level can be provided
Details of other services being used – there can be a standard need for all department
to know the extent of services that some guests are partaking in. This helps determine
service provision as well as providing more insight into the possible needs of the
guest. In addition, knowing that a guest/group is spending well in all areas of the
venue tends to make staff better disposed towards them.
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Communicating details to appropriate departments and
colleagues
There will be times when colleagues or other departments will need to be informed and
kept up-to-date about information regarding particular reservations.
For example, if a large group cancelled, this will effect just about every department.
Occupancy levels will fall and departments will need to adjust staffing levels and
purchases downwards.
Similarly, if the establishment receives 2 or 3 large group bookings, all department heads
will need to adjust staffing levels and purchases upwards.
The extra bookings mean more guests will be eating breakfast, more rooms to clean,
more luggage to carry, etc.
Departments will need to be informed about reservations because they can have the
following effects:
Housekeeping
They will need to know about special requests and reservation
changes so they can make arrangements for:
Additional beds - commonly fold-up beds may be used
where extra numbers are added to an existing booking
Extra in-room equipment – such as hair dryers, toasters,
DVD players
Provision of turn-down service – where housekeeping staff turn down the bed, close
the curtains and perhaps place a chocolate on the pillow
Extra mini-bar requirements – which may need to be ordered from the central store or
bought from external suppliers
Catering for individual special requests such as extra pillows, blankets, coat hangers,
vases, adapters, extra towels, cup, saucers, tea and sugar, etc.
Food and beverage
If the establishment is running on high occupancy the guests will usually have breakfast
on a daily basis and, sometimes, have dinner on one or more nights.
Some guests may have arranged to hold a function in the
establishment.
All this needs to be planned and organised.
Not only could the breakfast room and dining room be busy, but so
might the coffee shop, public and cocktail bars.
High occupancy levels will affect the purchasing officer in the
establishment, as they will need to purchase more items, and all
staffing levels will need to be increased.
Special attention may also need to be paid to certain food and
beverage items requested by the guests for celebratory, dietary or cultural reasons.
Where meal plans exist these also need to be communicated.
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Front office
High occupancy levels will also affect the front office staffing
levels as there may be a need for extra porters to transport
luggage to the guest‟s room.
Extra hours for Concierge may also be considered where
large numbers are expected.
If guests are from an overseas country, consideration may
be given to ensuring someone with language skills from that
country is rostered on in reception at the identified arrival time.
Creating general reports for internal use
Information for internal colleagues is simply either a replication or manipulation of details
originally entered into the system, predominantly from areas such as guest details and
reservations, and the related screens that flow from them.
The system-generated reports are examples of information manipulation in that they
simply total or crunch the data and present it as an overview of the information in a format
required, and of use to, the property.
Whilst the previous section focused on a range of reports that were more reservation
related are commonly prepared, following is a list of generic reports that are commonly
produced for the benefit of all departments and are the main types of internal
communication sought and distributed within a property.
The reports and statistics mentioned in this section give managers an overview of trade,
enable them to track progress, analyse establishment performance, plan for future events
and needs, and identify trends.
Types of internally used generic reports
Arrivals Report
This is an alphabetical listing of guests arriving on a specific
day.
Departures report
This is an alphabetical listing of guests departing on a
specific day.
No show report
This is a list of guests who have made a booking but did not show on the day, or who
cancelled.
Room status report
This is a list giving the status of every guest room – vacant, clean room ready, vacant
dirty or out of order.
Special requests report
This is a list of guests requesting something special in their room prior to their arrival –
cot, champagne, fruit basket.
The report also records the status of the request.
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Occupancy forecast report
This is usually printed for a month (the next 30 days).
This list is an indication of the occupancy percentage expected for the next month.
This forecast will change according to additional bookings and cancellations.
Average room rates report
This indicates total room revenue in one day divided by the
number of rooms occupied to establish the average room
rate.
Multiple or double room occupancy report
This report specifies how many rooms in the establishment
had more than one guest in the room.
Guest list by name report
This is an alphabetical list of all „in-house‟ guests.
Guest list by room report
This is a list of all occupied rooms – starting from the lowest room number to the highest,
followed by a guest name.
Travel Agents’ Commission Report
Travel agents are usually entitled to a 10% commission (or some other negotiated
percentage) on all accommodation bookings made via their agency.
This report outlines the amounts the establishment owes to a specific travel agent.
Failure to pay the correct commission and pay it promptly may result in that agency
referring people to another property.
Special packages report
This report details how many packages – and what sort – the establishment has sold for a
specific period.
Market segment report
This report displays what market the establishment is attracting, such as corporate,
industry, family, coach, group, etc.
Rooms out of order report
This report lists all rooms that are out of order, the reason for their being „off the board‟
and the duration the room will remain in this status.
Daily room revenue summary report
This report lists the total room revenue for a specific day.
Daily revenue summary report
This report outlines establishment revenue for a specific day broken down into
departments such as food and beverage, accommodation, functions, room service, etc.
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Weekly trading summary report
This report outlines the total establishment revenue based on a weekly period, and may
compare it to the same week last year.
Monthly trading summary
This report outlines the total establishment revenue based on a monthly period, and may
compare it to the same month last year.
Year-to-date report
This report lists cumulative establishment revenue for a 12-month period.
In-house activity report
This is a comprehensive report outlining:
Rooms occupied
Expected departures
Expected stay overs
Expected arrivals
Walk ins
No shows and cancellations
Rooms available
Occupancy %
F.O.C. (Free Of Charge) rooms
Out of order rooms
Single occupancy rooms
Multiple occupancy rooms.
Whilst there a various types of reports that have been identified in the last two sections ,
many of which are prepared by Night Audit of the Front Office department, it is essential
that reservations ensures that any information they compile, input into systems or
distribute is accurate.
3.3 Respond to external requests for information
using the computerised reservations system
Introduction
Besides preparing information for internal purposes, a hospitality or tourism establishment
may also prepare and present property information for the advice and consumption of
external people such businesses, suppliers and individuals.
One of the tasks you will be required to perform using your CRS is to create and process
accurate communications to industry colleagues and potential customers and end users,
using the appropriate features of the system.
This section will explore common requests that are made to reservations staff and ways
to handle these requests.
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The following section will focus on information that is commonly prepared for external
consumption.
Types of external people
Industry colleagues
Industry colleagues may include:
Any product or service supplier with whom an
association exists – such as airlines, travel agents,
tour wholesalers, and booking agencies
Any product or service supplier with whom the
reservation is being made or any organisation involved
in any part of the reservation such as car hire
companies, tourist attractions, local tour operators and
event organisers.
Many suppliers will be common to numerous properties, and it is to be expected that
some suppliers will be unique to some properties.
For example, a hotel that targets younger guests who are seeking
a hands-on, exciting and action-packed holiday will have
associations with vastly different organisations (such as wild-water
rafting, bungee jumping, motor sports, rock climbing businesses) to
a property targeting senior citizens (who may have relationships
with golf courses, cruises, rail and coach companies).
Potential customers and end users
Not only do we communicate with industry colleagues, a great deal
of our communication efforts is responding to requests or providing
information to end users, be it businesses or individuals.
Types of external communication or requests received
Types of communication or requests received by external persons include:
Booking requests – as opposed to actual reservations. This includes people seeking
reservations other than those that are available or making enquiries in relation to their
particular set of circumstances including stay lengths, guest numbers, pre-payment,
options, local information etc.
Confirmed bookings – where people activate a
reservation for rooms allotted to them via the
system and simply complete the designated
minimum fields to allow the booking to be accepted
and actioned
Mail or emails seeking more information or
clarification of product knowledge (see below) terms
and conditions, advanced deposits, minimum and
maximum stay lengths, limitations of packages and
definitions of offers etc.
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It may be SOP to print out all copies of communications to put in a temporary file such as
a manila folder or filing cabinet divider for future use and reference until the enquiry has
been fully dealt with or until a booking has been made.
Remember that in addition to the system communications, you may receive enquiries as
previously identified via:
Phone
Internet
Fax
In person.
Product knowledge information
In many cases potential customers may need information relating to the products or
services provided. Regardless of whether the enquiry is about a product or service it is
collectively known as „product knowledge‟.
Anyone involved in taking reservations must have excellent product knowledge. This
means they must have comprehensive knowledge about the business or what they are
trying to sell.
In a hotel context product knowledge can relate to:
Room rates
An establishment is likely to have a number of different
room rates.
Different room rates will have been identified on the basis of
different types of guests that the establishment seeks to
attract, the potential for repeat business, and the levels of
occupancy (current and advanced bookings).
Not all properties may have the options listed below: others may have different options.
Common room rates include:
Rack rate
Often referred to as „Standard Rate‟, „Published Rate‟, „Full Rate, or „Full Rack Rate‟, this
is the most expensive rate for a room.
It is the rate published on websites and the base rate used for calculating discounts and
packages.
It is the rate usually applied to Walk Ins who want
accommodation on the day they call in. These guests are
sometimes also known as „Fully Independent Travellers‟
(FITs) because they are independent of any group,
discount or other ties.
Rack rate is also commonly used during peak times to
ensure the highest price for the best Room Yield.
In practice, relatively few rooms attract this rate. The majority of reservations attract
another, lower rate for one of a variety of reasons.
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Corporate rate
This is a discounted rate offered to companies that are willing to guarantee a minimum
number of rooms (often 50 plus) throughout the year.
The agreement is underpinned by a formal contract regarding number of room nights and
room rates.
Naturally, if they guarantee more than 50 rooms per year, a better rate may be offered
just for that company. This type of booking is often called „Volume Corporate‟ rate.
Convention rate
This is a discounted rate offered if the guest is attending a convention at the
establishment
The rate reflects the possibility that the guest will also spend other money in the venue on
meals etc.
Industry rate
This is a discounted rate offered if the guest works in the
hospitality or tourism industry.
It reflects the fact that people „in the industry‟ are well
placed to refer other guests to us if they have a positive
experience during their stay.
Crew rate
This is a discounted rate offered if the guest works for an airline.
Air crew have limited hours they can work and many airlines require accommodation for
their crew overnight so they can rest before resuming work.
Airline business is seen as good business as it is regular and on-going.
Group rate
This is a discounted rate offered if guests have common interests and are making a
booking together.
For example, members of a stamp collecting club who have decided to holiday together
might be offered this rate.
Negotiated rate
This is a rate that is negotiated between the guest and the receptionist on an individual
case-by-case basis if the receptionist feels they are likely to lose the booking.
Management will inform you of the scope of authority you to negotiate a rate.
Market segment rate
Different properties target various target markets or
market segments.
One effective way of doing this is to create a „special‟ rate
for members of those market segments.
The property name given to this type of rate usually
reflects the market segment to which the offer is being
made.
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Tour rate
This is a discounted rate organised between tour companies and the establishment by
virtue of the volume of rooms that will be sold.
Commonly tour operators will try to obtain the lowest room rate possible and the venue
has to be careful that it will make an acceptable profit from these heavily discounted rates.
There is little advantage in having the property fully booked at a rate that shows a loss.
Package rate
This is a discounted rate offered in some establishments to increase occupancy. They are
also known as „Special Deals‟ or „Specials‟.
Packages may include a combination of accommodation, breakfast or other meals,
parking, champagne on arrival, and a late checkout. They are commonly promoted during
periods of low occupancy such as capital city hotels on most weekends.
Other examples of Package Rates may include a „Honeymoon Package‟, an „Anniversary
Package‟, or a „Theatre Package‟ which may include theatre tickets.
The range of possible „Specials‟ is enormous.
Many city properties develop „weekend packages‟ because these are the times when they
are traditionally less busy because most business people go home at the weekends.
Room types
They must know the names of the different types of room (regular, superior, deluxe,
corner king, Governor Suite, Executive suite, family double – the list of names that
different properties give to their prime rooms and their lowest standard rooms are huge).
They must also know how these rooms differ and why their
rates differ – for example, why is the Presidential suite
$500 more expensive than the Australian suite? Why is a
double on the 34th floor $50 dearer than the same room
on the 2nd floor?
One trend is to sell rooms by the square metre which helps
the guest to know immediately the size of the room. This is
useful if the guest wishes to have meetings in their room.
In-room facilities
You need to know the general facilities that are available in all rooms as well „extra‟
facilities available in „executive rooms‟.
Options can include a wide variety of things such as voice-mail, computers, printers, air
conditioner, safety deposit boxes, in-room movies, mini-bar, spa, lounge room, butler
services, number of beds etc.
Room aspect
This includes things such as the view the room has, whether
it is close to the lifts (and hence likely to be relatively noisy),
or whether it is at the end of a corridor (which makes it more
likely to be a quieter room).
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Smoking
Government legislation prohibits smoking in guest rooms but there are guests who insist
on smoking in their room despite this ban.
You need to be aware of the establishment policy in this regard especially the action that
the property will take against such a guest.
It is also essential that you know which rooms can provide an outlet for the smoker to
have a cigarette – that is, rooms that have a balcony or other outside area that can be
used for smoking.
Disabled rooms
Where a guest indicates the need for a disabled room you need to know which of your
rooms are available to them.
Disabled rooms are specially designed and fitted to cater for those with a disability, with
especial attention paid to wheelchair access.
It is useful to inspect these rooms to see what they provide and where they are located
before making specific recommendations or promises.
Establishment facilities
This includes knowledge about whether the property has a pool (inside or outside,
heated?), spa, sauna, restaurants, bars, function rooms, gymnasium, together with their
opening and closing times, fees, and booking arrangements.
In-house attractions
This requires you to know about entertainment that has been
scheduled for the venue including types of entertainment, cost,
availability of tickets, displays of various products or from different
businesses, groups etc and any special deals.
Local attractions and major events
Requiring a knowledge of where the attractions are in relation to
the property, how to get there, what is available when guests visit
the attraction, and cost.
You also need to know about scheduled major events. These can be sporting events,
religious festivals, major exhibitions, openings of new businesses, special promotions
developed by government agencies.
Important knowledge includes when these events are on, what is involved in them,
locations, cost and an understanding of would be likely to be interested in them.
Physical location of the property
It is vital that anyone who picks up the telephone at reception is able to give a caller clear
directions on how to get to the property.
You must be able to guide the caller to your workplace from points such as the airport,
city, department stores or shopping, transport terminals and tourist attractions.
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Common questions asked of reservation staff are:
How far is the establishment from the airport?
What is the taxi fare between the two locations?
How can I get from the river to your venue?
Interpreting communications
Whilst the majority of communications will be relatively
simple to interpret and understand will be some that present
problems or challenges such as:
Information, advice or communications that arrives in a foreign language
Rate queries and money-related issues such as commissions and deposits that are
couched in other currencies and require a response in that currency
Requests for interpretation, explanation and applications of industry terminology that
others are not familiar with – all industries have their own suite of terms that seemingly
exclude outsiders and we are often required to clarify these for individuals and
suppliers
Information provided in coded or abbreviated format (such as „A404‟ or „Class B‟) and
for which we have no suitable or current legend.
It must also be remembered that when dealing with another language or culture, there are
many commonly used local terms and expressions that do not translate well or exactly
into another language.
Standard operating procedures in interpreting communications should include:
Only ever commit or promise anything, whether accept a booking, negotiate a rate,
extend a stay or vary a term or condition where you are 100% sure of your facts and
figures and are certain that doing so falls within your explicit scope of authority
Always acknowledge an enquiry even if you are unable to immediately provide a
response or action it. Let the person know what you are doing and advise them of the
reasons for delays. Where possible give them a realistic timeframe within which they
can expect a fuller response, or at least another contact from you
Referring problematic communications to the appropriate person or business for their
attention. There will be many times when you won‟t know the answer to a question,
what to do or are unable or unauthorised to make a decision
Updating information, details or internal protocols on the basis of any advice,
complaint or suggestions made by those who communicate with you. Remember that
a complaint is an opportunity to improve our service and helps us to both learn and
grow
Responding at all times as quickly as possible and with honesty, accuracy and
customer focus.
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Responses and actions to requests
There are a number of responses or actions that are appropriate for dealing with
requests or information received by external people. In the case of a travel
company this can include:
Providing destination and specific product information and advice
Accessing and interpreting product information
Booking hotel rooms
Selling tourism products to the customer
Preparing quotations
Constructing airfares
Booking and coordinating a supplier service for the
customer
Issuing customer travel documentation
Issuing crew documentation – for example,
operational or technical itineraries
Issuing air tickets
Organising functions
Processing and monitoring meeting or event registrations
Purchasing promotional products
Hiring special equipment.
3.4 Create and process communications for
external consumption
Introduction
Besides handling external requests, reservation staff will also need to produce
communications that are used by a wide range of external persons.
Some of these processing activities will be identified in this section.
Processing information for external consumption
Primarily, the processing of communications which is to be used by external businesses
and individuals involves:
Responding to system-related queries
Accepting, confirming, denying, amending or following-up reservations
Forwarding sub-menu bookings - such as vehicle hire, theatre tickets, local tours,
entry to local tourist attractions etc to the appropriate individual or business
Translating communications from/into other languages
Converting currencies – quotes, rates etc
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Integrating updates from suppliers such as product descriptions, terms and conditions,
prices, packages etc into current property information fields so that we maintain
currency of information
Negotiating new deals based on new information or
emerging trends for listing
Adding distribution channels to the CRS network – such
as new agents etc
Generating invoices, accounts, folios and statements
and distributing them as required
Generating and distributing relevant reports to other system users, affiliates, partners
or related businesses – such as sales activity reports, system updates such as
changes to transaction methods, protocols, and parameters, member reports, and
marketing reports.
Considerations when creating information for external people
This information that may be used by external people may be different to that displayed
on screens for internal house use due to:
The confidential nature of much of the information we capture – such as credit limits,
contact details, names, spending habits, frequency of stays etc
The fundamental requirement for the house to maintain primary control over its
operations and business
The need to pay commissions to those who put business our way. When we sell a
room etc we don‟t pay ourselves a commission and the property gains the full revenue
but when we receive a booking from an agent we are obliged to pay them for this so
the rates are likely to vary to accommodate this reality. In addition, the commission
rates will vary between agents who service us, and we need to keep these rates
confidential between agents. It is important that all agencies who refer business to us
are paid promptly to encourage them to continue sending us business. Inside
knowledge about happenings within the property that others don‟t know about such as
conferences, functions, security issues, problems, equipment breakdowns and staffing
levels which we want to keep private.
In practice, this may translate into:
Offering information in different languages
Providing prices, quotes, deals, packages, discounts and commissions in other
currencies
Allocating room allotments to agents (travel agents, other
accommodation establishments, tour wholesalers) on a
maximum number of rooms „block‟ basis with specified
use-by dates and applicable room rates for the dates
concerned including minimum and maximum stay lengths
where these apply
Advertising all items on which commissions are payable,
the percentages that apply, when they will be paid and
how they will be paid
Restricting external access to screens that are considered as being for in-house use
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Limiting the extent to which those screens that can be accessed may be interrogated
– this may mean barring access to certain fields within „open‟ displays or, for example,
only allowing others to view the next 3 months of room availability as opposed to the
entire chart
Establishing a frequent-user program or reward
program for people and businesses who deal with
us by providing reservations or staying with us
Identifying the minimum fields that must be filled
before a reservation or query will be accepted by the
system from an external person or business.
Note that your communications to other businesses
may also differ between individual organisations.
For example, as mentioned above, commissions may vary but also we may offer one
package type to Agent A and not offer it to Agent B or offer another type of package to
Agent B.
Most common is that the rooms allocated to agents will vary on the basis of their booking
history with us and the revenue that those reservations contribute to our bottom-line.
It is again to be expected that all properties will have contact with certain generally used
businesses that may be defined as feeder organisations (airlines, bus companies, trains,
travel agents) and support services (such as car hire, ticketing agencies, local attractions
and tours).
Most of these organisations will also have supplied some form of printed information to
assist and support your efforts in dealing with them, promoting their products and
understanding their organisation and operation: websites may further underpin this.
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Work Projects
It is a requirement of this Unit you complete Work Projects as advised by your Trainer.
You must submit documentation, suitable evidence or other relevant proof of completion
of the project to your Trainer by the date agreed to.
3.1 To fulfil the requirements of this Work Project you are asked to print three reports of
your choice using a computerised reservation system.
3.2. To fulfil the requirements of this Work Project you are asked to create an internal
communication from the system that would be used by internal staff. Please explain
how the information can be used.
3.3. To fulfil the requirements of this Work Project you are asked to identify two possible
external requests and explain how you can use the system to professionally handle
these requests, including possible actions you would take.
3.4. To fulfil the requirements of this Work Project you are asked to create two pieces of
information that would be used for general external consumption.
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Element 3: Process reservations‟ communications
Summary
Process reservations’ communications
Print reports from the computerised reservations system
Types of reports
Examples of specific reports.
Create and process internal communications using the computerised reservations system
Purpose of internal communications
Types of internal communication
Communicating details to appropriate departments and colleagues
Creating general reports for internal use.
Respond to external requests for information using the computerised reservations system
Types of external people
Types of external communication or requests received
Product knowledge information
Interpreting communications
Responses and actions to requests.
Create and process communications for external consumption
Processing information for external consumption
Considerations when creating information for external people.
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Presentation of written work
Presentation of written work
1. Introduction
It is important for students to present carefully prepared written work. Written presentation
in industry must be professional in appearance and accurate in content. If students
develop good writing skills whilst studying, they are able to easily transfer those skills to
the workplace.
2. Style
Students should write in a style that is simple and concise. Short sentences
and paragraphs are easier to read and understand. It helps to write a plan
and at least one draft of the written work so that the final product will be
well organised. The points presented will then follow a logical sequence
and be relevant. Students should frequently refer to the question asked, to
keep „on track‟. Teachers recognise and are critical of work that does not
answer the question, or is „padded‟ with irrelevant material. In summary,
remember to:
Plan ahead
Be clear and concise
Answer the question
Proofread the final draft.
3. Presenting Written Work
Types of written work
Students may be asked to write:
Short and long reports
Essays
Records of interviews
Questionnaires
Business letters
Resumes.
Format
All written work should be presented on A4 paper, single-sided with a left-hand margin. If
work is word-processed, one-and-a-half or double spacing should be used. Handwritten
work must be legible and should also be well spaced to allow for ease of reading. New
paragraphs should not be indented but should be separated by a space. Pages must be
numbered. If headings are also to be numbered, students should use a logical and
sequential system of numbering.
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Presentation of written work
Cover Sheet
All written work should be submitted with a cover sheet stapled to the front that contains:
The student‟s name and student number
The name of the class/unit
The due date of the work
The title of the work
The teacher‟s name
A signed declaration that the work does not involve plagiarism.
Keeping a Copy
Students must keep a copy of the written work in case it is lost. This rarely happens but it
can be disastrous if a copy has not been kept.
Inclusive language
This means language that includes every section of the population. For instance, if a
student were to write „A nurse is responsible for the patients in her care at all times‟ it
would be implying that all nurses are female and would be excluding male nurses.
Examples of appropriate language are shown on the right:
Mankind
Humankind
Barman/maid
Bar attendant
Host/hostess
Host
Waiter/waitress
Waiter or waiting staff
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Recommended reading
Recommended reading
Bardi, James: 2010 (5th edition); Hotel Front Office Management; Wiley
Davidoff, Donald M; 1993 (1st edition); Contact: Customer Service in The Hospitality and
Tourism Industry; Prentice Hall
Ford, Robert; 1999 (1st edition); Managing the Guest Experience in Hospitality; Delmar
Cengage Learning
Foster, Dennis; 2012 (1st edition); Reservations and Ticketing with Sabre 2012 Edition;
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Ismail, Ahmed; 2001 (1st edition); Front Office Operations & Management; Delmar
Cengage Learning
Johnston, R & Clark G, 2008 (3rd Edition); Service Operations Management; Pearson
Education
Kasavana, Michael L and Brooks, Richard M; 2009 (8th edition); Managing Front Office
Operations; Educational Institute of the American Hotel Motel Assoc
Martin, William B: 2001 (1st edition); Quality Service: What Every Hospitality Manager
Needs to Know; Prentice Hall
Maxwell J, 2001, The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork; Embrace Them and Empower
Your Team; Maxwell Motivation, USA
Tewari, Jatashankar; 2009 (1st edition); Hotel Front Office Operations and Management;
Oxford University Press, USA
Vallen, Gary & Vallen, Jerome; 2008 (8th edition); Check-In Check-Out: Managing Hotel;
Prentice Hall
Walker, John R; 2008 (5th Edition); Introduction to Hospitality; Prentice Hall
Zeithaml, Valarie A: 2009 (1st edition); Delivering Quality Service; Free Press
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Recommended reading
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Trainee evaluation sheet
Trainee evaluation sheet
Operate a computerised reservations system
The following statements are about the competency you have just completed.
Please tick the appropriate box
Agree
Don’t
Know
Do Not
Agree
Does Not
Apply
There was too much in this competency
to cover without rushing.
Most of the competency seemed relevant
to me.
The competency was at the right level for
me.
I got enough help from my trainer.
The amount of activities was sufficient.
The competency allowed me to use my
own initiative.
My training was well-organised.
My trainer had time to answer my
questions.
I understood how I was going to be
assessed.
I was given enough time to practice.
My trainer feedback was useful.
Enough equipment was available and it
worked well.
The activities were too hard for me.
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Trainee evaluation sheet
The best things about this unit were:
___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________
The worst things about this unit were:
___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________
The things you should change in this unit are:
___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________
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