OBE stands for Online Booking Engine. Sometimes it’s also called an IBE (Internet Booking Engine). An OBE is a booking tool that is placed on the hotel’s website so that guests can make reservations directly with the hotel.
What is an OBE capable of, and what are its advantages?
The functionalities of an OBE may vary from provider to provider, but in general, the following advantages apply:
- Increase the number of direct, commission-free bookings.
- Become less dependent on booking channels and additional commissions.
- Offer personal deals and specials (upsell) to guests.
- Enable guests to pay directly during booking.
- Automate email communication before and after the stay.
- Use promotional codes for guests to rebook.
How does an OBE work?
An OBE is a button or search bar on your hotel website that encourages guests to make a reservation. Typically, the OBE vendor or your websiteadministrator will install the tool for you. The entire booking process can either take place within the same page on your website or an external booking environment. When the guest makes a reservation, he will receive a confirmation by email (and the hotel as well). Most OBE’s have connections with channel managers so that prices and availability of your rooms are automatically updated, and reservations end up in the PMS.
What is the difference between an OBE and a booking site?
Mostly, an OBE does the same as a booking site. The difference is that it generates direct bookings on which you do not have to pay any commission. There are still many hoteliers who refer to a partner booking site or don’t offer booking option at all on their website. That’s a pity because the hotel owner misses the opportunity to provide guests with a personalised booking experience and avoid high commission costs.
For more than 16 years, SmartHOTEL has been helping hoteliers navigate the exciting world of online distribution. From our office based in the Netherlands, our team serves independent hotels, hostels and chains worldwide by providing channel management and tailored online distribution solutions. A lot has changed over the last years, but our goal remains the same: simply connect hotels to the world. For any questions regarding our services, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +31 (0)182 75 11 18.