Research Paper

Hotel CRS Research Paper - The State of Central Reservations Systems

Key Hotel Requirements Driving the CRS Evolution

h2c Research


Today’s travelers have high expectations of a personalized e-commerce experience along their journey, which makes guest-centric functionalities a top priority for a hotel chain’s central reservations systems (CRS). As a result, the hoteliers’ demand for innovative and improved CRS services continues to grow. Although many of the related digital marketing, distribution and guest retention requirements can be found on the development roadmaps of the CRS providers, it remains mission critical to shorten development cycles, enabling a faster time to market. Filling the large gap of missing functionalities and integrations is a prerequisite for the successful implementation of new solutions. This should motivate both hotel chains and IT vendors alike to engage in closer partnerships. 

This h2c Research Paper is based on the findings of h2c’s Global Hotel CRS Study and aims to shed more light on the current CRS landscape and related system requirements. The study covers Europe, Middle East & Africa, The Americas and Asia Pacific and has a fair distribution across hotel categories by star rating, type (including voluntary hotel chains, representation companies, transparent brands, and independent hotel groups), location (city, resort, and convention) and size/reach (international versus regional chains). The 92 surveyed hotel chains, whereof the majority is regional, represent more than 11,000 properties and 1.7 million rooms worldwide. 

H2c’s research answers the following questions:

• How satisfied are hotel chains with their current CRS solution?

• Which CRS features and functionalities are missing today versus in three years’ time?

• What needs to change for improving the hotel chains’ satisfaction level? 

As dissatisfaction with the existing CRS is often the major driver for change, the overall study results should help to highlight the hotel chains’ requirements in more detail by hotel type and market specifics, enabling CRS providers to better understand desired service enhancements and identify missing functionalities as well as prioritize their developments.


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  • Today's CRS solutions only cover two-thirds of the hotel chains’ requirements
  • Depth of CRS integration with corresponding systems (e.g., PMS, CRM, RMS) is often insufficient
  • Hoteliers often maintain CRS workarounds (e.g., data replication) for connectivity to their management systems
  • CRSs rarely fulfil the distribution requirements of resort hotels
  • Consumer-facing CRS front ends (standard and mobile IBE) struggle to compete with OTAs
  • CRS services hardly differentiate from those of channel managers and standalone IBEs




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