Regardless of the class or type of the hotel, front office is the most visible and essential focal-point of a hotel. The focal point of activity within the front office is the reception desk, which is located in the front lobby of a hotel and dispenses all front-of-the-house activities of the hotel. It is the communication centre of the hotel with great amount of guest contact. Guests interact with the hotel for the first time by interacting with the staff of the front office. The front office gives the first impression about the hotel based on the efficiency, competency and behaviour of the front office staff. The reception desk performs the functions like the sale of rooms, guest registration, room assignments, handling of guest requests, maintenance of the guest accounts, cashiering along with handling mail and providing information. The financial tasks usually handled by the front desk personnel include receiving cash payments, handling guest folios, verifying cheques and handling foreign currency and credit cards. In this Unit, you will be familiarized with all these aspects of the front office management .
Information technologies offer companies alternative applications of improving customer relationships. Customer Relationship Management systems (CRM) are the most popular systems among these applications these days. Because of the timeliness and relevance of data provided by CRM, many hotels in lodging industry are using CRM to improve their service quality. However, it is rare in literature for researchers to document the processes and the value of CRM applications in lodging industry. A guest information is one of such systems that aid in management of an hotel. The transaction information of guests in the hotel is captured through a user interface which is the front end and saved to a database which is the back end. The information of guests can be presented when needed by querying the database based on date of visit or surname of guest. This will enable management to get needed information of their customers when needed.
1.1 Statement of Problem
They are so many problems faced by many hotel industries, ranging from:
- Absence of an effective guest information tracking system: Most hotels do not have a system that will enable them track guest records. For instance, a report may be demanded for all the guests that checked out from the hotel on a particular date, a system may also be needed to look for clients with a particular surname. Having an automated system that will perform this aids administrative effectiveness. However, when this is not in place it is difficult to track guest records.
- The manual system of filling a form is still in use: It is time consuming to manage guest records using paper-based approach.
- Difficulty in obtaining guest information reports: In a paper-based system it is difficult to track guest records.
These problems and many more constitutes the reason this research work is carried out.
1.2 Objectives of the Study
The objectives are:
The following are the objectives of the study
- To develop a software solution for guest information management that maintains a database of guest records.
- To develop an automated system that will eliminate conflicts in room booking and reservation.
- To implement a system that will provide reports concerning transactions performed by guest thereby aiding in guest information tracking.
1.3 Scope of the Study
This study covers the development of Automated Guest Information tracking system using Mc Kay Hotel, Ikot Ekpene as a case study. It is limited to hotel front office management operations.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The significance of the study is that it will help provide a more efficient method of managing guests information, it will provide solution to the problems of getting needed reports pertaining to hotel guests. The study will also serve as a useful resource material to other researchers seeking for information on the subject of automated guest information tracking.
1.5 Organization of the Research
This research work is organized into five chapters. Chapter one is concerned with the introduction of the research study and it presents the preliminaries, theoretical background, statement of the problem, aim and objectives of the study, significance of the study, scope of the study, organization of the research and definition of terms.
Chapter two focuses on the literature review, the contributions of other scholars on the subject matter is discussed.
Chapter three is concerned with the system analysis and design. It analyzes the present system to identify the problems and provides information on the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed system. The system design is also presented in this chapter.
Chapter four presents the system implementation and documentation. The choice of programming language, analysis of modules, choice of programming language and system requirements for implementation.
Chapter five focuses on the summary, conclusion and recommendations are provided in this chapter based on the study carried out.
1.6 Definition of terms
Front Desk: Desk at entrance of building, a reception desk or information desk near the main entrance of a building
Guest: A recipient of hospitality such as a customer in a hotel.
Management: The organizing and controlling of the affairs of a business or a sector of a business
Reservation: Arrangement made beforehand, an advance booking.
Hotel: A building or commercial establishment where people pay for lodging, and where meals and other facilities such as conference rooms are often available.
Booking: An arrangement by which something such as theatre seat or hotel room is kept for somebody’s use at a specific time.
Tracking: To monitor or observe the state of a particular thing or person, over time.
Operation: The method by which a device performs its functions.
System: A combination of related parts working together to achieve a particular aim
Automation: The act or process of converting the controlling of a machine or device to a more automatic system, such as computer or electronic records