Hotels are tasked with the responsibility of providing efficient services for their clients. The day-to-day operation of a hotel involves the management of the hotel’s staff, customers and dispensation of other services offered. Hotels have traditionally relied on paper-based records. This system has been characterized by an ever growing need for storage space and proper maintenance to ensure customer’s records and other hotel data is not lost.
Kenya is gifted with a distinctive combination of tourist attractions, comprising tropical beaches, abundant wildlife in natural habitats, scenic beauty and geographically diverse scenery. The diversity of Kenya’s habitat is equalled by the remarkable variety of plant life and world famous wildlife heritage. Thus, Kenya can truly be promoted as a destination that offers the visitor – whether foreign or domestic – an unmatched variety of travel experiences.
Tourism in Kenya has played a very big role in the growth of the economy. It currently accounts for about 12 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), making it the third largest contributor to GDP after agriculture and manufacturing, and Kenya’s third largest foreign exchange earner after tea and horticulture. The sector has been singled out as one of the sectors that shall contribute considerably towards poverty mitigation as set out in the Government’s Economic Recovery Strategy for Wealth and Employment Creation 2003-2007.
Given that the essential road and rail network and superstructure are already largely in place, tourism has the ability to expand rapidly. Additionally, tourism through its multiplier effect has the capacity to promote regional development, create new commercial and industrial enterprises, stimulate demand for locally-produced goods and services and provide a market for agricultural products.
In order to change the image or perception of Kenya in overseas markets which had been adversely affected by negative publicity, whether warranted or unwarranted, the Kenyan government created a body called The Kenya Tourist Board to oversee these changes. The Kenya Tourist Board is tasked with promoting and marketing Kenya both internationally and locally. The key policies of the board include the promotion of up market eco-tourism and wildlife safaris; a gradual move away from low value package or mass tourism; the diversification of tourism products and markets; and the promotion of regional and domestic, as well as international, tourism. Emphasis has been placed on obtaining a precise understanding of customer needs, and developing and delivering the products that customer’s desire.
The Kenyan government also created some related organizations to help in training and management of Kenyan tourism industry. They include:
Catering and Tourist Development Levy Trustees (CTDLT)
Kenya Utalii College
Kenya Tourism Development Corporation
Kenyatta International Conference Centre
Bomas of Kenya
Kenya Safari Lodges and Hotels (KSLH)
Tourism Trust Fund (TTF)
1.2 Problem statement
The aim of this project is to develop software, which can manage and keep the records of the hotel. The existing system is manual. A web-based booking system enables the customer to view hotel services and select rooms without going to the hotel and he can make transactions through the internet. Thus, the customer can save so much time. Due to the advances in technology, the management of Sunset Hotel requested for the construction of an Online Hotel Booking System.
1.3 Overview of the Current System
The business organization name is ‘Sunset Hotel’. Sunset Hotel Kisumu is a wonderfully landscaped resort that is in a class of its own and is located in peaceful surroundings, away from the hustle and bustle of Kisumu’s noisy business district, and a few meters from the shoreline of Lake Victoria.
Sunset Hotel is just a 5 minutes drive from the city centre and 15 minutes from Kisumu International Airport. The hotel borders Kisumu Impala Sanctuary that hosts a wide array of animals like leopards, hyena, olive baboons and vervet monkeys. It also provides grazing lands for Hippos, habitat for several small mammals including the endangered Sitatunga, and supports a variety of reptiles and birds species.
The hotel has a capacity of 50 rooms and 100 beds all air conditioned with multi channel satellite TV, separate shower & bath, outdoor swimming pool, in-room safe and minibar. As the name suggests, guests from all over the world visit the hotel to view the sun setting from the privacy of their rooms. The hotel is renowned for hosting conference, cocktail parties, outside catering services and family gathering.
All over the world, businesses and hotels in particular have taken their services to the website. Sunset Hotel boasts of a very nice website where guests can view the services offered by the hotel, but it lacks the key advancement in the hotel industry. The hotel lacks an online hotel booking system where guests can book or make reservations in the hotel without having to call or send an email and wait for feedback.
For hiring a room in this type of hotel, the client needs to meet with the receptionist to collect the information of hotel facilities. After that he is to fill up the pro forma provided by the hotel authority, then he has to pay the defined amount of money and is offered room key for his/her rented room. But client always wants greater privacy and reliable security.
1.4 Solution statement
Hotel needs to preserve the records of visitors and reserve rooms in advance. Customers should be able to know the availability of the rooms on a particular date. They should be able to reserve the available rooms according to their needs in advance. To make their stay as comfortable as possible, they are provided with food, laundry services, transportation, phone calls and other services. The records of the foods taken by each customer and the services availed to the customer should be kept since they will be used to generate customer bill.
The Online Hotel Booking System for Sunset Hotel in Kisumu should be able to meet the following requirements:
The system should be able to keep the records of the guests and the room assigned to them.
Customers should be able to know the availability of the rooms on a particular date or a period of time.
Customers should be able to book the available rooms online.
The system should keep the record of food and other services availed to the customer.
The system should allow customers to make payments online through Visa Card, MasterCard, M-Pesa and any other internationally recognized mode of payment.
The system should be able to generate the bill for a customer.
The project was meant to come up with an online hotel booking and reservation system. The scope of this project did not cover the design and implementation of the online payment processing system since this will be integrated with PayPal worldwide payment system. Only links to PayPal registration page will be provided but not how it processes transactions.
Being an academic project, limited time and resources has restricted me to incorporate, in this project, only the main activities that will be performed by the Online Hotel Booking System, but maximum care has been taken to make the system well-organized and user friendly.
1.6 Project roadmap
Define the scope of the project, problem and solution statement.
2. LITERATURE REVIEW
Examines literature and systems of a similar nature , gives insight into strengths and weaknesses of the current system
Lists the criteria to be met in undertaking the project
Examines probable methodologies that could be used and identifies the suitable one for the system to be developed.
5. FEASIBILITY STUDY
Examines the viability of the project economically, legally, organizationally, socially and technically
6. REQUIREMENTS ANALYSIS
Involves understanding the current system in order to determine the requirements that would be incorporated into the new system development.
Involves defining the functional and non-functional requirements of the system to be developed.
8. LOGICAL SYSTEM
The Technical Systems Option and logical designs of the system to be developed are defined.
9. PHYSICAL DESIGN
The logical designs developed in the logical system specification stage are implemented physically.
10. CODING AND TESTING
Codes that give functionality to the system are developed and tested to ensure they achieve the required functionality
11. CRITICAL APRAISAL
The project is examined in totality and its strengths, weaknesses and measures on how it can be improved are highlighted.
The lessons learned from the undertakings of the project are highlighted.
Figure 1: Project roadmap