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Home / Issues / № 4, 2014

Geographical sciences

Kuklina M.V.


The urgency of studies of reservation systems in hotels, camp sites and other accommodations in Lake Baikal area is obvious because of increasing number of independent travelers in world tourism trends, especially after the crisis in the tourism industry in 2014 in the Russian Federation. Number of tourists wishing to visit the lake, is growing every year, and together with the general trends in the industry they are increasingly willing to choose a suitable area for recreation and book accommodation through the Internet. Increased interest in information resources provide reliable and complete information about the sights of the region, the possible types of recreation, and their location. Electronic booking systems are popular services in the tourism industry, but in the Baikal region there are some barriers that prevent the use of such systems widely.

Keywords: tourist sites, online services, tourism on the Baikal, system of reservations.

 According to the Russian Union of Travel Industry, from July to September the suspension of the tour operators have affected about 130 thousand Russians. To date, the suspension of the activities already claimed more than a dozen Russian tour companies. [1]. This has exacerbated the trend, according to which the majority of Russian citizens prefer to organize their holidays by themselves. This year the number of independent tourists accounted for two thirds of all tourists (76%), and only 19% of Russians purchased full tour package [2]. In response to these trends, Ministry of Culture proposed the establishment of a national system of reservation of hotels like the famous foreign counterparts - booking.com, agoda.com, and others. The popularity of such services is obvious.

Booking.com - system of online reservation, founded in Amsterdam in 1996. This leading European system by the number of sold nights in hotels (turnover € 2.8 billion in 2008), which attracts more than 20 million users each month. The site database contains approximately 320 000 hotels in 184 countries (a wide range from luxury hotels to the low-cost ones), the site is available in 43 language versions [6]. Reservations are made without fees - that is itself the online service provided by non-clients for the service, and the hotels pay for the provision of services.

In 2011 the Russian project ostrovok.ru was launched following the example of booking.com. Currently the ostrovok.ru database comprises 135 000 hotels in 200 countries. [7]

Large hotels and hostels in Lake Baikal are present in such reservation systems, because it is quite convenient and efficient. For example, the ostrovok.ru has 28 offered stays in Listvyanka and surrounding areas (on Baikal Highway) and 25 offers in booking.com. In a survey of 10 placements in Listvyanka we found that booking.com leads to 10-15% of the total flow of customers. Connecting hotels in Europe or the United States to the electronic booking system increases occupancy rates by an average of 15-20%. Increasing the load, for example, by 15% with 12% commission fees gives the 13.2% net increase in revenue [3]. Thus, for hotels, hostels and other accommodations electronic booking system is an additional tool to attract customers.

Tourism is a priority sector of economic development of the region and is included in various development strategies. It is therefore necessary to create optimal conditions for increasing the inflow of tourists, including through the use of reservation systems. At a press conference held on September 25, 2014, head of the Agency for Tourism of the Irkutsk region Marina Rozhkova reported that 64.5 thousand foreign tourists visited the Irkutsk region in the first six months of 2014, that is 89.1% more than the same period last year [5]. The total number of tourists on Lake Baikal by different estimates is about 1 million per year, and the influx of tourists is increasing every year. Among them about 10% are foreign tourists. Of the total number of foreign tourists accounted for the majority of Chinese citizens traveling to Lake Baikal. In second place - Germany, hereinafter - Japan, South Korea, France, USA, and Poland.

Currently according to the Agency for Tourism Irkutsk Oblast region has 316 units of collective accommodation (hostels, resorts, inns, small hotels, etc.) - 11,693 rooms and 25,030 beds. It should be noted that the guesthouses and small tourist bases in most cases are not taken into account. According to our research, on Olkhon island there are about 35-40 of guest houses with placements on average from 15-40 beds. The owners of this type of guesthouses express willingness to use booking system in private conversations. Although travel agencies generally work with tour operators that provide large groups of tourists, and therefore are not in a hurry to work with small means of accommodation.

The services of booking.com and ostrovok.ru are not used for reservation of rooms in small tourist bases and guesthouses, which are common in places of recreation on Lake Baikal. Such reservation systems have certain requirements, such as connecting to the automated control system of the hotel (not always, but in most cases), the presence of a set of rooms at the electronic booking system (10 and more), which is not convenient for hostels and guest houses with a small number of rooms. Furthermore, most hostels and guesthouses do not have access to wired internet and Wi-Fi.

The usual scheme of small accommodation facilities is in the following: reservation is made by phone from friends and acquaintances of the most familiar, when prepayment is not taken or places are booked informally without prepayment. As a result there is a risk for tourists of coming without rooms booked (due to forgetfulness of staff), and for tourist center, if customers change their minds to come. In some cases, hostel or guesthouse are asked to send a card or account number of the payment for the first night, or a percentage of the number of nights. But since these schemes have disadvantages and risks, both tourists and tourist centers would prefer to have a convenient and reliable reservation system.

Creating a reservation system the one should be aware that there are certain parameters that interest tourists, but there is no common basis for comparing the information on them such as the facilities of the rooms, the Internet access, the availability of parking, TV, fridge, catering. Interviewing potential tourists, we found that although many hostels have their own sites and guesthouses have pages on social networks, the tourists would be more interested in comparison of the prices and the availability of certain parameters.

Currently there is sufficiently large number of sites with different content on the Baikal. The author examined the following the most visited sites: http://restbaikal.ru, http://www.baikal.ru/, http://nature.baikal.ru/, http://www.baikalvisa.ru, http://baikalov.ru/http://rest.baikalinfo.ru/, http://rest.baikalinfo.ru/, http://grandbaikal.ru/, http://www.baikalika.ru/, http://otdohni.irk.ru/.

Of the 10 sites only 5 have a Russian version (here chosen one of the leading sites on the lake, on most other sites there is no foreign version), and the Chinese version is not present at a single site, while it is the Chinese tourists who are most interested to visit Baikal among foreign tourists.

Room reservations are not everywhere, but where it is possible it is organized, as follows: online request is left on the chosen tourist base, and within a day or 2-3 days  their managers call back or write an e-mail for further action. Thus, on-line reservations at these sites is absent.


 Booking system places on camp Baikal can be achieved using a unified automated reservation systems using mobile applications for camp sites, since the weak prevalence wired internet. Single reservation system should not exclude the possibility of being a partner-affiliated with other systems such as booking.com, if the hotels are already connected to any system of reservation. If a hotel, for example in Listvyanka, connects to a specific type of booking booking.com, ostrovok.ru, then this hotel can be booked through the resource to which it is connected, but through a unified booking system. In this case it will be an additional income, as booking.com pays a commission for each reservation made through the partner site-affiliated.

Electronic booking system is not meant to completely replace the traditional tour operators, as such systems are usually highly specialized and offer a small range of services. When a client first goes to some unknown, and the more difficult region, for example, to the north of the lake, the hotel reservation is only a small part of his journey. More important parts of journey are embracing the route planning services, selection guides and conductors, the organization of transport, etc. [4].

 In our opinion, the resource should provide not only reservation placements, but the choice of transport to the place of delivery, the forms of entertainment in the area of recreation, the availability of information on interesting places. In this case, the resource will be popular and commercially viable.

Bibliographic reference

Kuklina M.V. DEVELOPMENT OF RESERVATION SYSTEM IN BAIKAL REGION. International Journal Of Applied And Fundamental Research. – 2014. – № 4 –
URL: www.science-sd.com/459-24723 (02.06.2023).