The COVID-19 pandemic hit every section of society and had an impact on almost all major industries. However, one sector that was hit the worst is travel and transport. Flight bookings were down, hotels were closed, no one was renting cars for sightseeing, all cruise ships were docked– a complete nightmare played out as the virus slowly spread from one country to another, across continents. As regional and national governments imposed strict lockdown rules, the trickle of hotel bookings also dried up, and most canceled their travel or business plans and instead decided to get everything done from their desk, on a laptop. Let’s learn in detail about scraping Booking com data.
Many in this industry have closed shop whereas those that haven’t filed for bankruptcy yet, have let go of a large percentage of their workforce. As countries open up and flights take off again, companies will have to use data to their advantage to capture a chunk of this fresh herd of travelers who will venture out after the most painful period of this century. Booking com data can help businesses in making the right business decisions.
Where to Get Hotel Data From?
Getting your hands on this data is not a difficult task as long as you have a list of data sources in hand, a method to extract the data from the sources, and a workflow to clean, sort, and store the data in a format in which it can be accessed by your business team. When it comes to sources for hotel data, one website that can help you grab listings from multiple countries is Booking com data source.
Fig: Hotel listings for New York on Booking.com
It is a Dutch travel and leisure company that lets you book just about any sort of accommodation that one may want to stay at:
- Glamping sites
- Serviced Apartments
- Holiday Homes
- Guest Houses
- Self Catering Accommodation
- Tiny houses
- Bread and Breakfasts
- Holiday Parks
- Country Houses
- Luxury Tents
They also let you book flights, airport taxis, car rentals, and tickets to popular attractions. The website has more than 28 million listings and offers its services in around 43 different languages. While it did have to lay off almost 25% of its pre COVID workforce, as major economies bounce back following high rates of vaccination, the company is poised to help individuals take to the skies and oceans again in their search for new travel destinations. They even let you list your property on their website in as little as 15minutes. Booking com data can be helpful for property builders.
What Data Can You Gather?
When you are creating a dataset for hotels, the more data points that you can gather, the more use cases can be covered. For instance, you could create a list of hotels with vegan food menus if you had detailed information about the food offered. Or you could create a list of hotels with indoor pools. With these lists in hand, you can create blog posts to attract new travelers to your websites, or provide various filtering options– endless opportunities once you have the hotel listings and pricing data in your hands.
Data Points that you can get from a single hotel listing:
- Photos- While these may not be directly usable, you can use the information gathered from the photos to convey more details to your customers.
- Summary- A well-written summary is available for most properties listed on this website. This mostly includes data points like how to get to the property, what type of dining options are available in-house, what amenities come with a basic room, details on wifi, parking, and other essentials.
- Most popular facilities- This mostly includes availability information on room-service, parking, front desk timings, airport shuttles, swimming pool, spa and wellness centers, and others.
Fig: Most popular facilities at a hotel listed on Booking.com
- Prices for different types of rooms- Rooms are usually listed in an increasing order of price, where the more expensive ones come with extra features or added food options.
- Amenities in each type of room- For rooms at different price points, the amenities are also listed. This information can be used to analyze why prices differ for similar rooms based on the amenities that come alongside.
- Guest Reviews- This contains ratings on various points such as staff behavior, facilities, value for money, comfort, location, and cleanliness. It also contains actual customer reviews which can be analyzed using Natural Language Processing and Sentiment Analysis techniques.
- What’s Nearby- Usually mentions bus terminus, metro stations, and important buildings. Also mentions the distance to each.
Fig: What’s nearby at a hotel listed on Booking.com
- Top Attractions- Lists down the distances to museums, stadiums, temples, and other important landmarks.
- Distance to Closest Airport- The name and the distance to the closest airport is mentioned. While this may seem like a minor data point, a study on the correlation between this and the price, or any other data-point can bring to light interesting trends.
- Natural attractions nearby- Lists distance to nearby mountain ranges, beaches, gardens, and more.
- Restaurants on site- The on-site restaurants along with their reviews and ratings are given.
Other than data points, there is also some basic information provided for each listing, such as:
- House Rules
- Cancellation/ Prepayment Policy
- Children/ Extra bed policy
- Age restriction for checkin
- Pets policy
- Cards Accepted
Use Case of Booking com Datasets
A hotel or travel data set, with various data points can be put to many uses. The most common use cases can be using the data in your own website or using the prices of hotels in a particular location to set the prices at your own listings strategically. The data can also be used for market research by companies that:
- Want to enter the hotel and leisure industry.
- Are planning to acquire properties and convert them to hotels.
- Need to decide on the strategy to attract travelers post the Covid-19.
It can also be used by consultant groups that help the travel and hotel industry take big decisions– the opportunities are endless and the stakes are high. Any data that is left on the table will be used by your competition to get ahead in the race and may prove to be detrimental to your very survival.
Fig: A dataset of data points from different hotels can have multiple use cases
Let’s take a look at what has been happening the food and restaurant sector recently. As the Covid wave grew, dine-ins saw a sharp fall and ultimately shut off completely as governments introduced varying lockdown rules. Even when these rules were lifted, restaurants were only allowed to fill up 50-60% of their available seats to enable social distancing. Owners that acted fast used the data at hand to take a major decision– focus their efforts on delivery orders and started integrating tech to make the process seamless. Some even moved to a cloud-kitchen format to save the massive rents that they were paying on prime properties. The money saved was used to expand delivery, provide 24-hour services, and more which helped rake in higher revenues.
How Do You Get Booking com Data?
No matter which tool or service you use, the steps involved in the data extraction would remain more or less the same.
- Filter out hotels by location.
- Go through the listings on the results page one by one.
- Scrape data from each listing.
- Go to the next page in the results.
While this can even be done manually, if you wanted to scrape the data from all the cities in the USA, it would take you a year to get it done by hand– and it is also likely to be full of human errors.
Fig: Automated Scraping of Hotel Data
The solution that we need instead is an automated piece of tech that would take the locations as input and save the data points extracted in a database– to be used later. The possible solutions include DIY code or paid software but both would need some amount of intervention from your business team and other efforts to make sure the data extraction process has a low downtime.
Instead, you can go for DaaS solutions where your entire scraping infrastructure would run on the cloud and your team can just focus on which use cases to use the data for and algorithms to put the data through. Our team at PromptCloud provides an in-house enterprise-grade DaaS solution for companies that want to enable data-backed decisions in their boardrooms and business workflow. This end-to-end fully managed web scraping solution is deployed on the cloud and is a no-maintenance solution. Our crawlers are backed by artificial intelligence and machine learning which help them in extracting the Booking com data from any website and store in the format and storage chosen by our customers.