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Match And Monitor Your Hotel Listings By Web Scraping Hotel Prices
The Travel and Hotel industry is ever changing with exa-bytes of data being updated on a daily, even hourly, basis. Monitoring and managing the hotel listings across the platforms could be tedious, but not with technology.
Web scraping hotel prices can deliver price data on a daily basis, helping you automate and optimise the hotel price matching process.
For organizations operating in the dynamic Travel industry, with the whole world wide web acting as a database, access to accurate and structured data at the right time becomes of utmost importance. Here is a use case of one such requirement that we supported recently.
A well-known budget hotel chain in India required to update their hotel prices twice a day. The client needed theirs as well as competitors pricing data on a daily basis and are looking for a web scraping service provider to help them harvest this data.
Hotel Data Requirements
The client had a specific set of requirements:
- Check-in Check out dates to be specified by them
- Such data was to be uploaded to a file sharing server and our crawlers were to pick them up at predefined times and process them
- Fields for extraction were predefined and in a set order as specified by the client
- Web crawl frequency was twice in a day
- Data crawled a particular day should be completed and delivered before 2359 hrs the same day
- Hotels prices to be received in INR only
- Inventory Crawls (Hotel details) to be carried twice a month to update
This data was being used to strategically identify new hotels in the region to collaborate with them to increase the network across the country.
Target Sites and Approximate Monthly Data Volumes
Most of the major OTAs (Online Travel Agents) in India with a volume of around 30 million records per month. Approximately 300,000 to 400,000 records per site per day were delivered based on the files uploaded by the client.
Web Scraping Hotel Prices for Regular Data
- We programmed the crawlers to search for the files on the sharing server at a pre-decided time and pick them up, if available. The crawler would check for files once in the morning and once in the afternoon
- Additional scripts were written and additional resources were made use of to ensure data delivery happens before 2359 hrs of a particular day
- The crawlers were programmed to detect if the currency was in INR. If not INR, the crawlers were programmed to change the currency to INR. This was important when servers from across the world were being used to crawl the data
The crawlers were also programmed to ensure not to hit the target servers very aggressively to avoid being blocked while, at the same time, ensuring that all the necessary data was captured before 2359 hrs
Benefits Delivered by Scraping Hotel Prices
- Regular and flexible access to the required data as required. Since the web crawler picks up data only if available, the client had the flexibility to upload the files only if required
- Considering a dedicated team at the client side who were directly involved with this activity, a cost savings of about 23% was achieved by them
- With a bimonthly inventory crawl, they had access to updated data regularly (fortnightly) and were in a better position to increase their footprint across the country.
- With a low turnaround time, the data extracted could be used more effectively
Except for the initial onboarding period, the process was completely automated. Any disruption in service was also automatically updated to the support team to ensure that the crawls run in a smooth manner
Result: Efficient Hotel Price Matching and Monitoring
- While the setup was a challenging aspect of this use case, one implements, the client has been successfully using the extracted data to improve their pricing as well as their promotion strategy