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DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A COMPUTERIZED HOTEL BUSINESS BILLING SYSTEM A CASE STUDY OF MODOTEL HOTEL LIMITED ENUGU
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This work is carried out to identify and discuss the need for a computer system in hotel business billing system. A hotel business is a hospitality industry which caters for both leisure and well being of its guest. The duties of hotels are to offer accommodation to their guest and to render services to them. These services are usually personal.
The focus on this topic is to introduce computer in the allocation of rooms and billing system of a hotel. The current process of billing is being operated manually and due to this procedure numerous problem are been encountered. A design was taken to computerized the manual process in order to check this problem. The problems were identified after series of interviews and examination of documents after which analysis was made and a computerized procedure recommended. This project will also suggest how to successfully implement the computerized procedure and to overcome the obstacle that would hinder the successful implementation of the system. The new system was designed using Microsoft visual basic 6.0 programming language. This language was chosen because of its easy syntax and features for developing windows based applications.
Hotel is defined by British law as a place where a bonafide traveller can receive food and shelter, provided he is in a position to pay and is in a fit condition to be received. Hence, a hotel provides food and beverages, and lodging to travellers on payment. In turn, it has the right to refuse a traveller is drunk, disorderly, unkempt or is not in a position to pay for the services.
The hotel industry is perhaps, one of the oldest commercial endeavors in the world. The first inns date back to the sixth century be and were the products of the urge to travel, spurred by the invention of the wheel.
The earliest hotels were managed by husband and wife teams, who provided large halls for travelers to make their own bed and sleep on the floor. The entire cooking service and recreation were provided by the husband and wife team and his family.
It was in Europe that the birth of well managed hotel industry took place on the shape of chalets and small hotels which provided variety of services. They were mainly patronized by the aristocracy of the day.
The real growth of the modern hotel industry took place in the United State of America in 1794. the real boom in hotel building came in the early twentieth century. This period also saw the beginning of chain operation under the guidance of E.M stalker. It involved big investments, big profit and trained professional to manage the business.
The management business billing of a hotel system was virtually left in the hands of the front officers. The front office in hotels is the department responsible for the scale of hotel rooms through systematic method of reservation, followed by registration and assigning of rooms to customers, it was usually done manually. This was boring and cumbersome in hotels that still operate manually today. This development in hotel business billing system continued gradually until recently when computer was invented as an electronic method of processing data, computer can be defined as an electronic device that accept input, manipulated data and produces information which is the output, as required. Computerization of hotel business billing system: a focus on the lodging system of a hotel, therefore, the application of computer in the lodging system of a hotel. A hotel which operated a computerized system will ensure that the program carries provision for different tariffs, locations and individual guest preferences. Details of each room are stored within the memory and as a guest registers the guest list is immediately updated while that particular room is removed from the list of those which are available for letting. Because the system is so accurate, there is little chance of two people being given same room.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The lodging system of Mooted Hotels Limited Enugu started when this hotel was established in 1986. at its inception, Mooted Hotels Limited inherited three modern hotels. There were ninety three chalets at the time of its establishment. These hotels were located at Enugu, IMO, Anambra. However they have since been improved upon with additional chalets, better management and better services.
The management of Muddle Hotels Limited insists that standard obtainable in its hotels of all types compare favorably with the standards elsewhere. Each chalets is provided with a room stewards, hot and cold water tub, wall-
To-wall carpet, air conditioner, television, refrigerator and inter-com. The Cable News Network (CNN) is received in the hotels through its satellite dish. The body managing the hotel now at the apex of the management include-
1. The general manager
2. The company accountant
3. The company secretary
4. The operational managers
5. The public relations officer
6. The house keeper
7. The food and beverages manager
8. The number of staff are eighty
These are both junior and senior cadres.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM.
The introduction of computer in the hotel is to reduce problem encountered on arrival and event at check out time by guest?s customers and visitors to the hotel and by the reception staff on their efforts to manually attend to each guest?s requests going through the reception routine in the front office by the guest is normally frustrating and time wasting. As guest can be kept on his feet for several minutes waiting to be attended to .the billing procedures in the cashier section are similar to that of the front office. The staff at the cashier section is also limited by their human capabilities.
1.3 PURPOSE OF STUDY
The main aim of this study is design a computerized reservation entry and guest billing system for timely services. In hotel services, time is of essence.
Another objective of is to design a computerized system which will ensure that the program carries provisions for different tariffs, locations and individual guest preferences. The computer will select the best available rooms for particular reservation or offer an alternative, if the preferred room is already taken or is not yet ready. The program will be flexible enough to ensure that any special request by a guest can be catered for.
1.4 SCOPE AND LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
The computerization of the hotel business billing system is centered on the front office. (i.e. reception and cashier section) of the Modotel hotel limited. A lot of limitations were encounter during this study. Such limitations are:
1. Finance: this hindered my movement in the process of gathering of facts.
2. Time: this is another constraint to my undertaking a more comprehensive fact finding, since the period for this study was very small compared to the actual work.
3. Lack of textbooks: this is also another major constraint in the course of carrying out this work. One had to move one library to another.
4. Protocols: I encountered series of protocols, often called red tapism before I was granted interviews.
1.5 IMPORTANCE OF THE STUDY
There is a high hope that this project will solve those problems the reception personnel encounter on the sale of rooms in the hotel. A hotel which is computerized can, with dispatch, answer inquires and write confirmation letters for reservation, keep messages for guest?s, advice the hotel management about regular guests, improve the level of services the hotel offers to guest and monitor room services to guests. It will greatly help the reception personnel to know the number of room available and how many rooms that have been booked. This helps in updating of reservations. In a situation of efficient services, the hotel will be attractive to guest and visitors and thereby make profit.
1.6 DEFINITIONS OF PROCESSING
REAL TIME PROCESSING: Technique by which enter data for immediate processing.
ON LINE PROCESSING: Also called transaction processing,. It is the collecting and processing of data as transaction occurs.
INFORMATION: When data undergoes certain manipulations like calculation, sorting, amending etc. they eventually become useful meaningful. In other words, they become information.
DATA: Bit and pieces of fact and figures representing an idea or event needed for processing to give out information.
FIED: A unit of information containing a group of related data.
ARRIVAL: Time that a guest registers into the hotels.
ACCOMMODATION: The term simply refers to rooms.
BOOKING: Reservation of rooms.
CANCELLATION: When a room reservation is with drawn by the guest.
CHECK-IN: Arrival of a guest who has registered at the reception.
CHECK-OUT: Department of a guest who has settled his bills.
DEPARTURE: Time when a guest leaves the hotel.
DOUBLE ROOM: Room with one large- size bed.
GUEST: Person who uses the services of a hotel.
RECEPTION: Counter in a hotel that registers guests.
RESERVATION: Counter that receives documents on reservation requests.
SKIPPER: A guest who departs without paying his bill.
SINGLE ROOM: Room with one bed.