WHY DO YOU NEED A CHANNEL MANAGER

Hotel Channel Manager

The hotel industry always used 3rd party sellers in its Sales and Marketing approach, and the use of Online Travel Agents has become a “necessity” in the developing internet world.

More than 300-million consumers visit “Online Travel Agencies” every month. OTAs produce more than half of all hotel bookings each year and consequently, a hotel should embrace net presence by using OTA’s which offer visibility across the world wide web stage.

But due to the 24/7 availability,  the speed with which booking situations can change require an automatization tool to update all the OTA’s consistently and “on-time” to maximize a hotel’s room offer.

This is achieved by a Hotel Channel Manager (whereas one has to consider each OTA being a different “channel”)

Why Channel Manager?

Over the past years, there’s been a growing volume of direct referrals through new instant booking tools on metasearch channels, such as Google, TripAdvisor, and Trivago, in addition to the many other OTA’s such as Booking.com, Hotels.com etc.

Channel Management Systems have been developed to improve a hotel’s reservation and accelerate its online accuracy. A hotel Channel Manager is a system that updates the availability and rates of a hotel directly to your representing OTAs and retrieves reservations accordingly, making it easy for the hotel to offer its rooms online, avoiding overbooking and rate parity issues by enabling the hotel to directly update availability to all IDS and GDS systems.

How does a Channel Manager work?

A Channel Manager connects the hotel’s booking engine, or the hotel’s PMS directly with all major online distribution channels. By the time that a reservation is added on the Booking System of the hotel or on the property’s PMS, the Channel Manager automatically updates the hotel’s availability on all the connected channels. There is no need for the hotel’s personnel to log in to every single channel in order to update availability. Consequently, by using a channel manager, the hotel saves both time and money.

You can easily retrieve information of every reservation from either the connected PMS or the Channel Manager’s Reservation Page. All the necessary information, including payment and guest details, are there and the time needed for the management of each reservation is impressively reduced.

Just like availability, rates can also be seamlessly updated through a Channel Management System. The hotel is able to adjust rates through its Channel Manager and the system updates in a few seconds the rates in all the connected OTAs!

Is a Channel Manager worth the cost?

Comparing the cost of paying a Hotel Channel Manager subscription to the payroll of the personnel needed to manually perform the same actions, it is well worth to use a Channel Manager.

Consider the time that one needs to update availability on every single channel that you cooperate with. Multiply that by the number of the channels that you use and the reservations that you receive every month and compare the salaries that you need to pay with the cost of a Channel Manager’s monthly subscription. There is no doubt that having a hotel Channel Manager is one of the best investments that you may make.

The strategy for independent hoteliers is to build a diverse sales network that is big enough to be independent and avoid being stuck with a single “vendor”. This strategy will also create activity over the year to limit low seasons

Working with different online travel agencies (OTAs) is a good option to create new sales opportunities in different markets at the same time. The problem is: each time we sign on a new OTA we find difficulties to manage inventory, rates, promotions and bookings from different extranets – also overbooking can increase!

Just like availability, rates can also be seamlessly updated through a Channel Management System. The hotel is able to adjust rates through its Channel Manager and the system updates in a few seconds the rates in all the connected OTAs!

 

Conclusion

In making use of opportunities offered by Online Travel Agents, such as market reach

and penetration, exploring and developing new markets etc., the use

of a Channel Manager is a logical move forward to maximize the convenience

such Online Travel Agents offer.

One needs to remain active to profit from an Online Travel Agent cooperation;

a Channel Manager offers an active participation to really

make the most of such a cooperation.