What is Hotel Channel Manager Software?
Hotel channel manager software is a technology solution that makes it possible to sell rooms on several online booking sites (channels) simultaneously. It is the technological equivalent of having a global sales team and a 24/7 reservations department.
Good channel manager software will enable hotels to provide their availability and rates, in real-time, to global and local companies that market room availability to travellers. Examples of these businesses are Online Travel Agents (OTAs – booking.com, Trip Advisor, Expedia), Standard Tour Operators (STOs – Flight Centre, Bob’s Travel), Travel Agents (Intrepid Travel, Ker & Downey), the Global Distribution System (GDS – Galileo, Amadeus) as well as visitors information centres (a physical location that provides tourist information to visitors).
What is Channel Management?
On one hand, channel management in the hotel industry can refer to the simple function of using a channel manager tool to list and manage your inventory on a variety of booking channels. It could also relate to the strategy of managing which channels you choose to list on, how you analyse the top-performing channels, and how you can optimise your connections to make more revenue at your hotel. If we take the simple approach, channel management is the process by which you will sell your inventory via online distribution channels around the world.
Diagram1: In this diagram we can visualise how OTAs, STOs, the GDS, etc. act as the opening end of a funnel, where they collect guests from around the world and then funnel them down into the channel manager. The channel manager then either inserts those guest bookings directly into your hotel PMS or gives you access to the information directly from the channel manager.
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