What is a Channel Manager?
A Channel Manager is a technological tool designed for use in the hospitality industry. It manages online bookings, maximizes sales, and increases occupancy while saving time and manual effort. With the help of a Channel Manager, hotels can reach larger audiences online and offline. It also simplifies the management of rates, availability, and reservations.
Hotel Channel Manager enables you to connect with hundreds of online distribution channels in real-time. This improves visibility and hotel bookings, without the risk of overbooking. Channel Managers look after the following –
- Online Travel Agencies: Channel Managers connect your hotel with online travel agencies such as yatra.com, agoda.com, booking.com, and Expedia. It is an effective way of managing your ranking and visibility on metasearch channels with direct booking functionality, e.g. Google and Trivago.
- Rental Platforms: Channel Managers also connect your hotel with vacation rental platforms such as AirBnb and HomeAway.
- Global Distribution Systems (GDS): Connect your hotel to numerous offline travel agents using the GDS through a Channel Manager.
- Online Bookings on Hotel Website: Last but not the least; the Channel Manager also manages the online bookings you get through your hotel website and booking engine.
The Hotelier & Channel Manager Relationship
In the hotel business, the primary factors that govern your return on investment are room availability and rates. Maintaining the ideal rates and occupancy levels in real-time needs constant effort when done manually. This could be an operations management challenge in large hotels with multiple booking channels.
The hotel Channel Manager helps to automate this process to reduce the efforts, time, energy, and payroll needed to maintain optimum rates and occupancy. Here’s a look at the 8 reasons why you need a Channel Manager in your hotel, today –
1. Auto-Update Inventory & Rates
You may have listed your hotel on various online booking platforms. When you get an online booking, you are required to update your inventory and rates on all these channels. Automate this process with a Channel Manager for hotels to reflect the accurate inventory and rates on multiple online channels in real-time.
2. Reduces the Risk of Over-Booking & Double-Booking
Over-booking of rooms is every hotelier’s nightmare. Minimize the risk of hotel over-booking or double-booking with a hotel Channel Manager. By always reflecting the accurate occupancy rates on all platforms, Channel Manager ensures that you never have to deal with over-booking problems again.
3. Unified Platform for Better Business Insights
Channel Manager for hotels can integrate tools such as booking engines, analytics tools, and PMS to give you real-time data and insights about your hotel business, all in one place. This can significantly reduce your operational cost and decision-making time in business.
4. Get the Advantage of Multiple Distribution Channels
When engaging with a hotel Channel Manager, try to choose one which is integrated with the maximum hotel distribution channels. If your Channel Manager allows you to connect with multiple OTAs, you have the power of choice and you can experiment to list on the OTAs which are likely to give you maximum bookings.
5. Improve Customer Experience
With reduced errors in your booking system, your hotel guests are bound to have a smooth experience in terms of booking, checking-in, and during the stay. An improved customer experience goes a long way in enhancing your revenues and improving word-of-mouth.
6. Ease of Managing Rate-parity
When demand increases, playing around with the rates can help you make the most of it. Hotel Channel Manager software with an integrated distribution tool simplifies the process of maintaining efficient rates updated across all platforms in real-time.
7. Auto-update Your Calendar
With multiple bookings coming in from different channels, updating the calendar is an essential task. Any errors in the calendar update may lead to over-booking or double-booking at the hotel. The Channel Manager automates this process and reduces the risk of error by updating the calendar in real-time.
8. Increasing Brand Visibility
Channel Managers give you access to multiple online travel booking platforms and boost your brand visibility online. OTAs are also more likely to accept your listing if you have a Channel Manager, as they can be assured of accurate inventory information at your end. This improves your hotel visibility and recognition everywhere.
Using a Channel Manager is key to efficiency and streamlined booking operations in the hotel business. It can not only help you reach out to a larger audience across the globe, it is also helpful in improving the experience of your guests.
Karan Iyer is an end-to-end digital marketer and blogger at Aiosell who inherently understands the hotel industry with his hospitality background. Karan knows how to convert the pain points and challenges of the hotel industry into business opportunities, and that’s what he writes about for his readers. He also shares industry trends, insights and news to help his readers stay up-to-date.