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  • What is a Channel Manager and why should a hotel use it?
    Vangelis Lagoutaris
    on May 16th, 2016

    Channel Management Systems have been developed during the last few years in order to improve the hotel’s Reservation Department’s operation and accelerate its online presence. A hotel Channel Manager is a system that updates the availability and rates of a hotel directly to major OTAs and retrieves reservations accordingly, making it easy for the hotel to offer its rooms online, avoiding overbooking and rate parity issues.

    It’s a common issue among hotels not to cooperate with a lot of OTAs such as, Expedia or other smaller online distribution channels due to the extra time and personnel required to manage these connections. Another usual practice is to offer only a few rooms online, in order to avoid having overbooking issues or selling a high percentage of the hotel’s rooms through third parties.

    A channel manager system offers the solution to all these issues. By adding a Channel Manager, the hotel can directly update availability and rates to all IDS and GDS systems, with or without the involvement of their staff.

    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.

    In case that a reservation is made in one of the reservation websites (e.g. Agoda or Orbitz), the Channel Manager updates availability automatically in all the connected channels and the hotel’s booking engine and if connected with the PMS it forwards the reservation to it.

    The Reservation Department’s personnel 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 is 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! That way rate parity is not an issue anymore! Of course, in case that the hotel needs to have a different pricing policy for each OTA, it is possible to set various pricing rules for every single channel.

    Is a Channel Manager worth the cost?

    In order to guarantee the smooth operation of the channel management process, the investment on the required technology is relatively high to other online booking services. However, 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 a reservations’ executive 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.

    How to choose the correct Channel Manager?

    Choosing the correct hotel Channel Manager is a critical issue. Don’t choose the cheapest one; choose the system that serves your needs better and that can guarantee smooth and constant connection with the OTAs that you cooperate with. Not choosing a stable channel manager may cause you a lot of trouble and loss of money. Select a Channel Manager that integrates with the OTAs that you use, offers stability and secure transactions and provides effective support.

    Bookwize’s Channel Manager is the best channel manager solution for the demanding hotelier’s needs. Bookwize seamlessly connects the hotel’s booking engine or PMS with all the major OTAs and manages all the reservations from one single page! Contact the Bookwize Team and have an online demo presentation in order to explore the powerful features of the Bookwize Booking System.