Your first hotel sales and marketing strategy will be designed in order to increase your bookings and your profit, but a distribution network must be created before you can accomplish that goal. Enter the hotel channel manager.
Your distribution network should include partners and agents who will sell your rooms to their customers, but you need a way to automate the booking process in order to manage your current rates and inventory.
This is where a hotel channel manager becomes a critical part of your first sales and marketing strategy.
What is a hotel channel manager?
A hotel channel manager is a tool that links your current inventory and rates with the most widely-used online booking sites.
Ultimately, a channel manager allows you to distribute the rooms that you have available across a variety of different channels, providing you with an opportunity to reach a global audience.
A hotel channel manager is the only way to tap into the potential of the virtually endless online booking market.
How can a hotel channel manager benefit you?
The benefits of a hotel channel manager are two-fold. First, you will increase your bookings and sell your rooms quickly, and second, you will increase your distribution network throughout the industry
Without a channel manager, you will be required to split your room availability among different agents, as this is the only way to ensure that you do not overbook your rooms on any given night. This can lead to wasted inventory and lost profits.
Through a channel manager, you can display your live availability across all of your channels, allowing various agents to book your rooms at any given moment.
In addition, your current rates and availability will be displayed on many of the most popular OTAs.
Studies show that travellers browse two to three different booking sites before making their final selection, and this gives you the visibility needed in order to capture your target audience.
What should you look for in a channel manager?
You need to look for a channel manager that offers a two-way integration system, connecting your property management system with the booking channels of your choice.
With a two-way integration system, you can instantly share information about your rates, availability and restrictions across all booking platforms.
You also should select a channel manager that continually reviews its features and provides you with necessary updates.
As trends take hold and the industry continues to change, your channel manager should be intuitive enough to move forward as well.