The more direct bookings your hotel can convert the more profitable your business will become.
You may think an online booking engine and an optimised website will do the trick, but a channel manager can be just as important for direct bookings and is the final piece of the puzzle in making your hotel booking strategy profitable.
Although you will use your channel manager to connect to online travel agents (OTAs) for increased global distribution and reservations, it holds an extra benefit:
The Billboard Effect
When you have your rooms listed on a number of OTAs, travellers from all over the world have the chance to see your property and make a booking. However, they may not choose to do this on the OTA itself, given that travellers rarely visit just one site during their booking journey.
Often they’ll also visit your own website in the hopes of finding a better deal, package, promotion, or more information. This could result in a direct booking for you but it would not have occurred if you didn’t distribute your rooms across the OTAs and gain visibility.
The Billboard Effect means your OTAs will indirectly promote your direct booking channel.
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Why you need integration between a booking engine and channel manager
If you want to take advantage of The Billboard Effect to reduce the commission you pay to OTAs and make direct bookings your most profitable sales method, you need two-way integration between your channel manager and online booking engine.
Managing your reservations manually is an arduous and stressful task that will ultimately grind your profit to a halt. The only way your website can be a viable distribution funnel is if it acts as a channel that is automatically updated in real-time.
Updating your bookings quickly and efficiently becomes easy with a channel manager. You can also accept more direct bookings this way, and broaden your reach by connecting to more OTAs.
7 useful benefits of integrating your booking engine and channel manager
- Attract more visitors to your website with the billboard effect
- Broaden both the global and local reach of your hotel
- Remove manual entry with complete automation
- Save time and reduce double-bookings with real-time updates
- Access reports and analyse booking data
- Stay competitive with hotels and OTAs alike
- Create more opportunities to upsell or offer promotions
On top of this, integrating your booking engine and channel manager will make it a lot easier to stay on top of the information you collect and keep all your staff on the same page.
Better communication between operating systems allows for better customer management at your hotel. Everything runs smoother with integration.