January 08, 2014
I am sure that lately you heard about Channel Management. A fancy term that is used in the tourism industry to describe ‘the middle man’, that brings the online bookings on your table, even when you are not in the office.
Before we get into more formal definitions, let’s see the main function of Channel Management with the following illustration. You, the hotel, hostel, holiday house or apartment, are the producer of goods/things that are represented by your rooms. The most traditional way to do it is to go directly to 3 or 5 ‘supermarkets’ or online booking websites like booking.com, hrs.com or expedia, in order to offer your available rooms in an advertisement. After your did so, it becomes port of your everyday job to visit all the various extranets or distribution channels, to check and update availability, rates and room price or to advertise new promotions and products.
This method is very much time consuming and liable to many errors, not finding the reservations, having few persons booking at the same time, in expedia or bookingcom. This method also makes rooms for overbookings because you were not fast enough to get to the other ‘supermarket’ and change the rooms availability or the pricing at the same time.
Here is where a channel manager, your reliable distributor of rates and availability to all the ‘supermarkets’ or booking websites, comes into play. All modern solutions are working cloud based, with that are integrating all your online booking portals into one single easy usable user interface, a central cockpit. So, it transports for you the rooms rates and availability all the ‘supermarkets’/booking websites and presents your products.
Moreover, it brings back all the reservations being done overnight, overbookings are avoided from now on. When somebody books on hrs.com, the rest of the distribution channels receive automatically the signal to close that room and not to offer it anymore. Very practical function is that you can produce and promote more than a single product/room, with a modern channel manager that delivers/transports your rates to over 60 channels simultaneously. In consequence, your will be seeing an increase of up to 40% in online bookings, having increased online presence and being available in more places than never before.
To finish with the illustration, is like when you hire DHL or UPS to transport, place your products and bringing you back the messages regarding online reservations, bookings or cancellations. So, a channel manager sends and receives the information simultaneously, in an instant.
When choosing a channel manager for your property, you may be wondering, which company offer me a 100% satisfaction warranty? Meaning that over bookings would not be an issue to deal with at all.