A hotel channel manager is a software application that allows hospitality businesses, such as hotels, to manage their distribution channels via a centralised system. By integrating with online travel agencies (OTAs), global distribution systems (GDSs), and other booking sites, a channel manager automates the process of updating rates, room availability, and other listing details across all platforms. This not only saves time and reduces the chances of human error, but it also ensures that your property is always being marketed at its best.
Let’s take a closer look at how channel managers work and how they can benefit your hotel business.
How do Hotel Channel Managers Work?
A hotel channel manager connects to various online booking platforms via an API (Application Programming Interface). This essentially means that the channel manager is able to “talk” to other software applications in order to exchange data.
When a guest books a room on one of your connected booking sites, the channel manager will receive this information in real-time and update your property’s availability accordingly. The same thing happens when you make changes to your rates or room types—the updates will be sent to all connected booking sites instantaneously.
This way, you can be confident that your hotel is always being marketed accurately and efficiently across all channels. The result is more bookings and less stress for you and your team!
Benefits of Using a Channel Manager
There are many benefits of using a channel manager for your accommodation. Here are just a few of the most notable advantages:
1. Save Time
Keeping all of your various distribution channels updated can be a time-consuming task, particularly if you’re doing it manually. With a channel manager, this process is automated, so you can focus on other areas of running the business.
2. Avoid Overbookings
One of the worst things that can happen to a hotelier is overbooking—this occurs when two guests book the same room on two different booking platforms. Since a channel manager keeps all of your distribution channels updated in real-time, overbookings are avoidable.
3. Increase Revenue
Hotel channel managers help increase revenue by giving you the opportunity to quickly react to market demand. For example, if you suddenly have a surge in bookings from one particular OTA, you can raise your rates on that site without affecting the rates on other booking platforms.
4. Get Better Insights
Most channel managers offer some form of reporting or data analytics that can help better understand guest booking habits. This information can be invaluable in crafting targeted marketing campaigns and improving the overall guest experience at your property.
5. Ensure better security
Passing card details through any online system can open up opportunities for hackers to steal valuable information, including sensitive payment details. Some channel managers ensure PCI compliance by using Kovena’s PCI Travel Vault for tokenizing and storing card details. Kovena also offers all the reporting and analytics required and handles data in the most secure way possible. Working with a Kovena-powered payment solution can help mitigate unwanted data security risks.
6. Improve Your Reputation
Happy guests mean good reviews, which can lead to even more bookings! By using a channel manager to keep track of everything happening across all booking sites, you can avoid negative reviews due to overbookings or inaccurate listings.
There’s no denying that managing multiple booking channels can be challenging, but with a channel manager, you can streamline the process and focus on what’s really important—giving your guests the best possible experience.
Contact us if you want to get a free list of our most recommended channel managers in the hospitality industry and learn how a payment solution, like Kovena, can give guests a streamlined booking experience.