COVID-19 has witnessed a dramatic change in consumer behavior. The hospitality & travel industry is one of the major markets that has witnessed a great setback due to pandemics and realized some major changes in the customer life-cycle in terms of travelling behavior.
In the tourism & hospitality industry, the latest travel demands and change in the customer’s perspective on travel has inclined toward – sustainability and technology. Hence, the hotels and online channels must focus on the pain points within the industry to elevate their business and stay ahead in the competition.
The year 2022, can see a boost in the tourism sector based on the research conducted by Expedia, Booking.com and other players. Thus, hoteliers must stay abreast with their hotel technology to manage their daily operations – be it room rates, ease of online booking, or providing the best guest experience with an effort to make online visitors into a permanent customer.
This drill-down to the accommodation owners to have the best hotel management solutions like Hotel Channel Manager, booking engines, rate intelligence platform to deduce the customer’s preference. At RateTiger, we focus on the B2B hotel solutions and importance of having the best channel manager – why you should have it, the key attributes to achieve scalability, and remain competitive in the market.
What is a Hotel Channel Manager?
Hotel Channel Manager is a software tool which allows hoteliers to sell all your rooms on your connected booking sites at the same time automatically. It provides a list of several online sales channel on a single dashboard enabling simultaneous monitoring and control over all these online sales channels. When there is a major change in the inventory or a room needs to be closed for sale, an OTA channel manager automatically updates it on all Hotel Sales Channel or OTAs.
This software created to help hotels to compete in a market where the demand for online room reservation rose rapidly without losing out on revenue. Channel Manager helps hotels boost their online bookings and have maximized their profits by helping them to increase their online presence.
Online Distribution channels includes Metasearch engines, OTAs, Global Distribution Channels (GDS) or direct channels like the website of a hotel. All these Online Distribution Channels can be managed using a centralized control panel when using a channel manager software.
Hotel Channel Manager – Key Attributes & Importance
The strategy of using numerous channels to sell on is not so effective until the hotel knows the right channels to sell on. Hotel Channel Manager System provides a list of channels which effectively increases your revenue. Let’s take a look at the major attributes of a channel manager:
Increase Online Presence
Hotel Channel Manager help hotels to be in the appropriate position for display on online distribution channels for maximum views. Hotels get the opportunity to maximize their profits by being visible on platforms visited mostly by online travelers looking to book their stays. Increasing visibility help increase market reach as hotels are displayed on international platforms for international travelers to confirm their bookings.
With Hotel Channel Manager it helps display the real time rates and availability, and automatic updates across all online channels with minimal investment. Also, it helps hotels save on their revenue and maximize their profits. With hotels being available online throughout the year, they are also visible during low seasons which give them the extra revenue which they would otherwise miss in the absence of a channel manager
With automatic inventory update and pooled inventory, travelers booking online can also see when a hotel is fully sold out. That way hotel reduces the risk of overbooking as guests can only book rooms which are available. In traditional way or in the absence of channel manager, there was no way for guests to know if a hotel room was sold out which resulted in double booking.
Reducing Human Errors
Manual processes are not only time consuming but it also increase chances of human error. With automated updates of rate and inventory the productivity is increased. The hotels can use their staffs to focus on other strategies for revenue management effectively. Overcoming the disadvantage of manual process being slow, online channel manager updates real time inventory thereby, never missing an opportunity of successful room reservation.
Analyze What Works
With an effective hotel channel management system, a hotel can analyze what is working and make changes with what is not working. With the data from the channel manager, a hotel can ensure the right channels to be on which channels are actually helping them maximize their profits and also that the prices displayed are optimized. A complete transparency of data across all channels helps to correct errors in time and stay ahead in the competition.
Keep Everyone Updated
Channel Manager Dashboards are easy to use. With multiple hotel staff members using the channel management system, one must think, it will create confusion and chaos. However, it is not so. Hotel Channel Management System can be set and reset with just a few clicks. Important dates, holidays and peak season prices can be set from prior to make work easier for hoteliers.
Total Control on Property
With two way XML connectivity provided by a channel manager, the user or the hotelier automatically gets informed of any cancellation or other modification which might have happened on any channel. The hotelier or user can then update this information to all connected channels in just a click. Also, a channel manager enables a hotel to split its inventory on different online channels. If required a hotelier can also switch off its inventory on a certain channel for a period of time in just few clicks.
What are hotels looking for when choosing a Hotel Channel Manager?
Now that we understand what a channel manager is, let’s talk about the most important difficulty faced by hotels these days: choosing the right channel manager for their hotel. How will one know which is the best channel manager to use! The first step to go about it is selecting the channel manager that provide free trail and choosing the best among them. The following could help hotels know the Channel Manager to choose that we help them with optimum revenue in the long run:
- Does the Channel Manager provide a free trial?
- How many channels the channel manager is connected to?
- Is the channel manager connected to the channels important for your hotel?
- How many dates, room type per channel and number of channels can the channel manager help manage simultaneously?
- Does the channel manager update and automate in real-time?
- Does the channel manager use pooled inventory model?
- Does the channel manager support multiple users and multiple devices?
- Do the channel manager provide adequate support and in hoteliers native language?
Though this list above cannot be called the complete guide to a good channel manager but these could be the basics from where one can start.
Other systems to use with a Hotel Channel Manager:
To boost the efficacy of a channel manager, some other systems can be integrated. Improve business results by maintaining accuracy and smooth operations by using:
Property Management System is a system that manages the whole property. When integrated along with a channel manager, any changes made on the PMS regarding your property, say inventory, it is picked up by the channel manager and is informed to all the connected third party channels.
When a hotel website is connected to a booking engine, a hotel can easily convert their potential guests into happy guest by direct sales. Using a booking engine, unlike OTAs, is commission free and saves a big part of the revenue.
A Rate Shopper is a pricing intelligence tool that helps a hotel set the optimized price in different seasons of the year. Based on supply and demand, when the market changes, a rate shopper allows the hotel to track their competitors. Rate Shopper helps keep the numbers right.
Elimination of several procedures as in the traditional marketing has made channel manager popular amongst the crowd. Every hotelier who is not using a channel manager is losing out on a chunk of revenue. In fact, investing a lot on traditional marketing and not getting enough returns is another major drawback of not using this tool. Hotel Channel Manager is the future of Hotel Industry and the future is here!
Looking for a Trusted Hotel Channel Manager?
RateTiger Channel Manager has been experiencing the hospitality industry in and out over the past 20+ years. It has successfully been helping hotels stay afloat through the changing times especially through the bigger storm named COVID-19 pandemic.
Get other services like PMS integration, CRS, Hotel Booking Engine, Hotel Website Design and Hotel Digital Marketing with RateTiger (product of eRevMax). Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.ratetiger.com to know more.