What is an Expedia channel manager?

An Expedia channel manager is an online software solution that connects your property management system (front desk system) directly with Expedia, one of the industry’s leading online travel agents. 

It’s designed to optimise the management of your Expedia listings by automating essential tasks like updating availability, syncing rates, and consolidating reservations from Expedia into your property management system (PMS).

The Expedia channel manager updates and shares information in real-time, making it easy to keep track of your bookings and inventory.

Why should you connect to Expedia?

Expedia is a global leading online travel agent trusted by more than one million properties worldwide to sell their rooms. Travellers from every corner of the globe visit Expedia to book their accommodation.

Using Expedia will allow you to put your property in the spotlight and access more guests than ever. You might also score some direct bookings from Expedia – if a guest finds your listing but chooses to visit your own website to make their booking.

However, if you want to connect to Expedia and combine it with any other channels or your own booking engine, it really helps to use a channel manager.

Why does your hotel need a channel manager for Expedia?

First and foremost, an Expedia channel manager will save you a lot of time and effort when it comes to updating your rates and availability. It will also prevent the headache of double bookings.

If you plan to connect to other channels on top of Expedia, it can take a lot of time to log in and out of different extranets to update availability whenever you take a booking. If you don’t perform the updates, someone could book a room on Airbnb that has already been booked on Expedia.

A channel manager operates in real-time and on a two-way basis. This means that when a guest books a room on Airbnb, the channel manager will automatically share this information with your PMS and update your inventory instantly across all your connected channels, like Expedia.

This is a much nicer experience than having to tell one guest the room they wanted is unavailable. Your Expedia channel manager will also offer some in-depth performance insights so you can see how well Expedia is serving your business.

Expedia channel manager setup: Step-by-step guide

The very first step towards performing Expedia channel manager setup is to invest in a channel manager. This can be easy if you choose a leading provider that offers a secure and reliable connection, like Little Hotelier.

Simply start a free trial to begin the process and then follow these steps:

  • Once you are set up with your channel manager you’ll need to visit Expedia Partner Central. From the home page click Expedia QuickConnect Settings.
  • Select your system provider.
  • Select availability and rates and booking retrieval
  • Click submit

This process is very similar for any connection you require between your channel manager and an OTA. Remember to also set any restrictions to your channels when mapping your rates and availability.

What is the best channel manager for Expedia?

The best channel manager for Expedia that your property can use, in our opinion, is Little Hotelier.

Little Hotelier is backed by SiteMinder’s world leading technology and has a global reach of more than 450 two-way connections.

Generally, the best channel manager will offer:

  • Easy compatibility with your PMS
  • Seamless integration with your direct booking engine
  • Pooled inventory to avoid double bookings
  • A broad range of online channels that includes OTAs, GDS, and metasearch
  • Flexible pricing model
  • Free period and no lock-in contracts
  • Performance insights and analytics reports

Most importantly a good channel manager should be easy to use and allow you to optimise your time and maximise your revenue from Expedia.

By Dean Elphick

Dean is the Senior Content Marketing Specialist of Little Hotelier, the all-in-one software solution purpose-built to make the lives of small accommodation providers easier. Dean has made writing and creating content his passion for the entirety of his professional life, which includes more than six years at Little Hotelier. Through content, Dean aims to provide education, inspiration, assistance, and, ultimately, value for small accommodation businesses looking to improve the way they run their operations (and live their life).