What is hotel channel management?

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When you operate a small property, you hear a lot about channel management and how it’s a pivotal part of your overall business plan.

When you do it right, channel management can increase your bookings and help you generate additional revenue for your accommodation business.

What is channel management?

Channel management is the process of managing online distribution channels; such as Booking.com, Expedia, Airbnb or your own website, in order to sell your hotel’s inventory to various agents across the globe. It is the only way to effectively reach a global audience without risking over-bookings.

Channel management allows you to partner with large agents, such as online travel agents (OTAs), as well as smaller retail agents in different markets.

Using a pooled inventory model means that you’re selling as many rooms as possible – through as many channels as possible – without the risk of overbooking.

Your inventory is updated automatically across all of your channels, so that guests have accurate information no matter where they are booking from.

The benefits of a channel manager

Your channel manager allows you to maximise your bookings and increase your revenue. By giving a diverse range of agents the ability to sell your rooms, you will be able to sell all of your available inventory at any given moment. This is the most reliable way to continue to increase your revenue over time.

Your channel manager allows you to connect with markets that can be challenging to reach. Different OTAs work with different types of travellers. By using a channel manager, you can partner with a wide variety of agents and begin introducing your property to travellers from every corner of the world.

What to look for in a Channel Manager

You don’t want to invest in just any channel manager. You need one suited to your small accommodation needs.

Make sure you consider these often overlooked items:

  • Number of channels. The more OTAs your channel manager connects you to, the more markets you can tap into. Make sure there’s no additional fee based on how many channels you use.
  • Support and training. Invest in a channel manager that will have support staff available in order to help you navigate the system and connect with the maximum amount of agents.
  • Solid reporting. A good channel manager will allow you to easily track and measure which online sales channels are working. This gives you the knowledge you need to negotiate commissions and end partnerships that aren’t working for you.

If you are currently on the hunt for the perfect channel manager for your small hotel, check out Little Hotelier’s industry leading features.

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