What is a hotel booking channel?

Booking channels, also known as distribution channels, are various ways in which hotels can sell rooms to potential customers. Hotel booking channels usually work by listing rooms on different websites and updating hotel inventory when reservations have been confirmed. Booking channels work best with the help of a channel manager that connects to your property management system (PMS) and automatically updates your inventory across all channels in real-time. Search our extensive database of the world’s leading booking channels to find the ones where your future guests are looking:

Frequently asked questions about hotel booking channels

How do booking channels work?

A hotel booking channel primarily works by enabling guests to reserve rooms in your hotel through an online platform. These platforms are typically websites or mobile apps that allow guests to search for hotels, compare prices, and book rooms. Some of the most popular hotel booking channels include Booking.com, Expedia, and Airbnb. Listed below is a simple 4-step process explaining how booking channels essentially work:

  1. To list your hotel on a booking channel, you’ll need to sign up for an account and create a listing. This usually involves providing information about your hotel, such as its location, amenities, and room types. You’ll also need to set up a pricing and availability calendar so that guests can see when rooms are available and at what price.
  2. When a guest searches for hotels in your area on the booking channel, your listing will appear in the search results as it meets the guest’s filtering criteria. The guest can then look into your listing to view more details about your hotel, including room types, prices, and guest reviews.
  3. If the guest decides to book a room at your hotel, they’ll enter their personal information and payment details on the booking channel’s website. The booking channel will then send you a notification of the reservation, and you’ll need to confirm the booking within a certain amount of time which is usually around 24 to 48 hours.
  4. Once the booking is confirmed, the guest will receive a confirmation email with all the details of their reservation, including the dates of their stay, the room type, and the price. The booking channel will also take a commission on the booking, which is usually a percentage of the total price.

Using a hotel booking channel can be a great way to reach a wider audience and increase your bookings. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the commission fees can add up, so you’ll need to factor this into your pricing strategy. Additionally, it’s important to provide accurate and up-to-date information about your hotel on the booking channel to avoid any confusion or dissatisfaction from guests.

Which platform is best for hotel booking?

The best platform for hotel bookings depends on various factors such as location, target audience, and type of accommodation. For example, some booking channels may be more popular in certain regions or countries, while others may be better suited for certain types of accommodations such as vacation rentals or boutique hotels. When choosing a booking channel, consider commission rates, cancellation policies, and marketing tools as well. Some platforms may offer lower commission rates, but may not have the same level of marketing and promotional tools as others. It’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each platform and determine which one aligns best with your business goals and budget.

What are the advantages of using a hotel booking channel?

Using hotel booking channels can be a great way for independent hoteliers and small accommodation providers to reach a wider audience, manage their bookings more efficiently, save time and effort, stay competitive in the market, and gain valuable insights into their business. Here are the top 5 advantages of using a hotel booking channel, explained:

  • It can help you reach a much larger audience of potential guests as you list any type of property on a booking channel. This is because many people use booking channels to search for and book accommodations when they’re travelling. If you’re not listed on a booking channel, you might be missing out on these potential guests.
  • It can help you manage your bookings and inventory more efficiently. You might not have the resources to hire more people to manage your bookings full-time, but with a booking channel, you can easily update your availability calendar and make changes to your room types and pricing. This can help you avoid overbooking or double-bookings, which can be a real headache.
  • It can save you time and effort because when someone makes a booking through a booking channel, their information is automatically recorded in your system. This means you don’t have to spend time manually entering their information into your records. This can free up more time for you to focus on other aspects of your business.
  • It can help you compete with larger hotel chains and online travel agencies. By listing your hotel on a booking channel, you’ll have access to the same marketing and promotional tools as larger hotels. This can help you reach a wider audience and increase your bookings, which can be crucial for smaller businesses.
  • It can provide you with valuable data and insights into your business. Most booking channels offer analytics and reporting tools that can help you track your bookings, revenue, and other key performance indicators. This can help you make data-driven decisions and improve your business operations over time.