This Is Why Hotels Need A Channel Manager!
If you are in the hospitality industry, you will be familiar with the term ‘Channel’. This word has many meanings, however, in the hotel industry, the word has many meanings. Here, the channel means the different third-party booking platforms. Most commonly, they refer to Online Travel Agent or OTA Platforms. Channel managers are those that manage different OTAs and other distribution channels.
Hotels nowadays need channel managers to run their business. First, we need to understand why they emerged in the first place.
Hotel Channel Manager: A History
The emergence of OTAs has changed the landscape of the hospitality industry. Before the emergence of OTAs - guests used to be dependent on the word of their travel agents, who used to parrot the marketing of the hotels they work with. With the emergence of the internet, things changed, including the dynamics of the hotel industry.
The internet led the groundwork for the emergence of OTAs. OTAs have an edge over traditional marketing because they can give an accurate review of the hotel, based on reviews by multiple guests. It made it easier for the customers to search for hotels as well. By typing location, preferences and hotel type - the visitor could get access to various listings of hotels.
With the emergence of multiple OTAs, it became difficult for hotels to manage each one of them individually. There are two factors that determine the Return Of Investment (ROI) of the hotel. They are room availability and room rates. Hotel revenue managers need to constantly keep a vigil on them to ensure revenue flow.
This is why channel managers are essential. They make the work of managing the various hotel booking channels easily and help in hotel revenue management. Hotels need channel managers to run booking operations smoothly.
Reasons Why Hotels Need Channel Manager
Let us discuss in detail the reasons why your hotel needs a channel manager! With the help of a channel manager, you will have better room inventory distribution and more hotel revenue!
1. Easily Add More Booking Channels
Following a multi-channel booking strategy is essential for hotel revenue generation. Multiple channels can help you diversify your distribution network and make your business safer. With the help of a channel manager, you can add various booking channels into your arsenal and gain access to more revenue sources.
A hotel channel manager can help increase the revenue of the hotel, provide wider distribution options, generate demand for your hotels, generate revenue and in turn, make the hotel business profitable.
2. Single Platform For Inventory And Rate Management
Managing multiple channels manually is a daunting task. For revenue managers, adjusting the inventory and rate of each room on each platform is not only time-consuming but exhausting and prone to mismanagement as well.
On a channel manager, you have a single dashboard where you can adjust the availability of rooms and the rates of multiple properties and of multiple room types. You can change rates with minimal effort. This ensures rate parity as well since you can now intervene ASAP when the rates on different OTAs diverge.
You can easily adjust restrictions, and inclusions and process new modified and cancelled reservations at the same time. You can manage multiple properties on a single platform too.
3. Time-Saving And Automated Processes
Inventory and Rate distribution on different platforms are time-consuming. Even the smallest error and slip can cause double bookings, wrong and delayed updates and potentially inefficient business for the hotel. The correction efforts are a different task altogether.
This is where the Channel Manager saves your time and effort by automating most of these tasks. You can also update the calendar for the entire year with the help of a channel manager i.e adjust the rates and room inventory for the entire year seamlessly.
4. Quick Stop Sale
Hotel bookings, even though they follow a seasonality, are quite unpredictable several times. For example, out of nowhere, a group may demand 10 rooms. You have only 8 rooms available for that group since the other inventory is distributed to an OTA. So what should you do in such situations?
A Channel manager will tackle these situations like a breeze. All you have to do is click on the “stop sale” button on the platform and all the inventory on that platform will be frozen. You will have the required inventory to sell to other guests.
5. Minimizes Under Bookings And Over Bookings
When more room nights are booked than your room inventory capacity, the situation is known as over-booking. Overbookings can adversely impact your business since you will not to able to satisfy all the guests if you are short on room inventory. They will leave disappointed with the hotel for not updating the customer about the non-availability of rooms, as well as for wasting their time and effort. Hence channel managers are needed.
Not updating the inventory over time and not keeping track of the inventory sold is the main reason for overbooking. At the same time, uneven or improper distribution of room inventory can lead to - bookings. In fact, without a hotel revenue strategy, there is always a risk of under-bookings.
Investing in a hotel channel manager is the best way to prevent overbookings and under-bookings. The channel manager will notify you when all the inventory on the platform is booked. This way, you will be easily able to keep track. You will also get to know the performance of each channel. The hotelier can then distribute the inventory accordingly.
6. Effortless Rate Parity Maintenance
Maintaining rate parity is an integral part of hotel revenue management. Any disparity in rates will ruin your business relationship with the OTAs and reduce your revenue. A Channel manager will manage the rates on your behalf automatically. This way, you can avoid rate disparity on booking channels.
With so many benefits, using a channel manager is a no-brainer. The hospitality industry is competitive and you need to operate the business efficiently, in order to stay several steps ahead of your competitor.
Read our blogs to know more about the hospitality industry. Bigfoot Hospitality is a one-stop solution for revenue management, marketing and outsourcing for hotels, resorts and homestays.