In today’s hospitality industry, hoteliers are facing a number of challenges in order to achieve their business goals. Maximizing revenue and profits, booking rooms every day of the year, and meeting guest expectations are a few hurdles that have been around since the beginning of this industry. Nowadays, hotel managers must take it up a notch in order to meet the specific challenges of online bookings.
Hotels need to ensure that their reservation systems are efficient and that no double or over-booking takes place particularly when a hotel's system is connected to several online booking engines and services. Given the multitude of channels existing today and the rapid continual introduction of new ones, channel management has become a major obstacle to overcome in order to ensure that hotels maximize their revenue potential and maintain efficiency, quality service, and high standards - all of which lead to maintaining reputation.
Channel management software handles the communication between the website and distribution sites to control daily pricing and vacancies, all in one click. It also works to centralize all reservations: online, offline, and from travel agents. Advanced software also includes online room inventory and rate management, so all pricing adjustments for OTA's (Online travel agencies) can be done from within one platform. Systems are cloud-based giving access to accounts from any device with an internet connection.
Major hotel chains, inns, guest houses, and B&B’s need to consider adopting an advanced channel management system, such as Nightsbridge, eZee Technosys, or Xotels, to maintain their competitive edge in an increasingly tough – and rapidly changing – market. Consumers have an overwhelming number of options available today with regards to OTAs via the internet and mobile devices that channel management must become a priority for hotel website and booking management. Even vacation property owners should consider integrating a channel management system, such as Kigo, which is designed to maximize revenues and streamline operations, allowing vacation rental managers to spend less time managing their properties.
There are various innovative technologies and systems available that allow hotel and property managers to ensure increased revenue while minimizing the resources required to update room inventory and rates. These systems also provide centralized reports for better inventory control and to ease management decisions.
Channel management systems help establishments of all sizes maximize their online exposure, increase revenue, and reduce the time and cost to update room information online. Implementing effective channel management solutions, such as TravelClick and ChannelRUSH, should reduce labor costs and improve efficiency by providing a centralized way to control multiple channels. Staff will no longer need to manually log in and update every web asset when taking a new booking.
According to an article in Hotel News Now, InterContinental Hotels Group in its 2012 year-end annual report predicted an increasing dependence on OTAs as a potential impact on the company’s brands and profitability. This has since become the norm.
“Travelers now have access to far more information through comparison websites, search engines, and online travel agents,” the report states. “Sales through these channels typically have high commission rates and are taking an increasing share of bookings across the travel and hospitality sector.” This being the case, channel management software is a must-have system to put into place for hotels, as it will keep track of all of the reservations made across every booking site in real-time, ensuring each site has the most up-to-date information.
Having a channel manager help hotels preserve their reputation and image by giving their guests a seamless and trustworthy reservation process, in addition to helping maintain order and efficiency while preventing booking errors.