Selling more rooms to increase occupancy and revenue is the ultimate aim of every hotelier irrespective of size, star category, offerings, and locations. And this becomes possible when you have an efficient online distribution system in place. In this context, we will today explain the two most essential pieces of hospitality technology solutions – Hotel Channel Manager and Global Distribution System (GDS), and how they work together to help you sell more rooms to enhance your profitability. Eventually, this whole process becomes vital to your overall hotel revenue management strategy.
We will start with knowing each of them.
What is channel manager software?
Hotel channel manager is a technology solution that enables you to maintain your room availability and rates across all the connected online sales channels, including OTAs and all in real-time. Now your online sales channels are OTAs, tour operators, travel agents, direct channels, and GDSs. The solution integrates with your Hotel PMS and automatically updates your availability across all the channels based on bookings/cancellations/modifications done on any of your channels. You save more time as you don’t have to log into each channel’s extranet to update rates and availability manually.
Benefits that you get to see for your hotel
- Ensure real-time update of rates and inventory across channels
- Sell more via OTAs
- Avoid double booking and overbooking
- Adopt the best parity policy
- Analyze channel performance
- Increased online visibility
- Save time, reduce errors
What is a GDS?
Global Distribution System empowers travel agents to search for hotels as per their criteria. It is a network of systems connecting travel agents with hotels and allows them to make reservations directly. In simple terms – a GDS connects your hotel to a network of travel agents. And those travel agents sell your rooms to their customers. You can say GDS is a sales channel that sells rooms in larger quantities to big corporations. The major GDSs are – Aamdeus, Sabre, and Travelport.
Benefits of GDS for your hotel
- Increased access to travel agents across the globe
- Enhanced corporate/B2B bookings
- Uncover and reach out to new market segments
- More sales translate into improved revenues
- Save more on marketing costs
So how do they work together to your benefit?
We already know that the channel manager and Hotel PMS integration is vital for you to ensure a resourceful hotel distribution strategy. Why? Because the channel manager extracts your hotel’s live rates and availability details from your Hotel PMS. It then pushes the same information to the GDS, as it does with other connected OTAs, your website, and social media booking engines.
For example, you are running a 50-room property near an international airport, which is ideal for getting connected to the GDS platforms to attract business travelers. Let’s say OTA 1 sells five rooms. This is where the channel manager plays a significant role. It immediately reduces all the channels and your connected GDSs by five and updates your availability at 45. Plus, you want to make some changes in your pricing? Go ahead and do that. The channel manager will update the same on GDS platforms, too. This way, this whole arrangement helps you to sell what you have on GDS platforms. If you have 45 rooms, travel agents connected to GDSs will see 45 rooms. No less, no more. It helps prevent overbooking and double booking, and other related issues, including guest dissatisfaction and loss of business opportunities. The same thing happens if bookings for two rooms get canceled, the channel manager will increase the room availability to 47 on your connected GDS platforms. It helps you promote and sell those two rooms via GDS connectivity.
So the crux of the matter is – if you want more corporate/B2B bookings from leading travel agents to increase your revenue, you need to connect your property to GDS. And if you want to ensure that you get more out of GDS connection, you need to invest in an intelligent channel manager solution that integrates with GDS channels. That’s it.