A channel manager is software that allows your property to directly connect with various OTAs. With this tool, you can easily update rates, allotment, availability and restrictions.
Why it is Necessary to Have a Channel Manager
If your property is contracted with many OTAs, you have to login frequently to each and every one of the OTA extranets and update mostly prices and allotment (i.e. rooms to sell). This process is very time-consuming and can also lead to mistakes, as it is done manually. But the greatest risk is to get overbookings for not being able to update in time. For example: Let's say that your hotel has contracted with booking.com and Expedia. Now suppose that the hotel has one double room left for a given night, let's say the 15th of August. At 3.00 am local time, a reservation is made in booking.com for a double room for the 15th of August. The allotment (rooms to sell) in booking.com is now automatically set to zero for this date. But the rooms to sell in Expedia for a double room in the 15th of August is still one.
If no one sets the allotment for this room type and this date in Expedia to zero (after 3.00 am in the night), it could happen that at 3.30 am, another reservation arrives, this time from Expedia, for a double room for the 15th of August. But there is no free double room any more, as it was booked 30 minutes ago in booking.com. That is an overbooking, and it is the hotel responsibility to find another accommodation for the hotel guest.
As it is practically impossible for someone to manually update all extranets all day and night (what if the contracted OTAs where 5, or 10?), a channel manager takes care the automatic update of room allotment (rooms to sell), among others.
Channel Manager Options
With hoteliga you can choose among three channel managers:
- the hoteliga Channel Manager, the most integrated solution with direct certified connections
- Parity Rate, an affordable channel manager
- SiteMinder, a very popular channel manager
|hoteliga channel manager||Parity Rate||SiteMinder|
|Available channels||booking.com, Expedia (Hotels.com, Expedia Affiliante Network, Travelocity), Hotelbeds, Agoda, TripAdvisor*, Airbnb||click here||click here|
|Support for multiple IDs||YES||NO||NO|
|Download frequency for reservations|| Instant download for Airbnb, Hotelbeds and TripAdvisor,
every 1 min. for booking.com,
every 5 min. for the rest
|every 5 min.||every 5 min.|
|Synchronization of available rooms (allotment)||Real time||Real time||Real time|
|Upload of rates, restrictions, stop sales||YES||YES||YES|
|Integration with hoteliga PMS||Direct||Indirect||Indirect|
|Billing cycle||Monthly/Annually||Annually Only||Monthly|
|Pay per channel||YES||YES||NO|
|Synchronization with vacation portals
* requires hoteliga booking engine
After choosing the right channel manager for you, you need to decide the way that data will be synchronized between hoteliga PMS and the OTAs. The following options exist:
- One-way connection. The OTA only sends reservations to the hoteliga PMS, nothing else. Choose this option if you are used to manage prices/rates from the OTA's extranet.
- Two-way connection. The OTA sends reservations to the hoteliga PMS, and at the same time the hoteliga PMS sends room allotment, room rate/type availability, prices and restrictions to the OTA. This is the full and most complete connection one can get.
Every channel manager has different costs, please consult the hoteliga website for more information.
Setting Up the Channel Manager in hoteliga PMS
In order to start using the channel manager in hoteliga PMS, the following requirements exist:
- You need to have signed a contract and activated the connection with at least an OTA. If you don't have any contracts, see also "How Do I Connect With a New OTA?".
- You need to have selected and purchased the channel manager connection that is best for you.
The next thing to do is to contact hoteliga support in order to arrange the setup of the channels. This setup is included in the cost of channel manager connection and it is very important that it is done together with hoteliga staff to avoid mistakes.
The setup process includes the following steps:
- Ensure with hoteliga staff that access to the OTA extranet is available (or access to Parity Rate/SiteMinder extranet is available).
- Ensure with hoteliga staff that the OTA has issued credentials (username & password) for the channel manager (these credentials may be different for human and system access).
- Ensure with hoteliga staff that the property, rates and room type setup on the OTA is reasonable and compatible with hoteliga concepts.
- Activate the channel connection from inside the extranet (if applicable) with the assistance of hoteliga staff.
- Do the correct room type and rate mapping inside hoteliga channel manager configuration with the assistance of hoteliga staff.
- Upload room allotment and prices from inside the hoteliga PMS for the first time with the assistance of hoteliga staff.
- Do visual checks for random dates and room types and compare the prices and values in the OTA extranet and hoteliga PMS.
- How Do I Connect With a New OTA?
- How to Connect an Airbnb Account and its Listings
- How Do I Get the Credit Card Information From a Reservation?
- What Information hoteliga exchanges with Channels?
- What Kind of Restrictions are in Booking.com?
- How can the Hotel add a Room/Rate?
- How can I add or set Special Prices to each Channel?
- What happens when I get a reservation with a Special Price that is not set in hoteliga?
- How can I change the Cancelation Policy in a Channel?
- Derived / Linked Prices