What a Channel Manager is, and how to take it to the next level
Posted by Vero
Knowing what a Channel Manager is and knowing what their advantages are is essential for everyone working in the travel industry today. Many of us can still remember what the world was like before they made their appearance, when the daily work of tourist agents consisted in trying to manage an infinite number of channels and not dying in the attempt.
There are still those who refuse to incorporate this computer tool into their daily routines (especially smaller hotels), but the trend where consumers book their holiday direct – online – makes it almost obligatory to adopt this solution in order to optimise hotel distribution through all available channels.
What does a Channel Manager do?
As the name implies, a Channel Manager allows you to manage your inventory in different distribution channels from the same place. This way you can offer all kinds of tourism products in an easy manner without having to access your suppliers’ platforms one by one, saving time and creating new business opportunities.
What are the advantages?
The Channel Manager also allows you to have perfect control of your product inventory and all your reservations, modify prices in real time and always have an up-to-date version of the tourism services you offer. This way you can segment your business niches and offer your customers more specialised products according to each type of demand without having to multiply your efforts and costs.
Who should have a Channel Manager?
From hotels to travel agencies, via online booking companies (OTAs) and all those agents in the tourism sector who handle more than 2 distribution channels – they can all clearly benefit from the purchase of a Channel Manager. It is, of course, important to make sure you have qualified staff to manage it, as well as connectivity solutions that allow you to make the most of its possibilities. If you only sell through a couple of channels, perhaps the investment is not worth it.
Compatibility: your Channel Manager must be compatible with your company’s internal management system and your booking engine.
XML connections: your Channel Manager must rely on bi-directional XML integrations to ensure that the information is properly updated and correct.
More connectivity, more business
Since we live in a world where everything moves through connections, your business must be well-connected and handle different distribution channels to increase sales. In order to meet this challenge, it is convenient to work with tools that let you make a qualitative and quantitative leap without large investments. A Channel Manager is one of those tools, and that is why at TravelgateX we work with more than 50 different brands, offering today’s tourism sector a connection to a marketplace where more than 20,000 reservations are managed per day, as well as more than 3,000 million daily searches.
Your direct hotel connection centre
It is called Hoteldirect-X and it is a unique functionality within the current B2B tourism market. It is not a Channel Manager, nor does it act as such, but it does work directly with these tools: this new TravelgateX service takes care of all the technical work, connecting to the client’s Channel Manager and distributing its products to hundreds of OTAs worldwide.
The idea is to guarantee the best and most extensive connectivity with various tourist agents by simplifying the steps: only one simple contract will have to be signed in order to get access to more than 600 suppliers. That is, the contract between OTA and hotel will be activated automatically when a reservation is made through Hotel Direct-X.
This way, the possibilities of any Channel Manager are multiplied by a thousand. There is no need to invest in internal technology or a larger number of employees.