In order to be successful in the hotel industry, it is important to understand how hotels sell rooms and how to create an effective channel management strategy. This article will define key terms such as global distribution system (GDS), central reservation system (CRS), and online travel agency (OTA), and provide tips for creating a channel management strategy that maximizes the effectiveness of each channel.
How Hotels Sell Rooms
There are three main ways that hotels sell rooms: through a global distribution system (GDS), a central reservation system (CRS), or an online travel agency (OTA).
- A global distribution system is a computerized network that connects hotel chains, travel agencies, and other businesses that sell hotel rooms. This channel allows customers to search for and book hotel rooms from anywhere in the world. A GDS provides a central database of hotel inventory and rates, making it easy for customers to compare prices and find the best room for their needs. Some examples of GDSs include Amadeus, Galileo, and Sabre.
- A central reservation system is a channel that is used primarily by hotels to manage room inventory and rates. This channel is less accessible to customers, but it can be a more cost-effective way for hotels to sell rooms. A CRS allows hotels to control their own inventory and rates, giving them more flexibility to offer discounts and promotions.
- An online travel agency is a channel that sells hotel rooms through an online booking platform. This channel is convenient for customers who want to book a room quickly and easily. However, it can be more expensive for hotels, as OTAs typically charge a commission for each room that is booked. Some examples of OTAs include Expedia, Priceline, and Kayak.
Now that you understand the different channels that hotels use to sell rooms, you can begin to create a channel management strategy.
How To Create A Channel Management Strategy For Your Hotel
But how do you determine which channel is right for your hotel? And how do you maximize the effectiveness of each channel?
Here are some tips for creating a channel management strategy:
- Start by evaluating your hotel’s goals and objectives. What are you trying to achieve with your channel management strategy? Are you looking to increase revenue, reach new markets, or improve customer satisfaction? Once you have a clear understanding of your goals, you can begin to develop a channel management strategy that aligns with those objectives.
- Consider the different channels that are available to you and determine which ones will best help you achieve your goals. For example, if you’re looking to increase revenue, you may want to consider using a GDS or an OTA. If you’re looking to reach new markets, you may want to consider using a CRS.
- Compare the features and benefits of each channel to find the one that best meets your needs. For example, if you’re looking for a channel that is easy to use and provides a wide selection of hotel rooms, an OTA may be the best option. However, if you’re looking for a channel that is more cost-effective, a CRS may be a better option.
Once you’ve selected a channel, it’s important to optimize your listings to ensure that you’re getting the most exposure possible. Make sure that your hotel’s name, address, and contact information are accurate and up-to-date. Use high-quality photos and videos to showcase your property. And be sure to include keyword-rich descriptions to attract potential guests.
How To Maximize The Effectiveness Of Your Channels
Once you’ve selected the channels that you want to use, it’s important to maximize their effectiveness. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your hotel’s channel management strategy:
- Monitor your channel performance. Keep track of your bookings and revenue to see which channels are performing well and which ones need improvement.
- Align your channel management and marketing strategy. All of your marketing efforts should work together to attract potential guests and convert them into booked rooms.
- Provide channel training to your staff. Everyone who is involved in the channel management process should understand how it works and what their role is. By providing channel training, you can ensure that your team is working together effectively to maximize your channel performance.
- Stay up-to-date on channel trends. The channel landscape is constantly changing, so it’s important to stay abreast of the latest trends. This will help you identify new opportunities and make sure that your channel management strategy is keeping up with the times.
By following these tips, you can develop a channel management strategy that is tailored to your hotel’s specific goals and objectives. By using the most effective channels and maximizing their potential, you can ensure that your hotel is successful in today’s competitive marketplace.