Just like your property is unique you know your guests are unique and that extends to the way they book a reservation at your property. You know your guests are using OTAs or talking to travel agents to make booking their vacation as easy as possible and so you know that you have to have a presence on these channels to get those bookings.
With advancements in reservation software, you no longer have to manage those OTA reservations on a manual basis but instead can use a channel manager to seamlessly integrate all reservations from all sources.
What should you be doing to maximize your revenue?
Most channel management tools have connections with hundreds of channels and while it can be fun to think of the possibilities of those reservations, it’s time to identify which channels actually have ROI.
The channels you connect to should:
- Be cost-effective
- Drive reservations
- Reach your right guest demographic
- Allow you to own the relationship – so you can encourage direct bookings moving forward
- Operate on rate parity
You don’t want to manage a channel that isn’t bringing in revenue or isn’t well known.
Have a direct connection
In the past, we often relied on GDS for third-party reservations and that can still be a profitable choice depending on who your travelers are. But most of today’s reservation software offers connections to these OTAs directly – cutting down your commissions and fees! Having a direct connection also eliminates your management time for your OTA connections as each channel syncs with your PMS to ensure no double bookings and no manual data entry for you.
Open/close inventory as needed
Obviously selling your inventory is the main reason to use a channel manager but you should also take into account periods when your rooms are always booked (busy season, holidays, etc.). You should be able to close your inventory to these channels when you’ll be guaranteed direct reservations but open more inventory during slow periods or to attract midweek bookings.
Watch rates or use yield management
Similarly to closing your inventory, watching your rates and making them attractive to these OTA bookers and competitive with other local properties is important. Know when you should be increasing and decreasing your rates across all channels. Read more about yield management strategies here.