There’s no questioning the importance of selling rooms online today – especially with the majority of bookings coming in from the internet. With software like property management systems and hotel channel management software, independent properties around the world are experiencing better efficiency and higher occupancy. However, the one gripe that many hoteliers will have with the current situation is the cost of commissions paid out to OTAs.
OTAs are amongst the most dominant sources of bookings in the world, they spend billions in marketing and SEO while attracting millions of guests to their sites every month. So it’s no surprise to see hotel owners scramble to get their property listed as high as possible on these sites, even if they come at the cost of lower profitability.
However, it doesn’t always have to be so. With the rise of the hotel management system, the industry witnessed massive growth in the SME segment, with many small hotels now able to afford enterprise level tools like hotel channel management software. With this software, they could now connect to hundreds of online portals and accept bookings from anywhere without the fear of double-bookings. However, this has also increased the commissions hotels are paying out to these online agencies.
With a channel management system, hotels will be able to ensure that they also receive bookings from other sources of reservations – such as their own website. Having all the bookings come in from OTAs is generally very expensive in terms of the commissions paid, and as a result more hotels are beginning to restrict inventory availability on these platforms so they can sell direct. A channel manager enables your hotel to do this. Moreover, modern hotel channel management software are quite versatile and flexible. They enable hotels to pool all their inventory together in one place from which rooms are allocated as and when a booking needs to be made. As a result, the online platforms have more rooms to sell than if they were split across channels – and this can actually help improve OTA ranking, after all, OTAs will want to list hotels with more rooms to sell higher on their ranking as they’re more potentially profitable.
By also integrating in real time with the hotel management system, the channel manager also drastically reduces the workload on the staff. Since the automated system is more than capable of refreshing and updating room rates and inventory across all online platforms, the employees are spared from the daunting task of having to manually update on all the channels.
Generally, OTAs tend to demand higher commissions when hotels want better ranking on their pages. However, it’s possible for hoteliers to improve their property’s ranking even without having to agree to increased commissions if they’re able to offer more rooms for sale and real-time connectivity to the website – both of which are made easy with a hotel channel manager. And with the onset of cloud computing driving down costs in almost every area in the industry, there hardly seems to be a better time to equip your hotel with some cutting-edge technology!