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Channel management top issue for hotels

Channel management top issue for hotels

With the publication of its latest Hotel Reservations and Distribution Technology Review, Genesys has seen several significant trends that are affecting the way hotels do business.

The travel technology consultancy has seen a considerable growth in the number of technology suppliers providing channel management solutions.  Paul Richer, Senior Partner, comments, “Channel management has become a mainstream issue for hotels.  As more and more online distribution channels have been coming on-stream, such as the growing number of bedbanks and online travel agents, hotels have been faced with the issue of where best to place their limited bedstock. If a hotel attempts to distribute its bedstock via poorly performing channels, it runs the risk of being left with empty rooms or having to drastically reduce its room rates.  With so many channels now available, it is difficult for a hotel to know which way to turn.”

The review highlights a new breed of technology suppliers that can automate the task of channel management.  These new entrants into the hotel technology marketplace are using the latest connectivity techniques to allow hotels to control multiple channels via a single interface.  Richer adds, “Selling online via multiple distriubution channels need no longer be a fraught exercise.  Hotels now have a choice of several channel management services. Hotels can see what channels these services connect through and choose the service that will work best for their particular property.  Channel management means that hotels no longer need to sub-divide their bedstock across many channels but can simply provide a single set of availability to the channel management service.”

Another trend that hotels are latching onto is dynamic packaging.  Richer states, “Previously, the province of tour operators, hotels are beginning to realise that there is money to be made in dynamic packaging.”  Some online reservation systems now give hotels the option to sell additional services such as spa services and tee times with the room booking. One, Vertical Group, is providing the technology for hotels to bundle flights with accommodation. Richer continued, “Vertical is levelling the playing field with its VHI technology.  Tour operators and agents may not like the fact that hotels will be able to sell flights alongside their rooms.  They may see this as hotels muscling in on their marketplace.  However, from the hotels’ perspective, it will allow them to better control their product and own the customer - an aspect that it vitally important in these times when it has become so easy for consumers to shop around.”