Accommodation Online Channel Management Options

Online Booking Channel Management for AccommodationOne of the biggest concerns for accommodation providers when wanting to sell their rooms online is how to avoid double bookings when selling live “realtime” inventory across multiple booking channel websites.

The solution for most is use of “Channel Management” internet based software that will automatically update pricing and inventory across these key channels by linking the systems together (usually via an API link).

Not only does channel management eliminate the risk of double bookings, it also allows operators to achieve broad exposure for their business internationally and increase their total bookings…a no brainer really.

Increasingly mainstream Property Management System’s (PMS) will link to update the channel manager for you, so keep this in mind when selecting a PMS.

Some channel managers won’t require a link to an automated property management system so these ones can be just as applicable for B&B’s as they are for hotels, motels, and Backpacker accommodation.

Some key Channel Managers relevant for New Zealand accommodation are:

Siteminder

  • Australian based with one of the most comprehensive lists of channels that it updates relevant for both NZ and Australian accommodation operators.
  • Prices start from $49 per month
  • They also offer a booking system for your website called the “Booking Button” from $29 per month
  • Can use their channel manager without a PMS
  • They have recently implemented a NZ freephone number to improve direct support for NZ operators

Seekom

  • A 100% NZ based option with a growing list of key NZ and international booking channels that it updates
  • Seekom is primarily an online booking solution but has been expanding it’s software capability and now offer a full PMS, along with channel management and content managed website solutions.
  • You can use Seekom Channel Management option on it’s own from $39 per month and is even more cost effective to use it in combination with their online booking system and other solutions.
  • Recently been chosen as the preferred channel manager for the HAPNZ group

Staah

  • Another NZ owned organisation offering an internet based online booking system for your website and channel management. They also provide website design and SEO services.
  • They can link to some the common PMS’s used in NZ
  • Set monthly fees, (pricing not published on their website)

RoamFree

  • Australian based with links to global channels, they offer channel management and an online booking tool for your own website that can also link to some PMS’s (although at this stage they are not key NZ based ones). Their channels tend to be Australian and Globally focused so exclude some key NZ channels.
  • Set monthly fees (not published on their website)

Have you got any more information about these channel management options or other options you think are relevant? Leave a comment to let us know.

5 Comments

  1. Nick Hill August 11, 2010 at 9:15 am #

    Hi Michelle,

    You appear to have missed our product : Strait.PMS off of your list. Our product is a low cost, easy to use PMS system that links automatically to all of the main websites via it’s built-in channel manager. We have also incorporated lots of innovative features like commission management which makes it easy for properties to avoid selling via the higher commission websites when they are likely to be busy.
    Whilst our product is relatively new to the market we are growing rapidly, we also the system in the UK where we are experiencing even faster growth.
    We urge you to check out our short overview video on our website (http://www.straitpms.com) for more details about this new product.

    • Michelle Ackers August 11, 2010 at 10:03 am #

      Thanks Nick, always good to find out about new options.

  2. Todd Basham August 11, 2010 at 7:35 pm #

    Hiya Michelle – a some other reasonable sized CM’s of note – Ezyield, Levart and TravelCLICK (ChannelDirect). Also worth a mention possibly is the fact that CM’s have made significant inroads in last 6-12 months into the South Pacific which is great for us OTA’s as it enables connection to some of the smaller resort hotels with limited inventory and allows consumers online real time rooms at some very cool resorts that previously were not active in the OTA space. Good for consumers, OTA’s and good for the South Pacific!

  3. John Owens October 12, 2011 at 5:32 pm #

    Hi Michelle

    I would definitely gives a “thumbs up” to Strait.PMS as a system and to the support provided by Nick Hill.

    We have lately changed over to Strait.PMS at our Tourist Court Motel in Dunedin and are already beginning to see real benefits from this very well thought out and designed system.

    On first switching over we just used the very basic elements and these enabled us to carry on doing business as usual – having had Nick load all of our historical data from our old system.

    As time went on we were able to get to use more and more of the functions and these are certainly giving us real business benefits with regard to managing our guests, occupancy, rates and cashflow.

    The channel manager facet is a real boon and has enabled us to get our motel seen on a far greater number of outlets with only a little initial effort to set up each channel and little or no extra day-to-day effort as the system does it all automatically.

    Nick has been extremely helpful whenever we have had a query. His knowledge of the accommodation industry here in New Zealand (and worldwide) is a definite plus.

    We would highly recommend Strait.PMS and would be happy to answer any questions that other accommodation providers might have.

    Regards
    John

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