How to select the right channel manager for your hotel

How to select the best channel manager for your hotel?

As a property owner or manager, efficiently managing your bookings across multiple online travel agencies (OTAs) can be a daunting task. A channel manager is an invaluable tool in this regard, automating and streamlining the distribution of your property’s availability and rates across various booking channels. But with numerous options available, how do you select the best channel manager for your property? Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you make an informed decision.

1. Understand Your Needs

Before diving into the plethora of channel managers available, take a moment to assess your specific needs. Consider the following questions:

  • How many and which OTAs are you currently working with?
  • What is the size of your property?
  • Do you need additional features such as a booking engine, property management system (PMS) integration or revenue management tools?
  • What is your budget?

Having clear answers to these questions will help you narrow down your choices and focus on solutions that align with your requirements.

2. Integration Capabilities

A good channel manager should seamlessly integrate with your existing systems. Ensure that it can sync with your PMS, booking engine and any other essential tools you use. This integration will ensure real-time updates and reduce the risk of overbooking or double-booking. Compatibility with major OTAs and the ability to add new channels as needed are also crucial.

3. User-Friendly Interface

An intuitive, user-friendly interface is essential for efficient management. The channel manager should simplify your workflow, not complicate it. Look for features such as:

  • Easy setup and configuration
  • Clear dashboard with real-time data
  • Simple rate and availability updates
  • Comprehensive reporting tools

Request a demo or trial period to test the interface and ensure it meets your expectations.

4. Automation and Reliability

Automation is at the heart of what makes a channel manager valuable. It should automatically update rates and availability across all channels whenever a booking is made. Check the reliability of the system in terms of uptime and the accuracy of updates. Frequent downtimes or synchronisation issues can lead to lost bookings and revenue.

5. Customer Support

Strong customer support is non-negotiable. You need a provider that offers reliable support in case you encounter issues. Look for companies that provide:

  • 24/7 customer support
  • Multiple support channels (phone, email, chat)
  • Comprehensive knowledge base and training resources

Read reviews and testimonials to gauge the quality of support offered by the provider.

6. Pricing Structure

Pricing is a critical factor in your decision. Channel managers typically offer various pricing models, such as subscription-based or commission-based. Evaluate the total cost, including any setup fees, monthly charges and potential commissions on bookings. Ensure that the pricing structure aligns with your budget and business model.

7. Scalability

As your property grows, your channel manager should be able to scale with you. Whether you plan to add more rooms, properties or booking channels, the system should accommodate your expanding needs without significant additional costs or operational disruptions.

8. Reviews and Recommendations

Researching reviews and seeking recommendations from industry peers can provide valuable insights. Look for feedback from properties similar to yours to understand the pros and cons of various channel managers. Industry forums, social media groups and review websites can be excellent sources of honest opinions.

9. Security

Given the sensitive data handled by channel managers, robust security measures are essential. Ensure that the provider adheres to industry standards for data protection and has measures in place to secure your guests’ information.


Choosing the best channel manager for your property is a decision that requires careful consideration of various factors, including your specific needs, integration capabilities, user-friendliness, automation reliability, customer support, pricing, scalability, reviews and security. By thoroughly evaluating these aspects, you can select a channel manager that enhances your property’s efficiency, boosts bookings and ultimately drives revenue growth.

Remember, the right channel manager is more than just a tool; it’s a partner in your success. Take the time to make an informed choice and you’ll reap the benefits of a well-managed, highly visible property in the competitive hospitality market.

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