It is imperative for hotel owners to increase efficiency in hotel distribution channels so that productivity of the hotel increases and with it, its sustained revenue.
Hotel distribution channels management has now been honed into a science and using it judiciously is an art that hotel managements are training in. Hotel distribution channels are developed for distribution of hotel inventory to reduce idle time, to increase the occupancy of rooms and to increase the utilization of other services such as banquets, restaurants, clubs and out-door catering.
There are two main types of hotel distribution channels; online and offline. These are connected seamlessly to the Hotel CRS or Central Reservation System and together make the Hotel Channel Management System which is the mainstay of controlling the operations of a hotel.
Offline Hotel Distribution Channel:
This conventional hotel distribution channel operates mainly in the front office of the hotel where hotel staff answers direct queries, books rooms, suites and banquet halls, discusses room rates and discounts and gives information about availability, facilities and other services. Walk-in guests without prior reservations are attended to and the guests arriving and departing are made to feel welcome and cared for.
Although this is the conventional way the hotel distribution channels system works, this is not the only way. The Hotel CRS software has other interfaces that also increase the efficacy of distribution. The various levels of administration available in a Hotel CRS make it possible to make changes in room rates and terms etc. that are reflected immediately on all Hotel distribution channels.
Online Hotel Distribution Channels
The interface of the Hotel CRS with the reservation module on the Hotel website attracts many online visitors who can make an informed decision to book rooms and other services on the hotel inventory. Online travel agents also have travel portals which are called third party hotel distribution channels. These offer hotel reservations for many hotels on the same website. Visitors find this very useful because they can compare rates, check availability and book rooms and also address other travel related issues from the same website.
Online hotel distribution channels bring in a lot of business to hotels as payments can be made in many currencies and different languages can be used to make the channel more user-friendly.