Channel Manager vs PMS – What’s the Difference?

Channel Manager vs PMS – What’s the Difference?

Attempting to expand your hospitality business without a proper management system and solution is a Sisyphean task.

The good news is that the Channel Manager and PMS have addressed the most common hoteliers’ pain points like double bookings and running a multitude of everyday tasks.

However, for those new to the industry, the differences between these tools may not always be clear. 

To help you, we’ve compared the Channel Manager vs. PMS so you can see which one might suit you better.

Let’s dive in!

Channel Manager: What Is It?

A Channel Manager is a software that property owners and managers use to update and manage:

  • The property’s availability, 
  • Rates, 
  • Bookings across multiple online travel agencies (OTAs) and 
  • Booking websites from a single platform. 

This way, you can streamline your operations, save time, and ensure that your inventory information is up-to-date and consistent across all channels.

Some of the big names in the field are: OTA SYNC, Cloudbeds, Avantio, Hotelogix, SiteMinder, etc.

What Are The Key Features of The Channel Manager?

  • Channel Management – Allows you to manage all your OTA channels or distribution partners from a single platform.
  • Rate Management –  Lets you easily adjust room rates, markups, and promotions based on occupancy levels, seasons, and market demand.
  • Inventory Management – Enables you to allocate inventory to each OTA channel based on historical performance or commission rates.
  • Reservation Management – Allows you to receive reservations from all channels and automatically update your availability calendars, manage changes, cancellations, or no-shows from a single dashboard.
  • Reporting and Analytics – Provides detailed revenue, occupancy, and channel performance reports and analysis of booking trends, conversion rates, and customer preferences to optimize pricing and marketing strategies.
  • Integration and Connectivity – Allows you to integrate your channel manager with other hotel software systems like PMS, CRM, or booking engines.

Property Management System (PMS): What Is It?

The PMS is software that helps property owners and managers handle all aspects of managing hotels and rental properties:

The main aim of the PMS is to automate daily tasks and simplify the property management process.

Currently, popular PMS solutions are OTA SYNC, Oracle Hospitality, innRoad, Mews, etc.

What Are The Key Features of The PMS?

  • Front Desk Management – Helps hotel staff manage guest reservations, check-ins and -outs, room assignments, availability, and reservation tracking.
  • Revenue Management – Provides real-time data on room availability, occupancy rates, pricing, and revenue and adjusts room rates dynamically based on demand.
  • Housekeeping Management – Helps manage housekeeping activities such as cleaning schedules, room status updates, and housekeeping requests.
  • Point of Sale (POS) – allows you to manage sales and inventory in hotel restaurants, bars, and gift shops, including menu management, order tracking, and payment processing.
  • Inventory Management – Helps you manage inventory levels and stock of supplies and amenities, track inventory usage, order supplies, and monitor costs.
  • Reporting –  Generates reports on occupancy rates, revenue, and expenses to identify trends, track performance, and make informed decisions.
  • Online Booking Engine – Allows guests to book rooms online through the hotel’s website or third-party booking platforms and can include additional functionality such as room upgrades, add-ons, and promotions.

Channel Manager vs. PMS: How Do They Differ?

A Channel Manager and PMS are essential tools for managing hotel reservations and maximizing occupancy rates.

However, they serve different purposes.


Overall, PMS caters to internal hotel operations, while a Channel Manager focuses on external distribution channels and allows hotels to reach a wider audience.


In addition, PMS covers a broader range of functions, whereas a Channel Manager is much more specific.

Nowadays, many PMS include the Channel Manager within their scope.

Channel Manager vs. PMS: Which One Might Suit Your Needs Better?

Both PMS and Channel Manager have their unique benefits, and the right choice will depend on the needs and requirements of your hotel. 


Expanding your hotel’s reach and visibility through external channels is one of your primary goals if you are just embarking on a hospitality journey.

Thus, opting for the Channel Manager makes more sense.

However, the Channel Manager alone isn’t enough as your business grows or you run multiple properties.

Then, you’ll need a more complex solution that prioritizes internal operations, too – PMS.

Ultimately, many hotels use a PMS and a Channel Manager to optimize their internal operations and distribution management.

What’s more, there is a hospitality solution where you don’t have to choose between the two but reap the benefits of both – OTA SYNC.

OTA SYNC – An All-In-One PMS

OTA SYNC is an all-encompassing cloud hotel and property management system with 3 main goals:

✨ To streamline your everyday internal hotel operations,

✨ To increase your hotel’s visibility and outreach, and

✨ To provide your guests with the ultimate guest experience.

So, how does our software achieve that? It offers a wide array of features and tools under one roof:

🛎️ PMS – A front-desk centralized system that facilitates and automates daily tasks from managing room availability, pricing strategy, and restrictions to reporting.

🛎️ Channel Manager – A powerful assistant in making your property more visible in real time across OTA and booking channels.

🛎️ The Booking Engine – A central reservation system that displays live availability and rates, provides upselling and cross-selling of relevant products and services, etc.

🛎️ The Multi-property Dashboard – A centralized platform to manage multiple properties without the need to switch tabs.

🛎️ OTA Payments – A fully integrated payment gateway that instantly processes transactions in a safe and secure way.

🛎️ Guest App – A fully customizable app that improves guest experience and satisfaction by suggesting tailored recommendations and tips, quick check-ins, etc.

What other benefits are in store for you?

🔥 Easy onboarding without needing external assistance.

🔥 Instant access to all key figures and reservations, including an MRZ scanner for guest documents via our mobile app.

🔥 Plug and play revenue booster that allows dynamic pricing based on your criteria and parameters.

🔥 Flexible tax and general settings that you can easily set up and make market-specific.

🔥 Advanced business intelligence that gives you valuable performance insights, in-depth business analysis, and reporting.

Thus, we address full hotel management, and with the Channel Manager naturally integrated with our PMS, you can manage everything from a single platform.

Ready to test the OTA SYNC’s waters?

Sign up for OTA SYNC today to take your property management to the next level.


1. Are PMS and The Channel Manager The Same?

While there may be some functionality overlap, they are two distinct systems designed to achieve different goals.

PMS is a tool for managing internal hotel operations, while the Channel Manager focuses on managing external distribution channels.

2. What Is The Role of The Channel Manager?

The Channel Manager connects the hotel’s inventory to OTAs and other booking platforms, making it easy for guests to book rooms through those channels. 

Moreover, it synchronizes room availability, prices, and other information across all channels to avoid overbooking.

3. What Is The Difference Between PMS And The Booking Engine?

The main difference is that PMS manages internal, everyday hotel operations, whereas the Booking Engine enables guests to book a room directly from the hotel’s website.

Keep Learning:

5 Best Hotel Channel Manager Software in 2024

When Is The Right Time to Change Your PMS?

Why Should You Choose a Cloud PMS Over Onsite PMS?

Related Posts