Hotel Channel Manager System – Complete Guide [2024]

Hotel Channel Manager System – Complete Guide [2024]

Effective hotel distribution maximizes revenue, optimizes occupancy, and helps you reach a broader audience.

At the heart of efficient distribution management lies the Channel Manager system—an indispensable tool for connecting your hotel with multiple online distribution channels.

But how to benefit most from it, and what features to look for in a Channel Manager to choose the optimal one for your hotel?

Read on to find out how a top Channel Manager system can transform your hotel business.

Let’s dive in!

What is The Hotel Channel Manager System?

A Channel Manager system manages and distributes room inventory across various online booking channels.


Its primary function is to synchronize room availability, rates, and restrictions in real time across multiple distribution channels, such as:

  • Online travel agencies (OTAs), 
  • Global distribution systems (GDS), 
  • Wholesalers,
  • Metasearch
  • Booking Engines, and
  • Social media pages.

How Does The Hotel Channel Manager System Work?

Imagine you have units you want to advertise on, let’s say, 5 OTA channels. 

If it weren’t for a Channel Manager, you’d have to constantly update availability and prices, which would be a very arduous and error-prone task.

However, with the Channel Manager, you can avoid over or double-bookings and eliminate time lags and human errors.

It synchronizes room inventory in real time between the hotel’s PMS or central reservation system and the connected distribution channels, such as OTAs, GDS, etc.


This way, the Channel Manager automatically updates availability on all channels, so

you can be sure that room availability is consistent across all those channels.

Why Should You Have a Hotel Channel Manager System?

In addition to saving time and eliminating double bookings, implementing a Channel Manager system provides a load of benefits regarding room inventory.

1. Centralized Inventory Management

A Channel Manager allows you to centrally manage room inventory across multiple distribution channels, ensuring consistent and up-to-date availability information.

Thus, you can view and manage all channels from a centralized dashboard without having to switch between channels.

💡 ProTip:

With OTA SYNC, you can: 

  • Easily manage reservations with drag and drop, 
  • Do quick check-ins and -outs, 
  • Check payment and reservation status, 
  • Automatically assign rooms, all from a central place.

2. Increased Online Visibility

Accessing a variety of distribution channels allows you to tap into new markets more easily and attract more potential guests.

What’s more, you can also factor in social media and your own website to maximize impact and cover all booking possibilities.

Therefore, you can expand your reach, and consequently increase online visibility that will drive more bookings and revenue.

📌 Note:

While listing on major OTAs is a great way to boost visibility, don’t rely solely on big players—Instead, connect with more niche channels that cater to your audience.

For example, if you want to attract guests from China, you should connect with Ctrip or Fliggy, which Chinese travelers frequently use.

Simply put, combining global channels with more niche ones will expand your distribution strategy.

3. Rate Parity

The Channel Manager maintains consistent room rates across all distribution channels to ensure fairness and transparency for guests regardless of the channel they use.

Rate parity enhances the guest booking experience and provides a competitive advantage by preventing rate undercutting or disparities across channels.

Furthermore, it is essential for effective revenue management strategies since it allows you to optimize pricing decisions and implement dynamic pricing strategies across all channels.

💡 ProTip:

OTA SYNC enables you to apply special rules for certain periods and seasons and adjust and adapt your price depending on market conditions, seasonality, special holidays, etc.


Thus, you can attract new guests or reward loyal ones with special discounts and price rates that will reflect on all channels.

4. Efficient Room Distribution

Automating the distribution of room inventory, rates, and availability streamlines the booking process.

  • Rate Management—The Channel Manager system automates updating room rates across channels based on your pricing strategies.

Thus, all the rate changes will instantly reflect on the connected channels to maintain rate parity.

  • Real-Time Updates—Changes, such as new bookings, cancellations, or modifications, trigger immediate updates across all connected channels. 

This ensures that all distribution partners have the most current information on room availability and rates.

  • Availability Controls—Through the Channel Manager system, you can set restrictions on room availability, such as the minimum length of stay, closed-out dates, and stop-sell limits. 

This puts you in control to prevent overbookings and any discrepancies. 

For example, with OTA SYNC, you can apply restrictions and set minimum and maximum stays to maximize revenue. 

If you set minimum stay requirements during high-demand periods or events, you can fill rooms for peak periods and prevent gaps in the booking calendar, leading to increased occupancy and revenue.


When you set minimum and maximum stay rules, it allows you to plan staffing, housekeeping schedules, and other operational aspects more effectively.

✨If you offer incentives or discounts for guests who book stays that meet the minimum or exceed the maximum requirements, you can encourage longer bookings and drive direct bookings through their website.

5. Time and Cost Savings

The Channel Manager systems automate time-consuming manual tasks, such as updating rates and availability across multiple channels, saving valuable time Furthermore, by eliminating manual errors that lead to under or overbookings, you can also reduce operational costs while boosting guest satisfaction and experience.

6. Data Analysis and Reporting

In order to make data-driven decisions and not rely on assumptions and predictions, the Channel Manager will provide you with reporting tools and analytics to:

  • Track performance metrics, 
  • Monitor booking trends, 
  • Analyze channel profitability, etc.

The valuable data and insights that you’ll collect should help you optimize revenue management strategies.

💡 ProTip:

OTA SYNC’s reporting tool provides advanced analytics and helps you manage revenue, finance & in-hotel reports.

Therefore, you can get insights into revenue, occupancy, length of stay, and other valuable metrics to see where your hotel shines and where it can improve.


Moreover, we can email you specific reports at your desired frequency, and you don’t need to log into the system or set any parameters manually.

What To Look For in a Hotel Channel Manager System?

The benefits that a Channel Manager provides already speak heaps of its robust features.

Nonetheless, there are a few more things you should consider when choosing the optimal channel manager system for your hotel.

1. OTA Connectivity

We’ve already mentioned how important it is to connect to various OTAs and distribution systems. 

Thus, opt for a Channel Manager that provides connections that are relevant to your guest base and niche.

Naturally, check if the Manager connects to major OTAs and if it offers API integrations or iCal links for maximizing distribution strategies.

iCal links provide a universal format for calendar sharing, so you can easily connect with a wide range of booking platforms and distribution channels. 

This flexibility allows you to expand your reach and visibility without the need for complex integrations.

💡 ProTip:

Besides providing connections with all major OTAs, OTA SYNC also has its own iCal link generator for channels not on the list.

Therefore, you can sync your availability calendar across different platforms by updating one central calendar that pushes changes to all linked channels.

Furthermore, we offer API integration, so you can choose to customize the widgets we provide or use our API to develop your own solution.

2. 2-Way XML Connection

2-way connectivity means that the systems continuously exchange info about rates, bookings, availability, and restrictions. 

This way, all the data is constantly in sync and updated in real time and as a result, you eliminate the chance of overbooking or a mismatched price.

Another important factor related to the XML connection is the speed at which the Channel Manager processes bookings and changes.

The faster it is, the lesser the chance of discrepancies between channels.

💡 ProTip:

With an average reservation import speed of 5 seconds and a 2-way XML connection, OTA SYNC provides fast and secure info exchange and synchronization.

3. Integrations with Important Systems

The Channel Manager is a powerful tool, without a doubt, but it shouldn’t be a solo player.

It should seamlessly integrate and be compatible with your PMS, Booking Engine, CRM, and other systems you use regarding hotel management.

Centralizing all info in one place will make hotel running much more efficient and easier, allowing for smooth data flow between the systems.

Consequently, you’ll minimize hiccups and missteps in daily operations.

💡 ProTip:

Our Channel Manager has native integrations with the PMS & Booking Engine, meaning that all the changes and synchronizations will take place simultaneously.

Furthermore, thanks to integrations with the Booking Engine, you can use the booking system on your website as an additional sales channel, with synchronized prices and bookings across all channels.

4. Training and System Set Up

Changing to a new system is always stressful and intimidating, especially if you have never done it before.

Thus, if possible, opt for a hotel Channel Manager that has a user-friendly interface with great customer service and enough training.

All these factors can make a learning curve less steep and get you up and running much quicker.

Did you know the OTA SYNC’s onboarding process takes less than a day, and you don’t need external help from an account manager? 😎

On top of that, the dashboard is easy to navigate and is great for newbies.

5. Mobile App

Having a mobile app gives you the freedom and flexibility to manage bookings and everyday hotel operations on the go and get instant access to all the updates and changes.

Therefore, it is a good idea to look for a Channel Manager that has a user-friendly and intuitive interface.

💡 ProTip:

With an Android and iOS-compatible mobile app, OTA SYNC enables you to instantly access the full PMS features, including the Channel Manager and Booking Engine.


You can manage and check reservations and all the important details on the go and edit reservations with a single click.

Wrapping It Up

Hotel Channel Manager system represents much more than a tool to connect you to multiple distribution channels.

You can use it as a great asset to facilitate price and availability management, ultimately resulting in more reservations, revenue, and longer-term business.

Nonetheless, the best way to leverage its powerful benefits is to integrate it with an all-in-one PMS that provides an overall solution for managing your hotel

Enter, OTA SYNC! 🚀

Master Hotel Distribution With OTA SYNC

OTA SYNC is an all-encompassing online PMS that combines robust features to streamline and facilitate every aspect of hotel operations and management.

Packed with the Channel Manager, Booking Engine and Payment Processor, our tool provides everything you need to make running your business more efficient.

🔥 Customize the look of your online booking forms, emails, invoices, and settings, including custom logos and colors.

🔥 Instantly process payments and let your guests decide which payment methods they prefer and which currency.

🔥 Run multiple properties from the centralized dashboard without switching tabs.

🔥 Set dynamic pricing based on your criteria and parameters.

🔥 Improve guest experience and satisfaction via our Guest App and provide tailored recommendations and tips, quick check-ins, etc.

🔥 Choose from multiple calendar layouts and views, and check the room status, number of nights, floor plans, etc.


Ready to see what more have we got in store for you?

Start the OTA SYNC journey for free and unlock the secrets of effective hotel distribution.

Keep Learning:

13 Tips on How to Improve Hotel Sales [Complete Guide]

Channel Manager vs PMS – What’s the Difference?

5 Best Hotel Channel Manager Software for Hotels

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