Suppose you sell your rooms on different online booking portals (OTA, Online Travel Agency) and your website. In that case, you will immediately realize that updating them by hand one by one is a great job. Any downtime in the synchronization of availability exposes you to the risk of overbooking.
That's why you need a channel manager!
☞ Docs: What is an OTA?
If you have already created accounts on some of these popular portals, you know that each of them has its control panel (extranet) to set up your sales data, such as:
- The list of your room categories (Double, Triple, Family, etc.).
- The list of your rates (Standard rate, Not-refundable, Room-only, etc.)
- Daily sales data: availability and price of each room category
- Daily restrictions: minimum stay, sale closure, etc. for each room category.
If you don't have a Channel Manager: every time you want to modify a daily sales value (price, availability, restrictions), you have to access the extranet of each portal and adjust it manually. The availability (the data that changes most frequently) must be updated immediately on all portals for each reservation or each cancellation in the shortest time possible: a delay in synchronization exposes you to the risk of overbooking!
A Channel Manager performs this synchronization automatically in a few seconds!
A Channel Manager automatically synchronizes OTA data from a single centralized database: by configuring your data (availability, prices, restrictions) in our Tabla (both on Zak and Wubook), they will be automatically sent to all portals through XML updates.
Moreover, a Channel Manager integrates into a single calendar all the portals' reservations, with their subsequent changes and cancellations. Every time you receive a reservation in WuBooK (either from your website or from an OTA), the channel manager updates the connected OTAs' availability.
This "Two-ways" connection allows you to always have the correct availability in your calendar and update it in real-time on all your OTAs!
Multiconnections: connect different accounts of the same portal
In the same WuBook property, you can acquire multiple channels for different accounts on the same portal. For example, if on Booking.com you sell B&B rooms with one account and apartments with another account, you can activate on the same WuBooK property (which contains both apartments and B&B rooms), two separate Booking.com channels.
What a Channel Manager does not do
A Channel Manager generally (with a few exceptions) cannot change your OTA sales map and, in particular, can neither insert nor remove rooms or rates. These operations must be done directly from OTA's extranet, and in case of difficulty, you should contact OTA's assistance. After the direct intervention on the portal's extranet, it will be necessary to reconfigure the WooDoo channel or refresh the channel on Zak.
The Channel manager does not even manage the OTA cancellation policy, which should be set directly in the OTA rate details.