Channel Management Best Practices: Best Techniques for Boosting Your Bookings


Accommodation providers of all stripes know that these days, you need to be promoting your business online to capture new guests. When you think of online marketing, your first thoughts might be creating a website and being active on social media platforms. While these promotional practices are important, one of the best ways for a hotel, campground, RV park, vacation rental, or other type of accommodation business to get noticed is by listing with several online travel agencies, or OTAs. 

You’ve probably already heard of the world’s biggest OTAs: Airbnb, VRBO,, Expedia—these are just a few of the most well-known online travel agencies that millions of people use every single day to plan their vacations and book accommodations. In fact, a significant number of North Americans use online travel agencies to book vacations each year. According to the statistics from various sources across the internet (TravelPerk, TravelAge West, and Business of Apps), up to 80% of travelers around the world use OTAs for booking, and approximately 56% of them are from North America.

But there are literally hundreds of OTAs out there to list with, each with its own pros and cons and target audiences. Listing with OTAs is usually free, with you only having to give the company a cut if a guest successfully books with you. The percentage of the total booking fee that the OTA takes as a commission varies depending on the provider, usually ranging anywhere from 10–30%. The obvious tradeoff is that while you have to pay a commission to the OTA, you get access to a platform that drives bookings. Given the large number of people who book online with an OTA each year, it’s usually worth it. But with so many OTAs to choose from, choosing which OTAs to list with can be a struggle, at least in the beginning.

Most accommodation providers list many OTAs, in the beginning, to see which ones are the most lucrative in terms of helping them land bookings. Without using a channel manager, you’ll have to manually manage each listing, which can easily become near impossible, especially if you’re using dynamic pricing to automatically adjust your rates. With a channel manager, you can manage all your OTA listings in one place and make one global update to all of them to ensure consistency of your pricing, descriptions, and imagery across the board.

In this article, we dive deeper into channel management best practices, including the benefits of using channel management tools, key software features, and more.

The Importance of Channel Management Solutions

In the competitive landscape of the hospitality industry, effectively managing multiple distribution channels is crucial for maximizing bookings and revenue. This is where channel management solutions come into play, offering powerful tools that help accommodation providers streamline operations and enhance their market presence.

What is Channel Management?

Channel management in the context of the accommodation industry refers to the process of managing and distributing hotel room inventory across various online booking platforms, such as OTAs, GDS (Global Distribution Systems), and the accommodation provider’s own website. A channel management solution is essentially software that automates and synchronizes the availability, rates, and bookings across all these channels to optimize occupancy and revenue.

There are three main functions of channel management solutions, as indicated in the table below:

Key Function of Channel Management SystemsDetails
Centralized inventory controlChannel managers allow accommodation providers to manage their inventory from a single interface, updating all channels simultaneously when changes are made.
Rate parity and consistency Ensures that all channels display the same rates for the same conditions, preventing discrepancies that can lead to customer dissatisfaction.
Real-time updatesAutomatically updates availability and rates in real-time, reducing the risk of overbooking and rate errors.

Benefits of Channel Management Tools


Using channel management tools can significantly benefit accommodation providers in various ways, enhancing their operational efficiency and competitive edge.

1. Increased exposure and bookings

Channel management solutions enable accommodation providers to connect with multiple distribution channels, dramatically widening their market reach. This increased visibility leads to more bookings, maximizing occupancy rates. By ensuring consistent availability and pricing across all platforms, these tools also help maintain a professional and reliable presence in the market.

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2. Enhanced revenue management

With robust channel management software, accommodation providers can implement dynamic pricing strategies more effectively. The software can analyze market demand and competitor pricing, allowing providers to adjust their rates in real time to attract more bookings at the most profitable rates. This strategic control over pricing helps maximize revenue per available room (RevPAR).

3. Improved operational efficiency

Managing multiple distribution channels manually is time-consuming and is prone to human error. Channel management tools automate the distribution and synchronization of rate and inventory updates, saving valuable time and reducing the risk of overbookings and other costly problems. This automation allows hotel staff to focus more on guest experience and other critical operational tasks.

4. Better customer satisfaction

Channel management solutions contribute to a smoother booking experience by eliminating discrepancies in room availability and pricing across different booking platforms. This consistency ensures that guests get what they expect, which is crucial for building trust and satisfaction. Additionally, reducing overbooking incidents leads to fewer cancellations and unhappy customers, enhancing the overall reputation of the accommodation.

5. Strategic insight and reporting

Advanced channel management systems provide analytics and reporting features that give accommodation providers valuable insights into their sales performance across different channels. These insights can help identify which channels are the most profitable and how different rates affect bookings, allowing managers to refine their sales strategies and allocate inventory more effectively.

6. Scalability

As accommodation providers grow, managing more rooms and expanding to new markets becomes more complex. Channel management tools scale with the business, supporting additional rooms and new channels without sacrificing performance. This scalability ensures that providers can expand their operations seamlessly.

7. Market penetration and diversification

Channel management solutions allow accommodation providers to easily connect with multiple distribution channels, including niche markets they might not otherwise target. By diversifying the channels through which rooms are offered, providers can tap into different segments of travelers, such as business travelers, luxury seekers, budget tourists, or international visitors. This broader market penetration can lead to an increase in bookings from diverse demographics, enhancing market reach and reducing dependency on a single source of guests.

8. Enhanced competitor analysis

Many channel management tools include features that allow accommodation providers to monitor competitors’ pricing and availability. This competitor analysis can be crucial in markets with high competition, helping providers adjust their pricing strategies based on real-time market conditions. By understanding how competitors are pricing their rooms and how full their bookings are, providers can better position themselves in the market to attract more guests.

9. Improved rate parity compliance

Rate parity is a common requirement from OTAs, ensuring that a property offers the same rates on all platforms, including the property’s own website. Managing rate parity manually across multiple channels can be challenging and time-consuming. Channel management tools automate this process, ensuring compliance with rate parity agreements and reducing the risk of penalties or restrictions from OTAs. This helps maintain good relationships with sales channels and keeps listings active and profitable.

10. Reduction in manual errors and administrative costs

Manual management of multiple booking channels can lead to errors such as double bookings, incorrect rate listings, and outdated room or site availability information. These errors can result in not only lost revenue and disrupted operations but also damage to the accommodation’s reputation. Channel management tools automate the update process across all platforms, significantly reducing the likelihood of such errors. Additionally, by decreasing the amount of manual labor needed to manage these channels, these tools can help reduce administrative costs. This automation allows staff to focus on more value-added activities, such as guest services and strategic planning.

5 Channel Management Best Practices


Effective channel management is crucial for hotels, resorts, and other accommodation providers in the hospitality industry. By optimizing how inventory, rates, and bookings are handled across various distribution channels, businesses can enhance their visibility, increase bookings, and ultimately boost revenue. Below are five channel management best practices in the hospitality industry.

1. Channel Options/Integrations

Here are two important points to consider when choosing different channels to list with.

  • Explore diverse channel options: To maximize reach, accommodation providers should consider a variety of distribution channels. These can include online travel agencies (OTAs), direct booking platforms, meta-search engines, and traditional travel agents. Each channel has its own audience and benefits, and using a combination can expand market reach.
  • Seamless integration: Ensure that the chosen channels are seamlessly integrated into your central management system. This integration allows for more efficient management of bookings and availability, ensuring consistency and accuracy across all platforms. Using integrated systems also helps in avoiding overbookings and discrepancies in room rates.

2. Developing a Channel Management Strategy

When developing a channel management strategy, it’s important to keep these points in mind.

  • Align strategies with business goals: Your channel management strategy should support your overall business objectives, whether it’s increasing occupancy, enhancing guest experience, or maximizing revenue. Set clear goals for each channel based on its strengths and the target audience it attracts.
  • Customize offerings for each channel: Not all channels will perform the same way, so it’s important to tailor your strategy for each one based on its specific characteristics and customer base. For instance, package deals might perform better on OTAs while exclusive offers might be more effective on direct booking platforms.

3. Automate with Software

Save time on hospitality operational management through the power of automation. 

  • Utilize robust channel management software: Automation is key in managing multiple channels efficiently. Invest in reliable channel management software that can automate the distribution and update of inventory and rates across all channels. This reduces the administrative burden and minimizes human error.
  • Features to look for: The best software solutions offer features like real-time synchronization, detailed performance analytics, and tools for rate management and booking confirmation. These features help streamline operations and ensure data consistency across all channels.

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4. Monitor and Manage Your Channel Data

The proof is in the data. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your channel data.

  • Regularly review performance data: Analyze performance across different channels to understand which are most effective at driving bookings and revenue. Look at metrics such as conversion rates, average daily rate (ADR), and revenue per available room (RevPAR).
  • Utilize analytics to inform decisions: Use the insights gained from data analytics to make informed decisions about pricing, promotional offers, and inventory allocation. Understanding trends and customer preferences can also help you tailor your marketing and operational strategies to better meet guest needs.

5. Adapt to Changes or Trends

As Bob Dylan says, “The Times They are a Changin’”. It’s important to be aware and ready to adapt to new innovations and information that comes about in the hospitality industry so your business can be ready to embrace them.

  • Stay informed about market trends: The hospitality industry is highly dynamic, with guest preferences and behaviors constantly evolving. Keep abreast of industry trends, such as changes in traveler demographics, emerging technologies, or new consumer expectations.
  • Be flexible and responsive: Be prepared to quickly adapt your channel management strategy based on market conditions and performance data. This might involve shifting focus between channels, altering pricing strategies, or updating your marketing approach. Flexibility can help you stay competitive and responsive to market demands.

Channel Management Examples & Key Software Features

Hotels, resorts, and other accommodation providers often rely on a variety of distribution channels—including online travel agencies (OTAs), direct bookings through their own websites, and traditional travel agents—to reach potential guests. To manage these channels efficiently, robust channel management software is essential.

Channel Management Tools

Channel management software in the hospitality sector is designed to simplify and optimize how accommodations are marketed and sold across various channels. The right tool can dramatically improve how inventory, rates, and bookings are handled, ensuring that overbookings are avoided and revenue is maximized. 

Here are some essential features that effective channel management software should include:

Key Feature of Channel Management ToolsDescriptionBenefit 
Centralized reservation systemA unified platform where all bookings from various channels are collected and managed.This helps prevent overbookings and simplifies the management process by providing a single view of all reservations, regardless of the booking source. It ensures that all channel data is synchronized, from OTA bookings to direct reservations made through the hotel’s own website.
Real-time synchronizationThe ability to update inventory and rates in real-time across all channels.Real-time updates are crucial to avoid discrepancies in room availability and pricing. This feature ensures that when a room is booked through one channel, the availability is instantly updated across all other channels, thereby reducing the risk of double bookings and enhancing rate parity across platforms.
OTA rate parity managementTools to monitor and manage rate parity agreements with various OTAs and other sales channels.Rate parity is important for maintaining trust with guests who might shop around for the best price. The software ensures that all channels list rooms at agreed-upon rates, which helps avoid conflicts with OTAs and maintains consistency in pricing.
Automated booking confirmationAutomation of booking confirmation emails and updates to both guests and internal systems.Immediate confirmation emails enhance guest satisfaction by providing instant booking assurance and all necessary details about their stay. This automation also reduces the administrative burden on staff.
Detailed analytics and reportingComprehensive analytics tools that provide insights into channel performance, booking trends, and revenue management.Detailed reports help hotel managers understand which channels are most profitable and identify trends in guest bookings. This data is essential for making informed decisions about pricing strategies, promotional offers, and inventory distribution.
Multi-currency and language supportSupport for multiple currencies and languages to cater to international guests.This feature is particularly important for accommodations that attract a global clientele. It ensures that guests can book rooms and receive information in their preferred language and currency, significantly enhancing the user experience and potentially increasing international bookings.
Mobile optimizationMobile-friendly design that allows hotel staff to manage bookings and rates on the go.With mobile access, hotel managers and staff can quickly adjust rates, view booking statuses, and respond to availability requests from anywhere, providing greater flexibility and faster response times.

Why Newbook Provides the Best Channel Management


Accommodation providers frequently juggle numerous software systems, which can lead to disjointed information and communication issues. These inefficiencies can negatively impact guest experiences and, consequently, the revenue potential of a hotel.

Newbook addresses these challenges by offering integrated solutions for channel, property, and revenue management, emphasizing centralization. This approach provides a unified source of truth, whether for a single property or multiple locations, thereby streamlining business management.

The centralized control offered by Newbook minimizes the complexities associated with managing multiple third-party software systems. Relying heavily on various intermediary software solutions increases the risk of system downtime, which can disrupt accurate listings on different booking channels due to possible errors or system failures.

Newbook’s Online Channel Manager flawlessly integrates with leading OTAs like Airbnb, Expedia, and, and it is included as part of its comprehensive PMS. This inbuilt channel management capability allows for unlimited listings at no additional cost—a benefit not typically provided by other channel management solutions.

Furthermore, Newbook distinguishes itself with its capacity to handle multiple listings across various properties, significantly simplifying the management of your property listings and enhancing operational efficiency.

One of the standout features of Newbook is its reliability. The system boasts a 99.99% uptime rate, markedly higher than the industry-standard 99% uptime rate offered by most property management systems. Although the difference might seem minimal, it represents a significant reduction in potential downtime.

Reliability rate breakdown:

  • 99% Uptime: Translates to about 3 days, 15 hours, and 39 minutes of potential outage annually.
  • 99.99% Uptime: Translates to only approximately 52 minutes and 35 seconds of potential outage annually.

Even a short outage can pose considerable operational challenges for businesses that depend on precise, real-time OTA updates for bookings. Incorrect OTA information could lead to overbookings and pricing errors or require manual intervention, adding stress and workload. Opting for a software solution like Newbook, with its superior uptime rate, ensures more dependable and consistent operations, safeguarding your business against potential disruptions.

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Channel management is a critical strategy for accommodation providers aiming to maximize their bookings, expand their reach, and boost revenue across various online platforms. Utilizing effective channel management tools not only helps in efficiently managing room inventory and rates but also significantly boosts exposure to potential guests. As the market becomes increasingly digital and competitive, leveraging these tools becomes indispensable for maintaining a strong online presence and delivering consistent guest experiences. Therefore, investing in robust channel management solutions, like Newbook, which provides comprehensive and reliable services, can greatly enhance an accommodation provider’s ability to succeed in this dynamic industry. By optimizing channel strategies, following channel management best practices, and utilizing advanced software features, providers can ensure that their offerings are both visible and appealing to a wide audience, driving bookings and fostering business growth.

Discover how Newbook’s comprehensive property management system, which includes robust channel management, can help you expand your reach and land you more bookings. Reach out to us today for more information.

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