Hotel Channel Manager Guide [Benefits, Importance, & More]

hotel channel manager

Imagine that you want to plan a vacation around seeing your favorite band in concert. After repeatedly refreshing the ticket purchasing page and waiting for the second they drop, you finally get through. It’s go time! You frantically click through the options and manage to land yourself killer tickets for the pit. The next step is likely going to be booking a flight, which you manage to do without a hitch.

After paying for tickets and your flight, you’re likely looking for a deal on one other critical aspect of your trip—accommodation. And where’s the first place you’re likely going to go to find a deal? That’s right—a website like Airbnb,, or Expedia.

hotel channel manager guide


These websites, called Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), are the key to getting the word out about your hotel in a heavily competitive market. The above scenario is performed by millions of people online every single day, so as an accommodation provider, it’s important that you take full advantage of the reach that these channels offer.

But with so many different popular OTAs out there, it might be tough for you to decide which ones to list with. You’ll want to be a bit picky, as each of these platforms makes money by taking a commission on each successful booking that’s done through their platform. When you’re first starting out, you’ll likely want to list with as many OTAs that fit your business as possible so you can see which ones net you the most bookings. However, managing your listings on so many different platforms can be time-consuming, especially for ensuring that pricing, descriptions, and images are all consistent and correct across all of the different platforms.

That’s where a hotel channel manager comes in.

In this article, we explore the particulars of hotel channel management, including what it is and why having a channel manager for hotels is so important for improving and maintaining your accommodation business.

What Is a Hotel Channel Manager?

A hotel channel manager is a piece of software that allows you to manage multiple OTA channels in one centralized location, meaning that you don’t have to visit each website individually and rely on their native tools to manage your listings. Most channel manager systems integrate with other essential tools in your hotel’s tech stack to offer a seamless experience, including property management software, online booking systems, revenue management systems, and reservation management software.

How Does a Hotel Channel Manager Work?

Hotel channel management software works by directly connecting and communicating with OTAs, either through an integration or API. This direct connection allows you to manage several aspects of your listings in one location:

  • Pricing, including dynamic pricing updates
  • Accommodation descriptions and images
  • Performance of each OTA (how many bookings they net you in a certain time period)

In other words, if a guest books a room on a website like Agoda or Expedia, your channel manager system handles the back-end process of updating your inventory availability across your other connected channels. This ensures that your hotel’s inventory is always accurate and up-to-date regardless of what platform a potential guest is viewing available bookings from. 

By being able to manage each OTA listing in one location, you not only save time but also ensure that each of your listings is correctly displayed across all platforms.

Functions of a Channel Manager for Hotel

A Channel Manager for hotels serves multiple functions aimed at optimizing room distribution, managing rates, and streamlining operations across various online distribution channels. Key functions of the software include:

1. Automatic Pricing Updates

Real-time pricing updates are among the most important functions of a channel manager for hotels. The majority of accommodation businesses today use dynamic pricing, which is a pricing strategy that uses current and historical data to determine the best prices for hotel rooms, events, amenities, and any other service that your hotel offers. A channel manager that syncs with a hotel’s dynamic pricing software allows updates to pricing to be pushed to each OTA automatically, eliminating the need for the revenue manager or hotel owner to manually visit each OTA and update pricing information.

2. Centralized OTA Management

A hotel channel manager allows you to manage multiple OTAs from one place, meaning you don’t have to visit each website to update your listings. This makes it infinitely easier to manage multiple channels without adding to your daily workload. 

3. Performance Analytics

Hotel channel management software provides performance analytics for the platforms that you connect it with, allowing you to easily see which OTAs grant you the most bookings. Some channel manager systems limit how many channels you can list with depending on the plan you have or make you pay for listings depending on who you’re listing with. For example, some hotel channel systems partner with certain OTAs, allowing you to list with those OTAs for free, but any additional listing is charged at a monthly cost. Performance analytics allow you to focus on the channels that are the most lucrative for your business, reducing your costs. 

Newbook offers unlimited channel listings, so you can list with as many OTAs as you want and list as many accommodation businesses as you want (extremely useful if you own multiple properties). 

4. Streamlined Operations

The combination of different automation that hotel channel manager software offers helps reduce the risk of errors associated with manually managing multiple booking platforms and frees up staff time by taking care of inventory management and rate changes. 

5. Controlled Distribution

Revenue managers and hoteliers can set allocation rules, restrictions, and stop-sell limits for different types of accommodations for specific channels or room types. This allows the hotel to maintain complete control over its inventory while at the same time utilizing automation to reduce workload.

How a Channel Manager for Hotels Improves Business

hotels improves business

The biggest way that a channel manager for hotels helps improve business performance is by increasing awareness that the hotel exists for the business’s target audience. Getting your hotel in front of the right eye at the right time is key to building your customer base and attracting new guests. 

Here are some specific ways that a hotel channel manager boosts your business’s revenue:

1. Improves Online Reach

Listing your hotel with multiple OTAs is a great way to get started with improving your business’s reach. Considering that four out of five people who end up booking a hotel online at least visit an OTA at some point during their research process, with 80% of people ending up using an OTA to actually book accommodations, the power of OTAs in increasing awareness can’t be overstated. 

But there’s also research that suggests that once a guest books a hotel through an OTA, they will be more likely to book directly next time. This is because of a few reasons:

  • Guests want a personalized experience. Personalization is huge across multiple industries, hospitality included. Booking directly often provides a much more personalized experience because guests can have one-on-one conversations with customer service agents or take advantage of a tailored online booking experience (such as the one provided through Newbook) that allows a hotel to give more control to the guest to craft their vacation experience by including different services, amenities, and more in the booking process. Hotels can also encourage direct bookings that feel more personal through loyalty programs and referrals. 
  • The billboard effect. In the hospitality industry, the billboard effect occurs when potential guests find information on a hotel or other accommodation business through an OTA, but instead of booking with them, visit the business’s website directly to gather more information before finally making a direct booking. In this way, the OTA acts as a “billboard” advertisement, leading the guest to the hotel’s website where special offers, discounts, loyalty programs, and other enticing promotions can be used to ultimately convince the guest to book.
  • They now know about the hotel, so don’t bother with an OTA. Using an OTA is a great way to discover new accommodation businesses in a certain area without having to rely on search engines or social media. You simply type in a location and price range and select from a host of other search filters to find the perfect recommendations in one place. However, once a guest finds a good place to stay and has a good experience, they are much more likely to cut out the middleman (the OTA in this case) and book directly instead. 

2. Allows You To Accept Bookings Faster

Given that a hotel channel manager works to help you increase your hotel’s reach online while at the same time handling key actions like pricing and availability updates automatically, you’ll be able to accept more bookings without the additional workload. With Newbook, you can take the automation further by taking advantage of the system’s automated triggers. For example, when a room is successfully booked, you can set an automatic trigger to schedule a room cleaning to ensure that the room is ready for the guest once they check-in. 

3. Streamlines Operations

By taking advantage of the automation that a hotel channel manager offers, you can eliminate some manual processes from your hotel’s daily operations. The exact operations that you can automate might differ from hotel to hotel, but in general, you’ll be able to automate some aspects of scheduling and room preparation. This allows staff to prioritize their time to focus on more high-value tasks, such as delighting guests. 

4. Helps You Keep Rooms Full

All accommodation businesses experience the ebbs and flows of seasonality, but a hotel channel manager can help lessen the impact. Being able to list your business on different channels helps expand your reach to different types of customers so you can continue to attract guests all year. For example, let’s say that you run a hotel that’s an hour away from a ski resort. During the Winter season, you can list with an OTA that specializes in attracting skiers, increasing your chances of keeping your rooms occupied during a time when you might otherwise have less revenue coming in. 

Given that Newbook doesn’t limit the number of listings you can have on your hotel channel manager, you can experiment with different OTAs to find out which ones work best for your business. 

channel manager newbook

Benefits of a Hotel Booking Channel Manager

Aside from increasing your reach and allowing you to easily manage your online listings, a hotel booking channel manager provides multiple benefits for your business, including:

  • Helping to create a seamless guest experience. When you can manage all of your listings through one centralized hotel booking channel manager, it helps ensure that you’re providing a consistent experience for your guests no matter where they are booking from.
  • Avoiding overbooking. When your hotel channel manager is integrated with your PMS and booking engine, you can easily avoid overbookings through automation. For example, Newbook’s channel manager supports real-time availability updates, meaning that if someone books a room on one platform, the availability of that room will be updated across all of your OTA channels. This eliminates the potential for overbookings by ensuring that potential guests can only choose from the latest available rooms.
  • Pricing is always accurate across all systems. Similar to availability updates, most channel manager hotel software supports real-time pricing updates. This ensures that all the OTAs you list display the correct rates for your rooms, events, and amenities, helping to avoid discrepancies that could lead to unsatisfied guests. 
  • Cost savings. A hotel channel manager helps minimize the risk of revenue loss due to overbookings and maximizes revenue potential through optimized rate management, ultimately contributing to cost savings.
  • Time and labor efficiency. Channel manager systems reduce manual workload by automating inventory updates and rate changes, freeing up staff time to focus on guest services and other essential tasks.

Considerations Choosing a Hotel Channel Manager System

choosing a hotel channel manager system

When you’re researching different options for a hotel channel manager system, you’ll likely notice that there are a lot of options available on the market. This can make it difficult to make a decision, especially since most of the platforms will seem like they offer the same features and functionality. 

In general, there are a few key features that you should ensure that the system you choose offers:

  • Automatic pricing and availability updates in real-time across all channels
  • Integration support for the dynamic pricing feature of revenue management software (this allows the most up-to-date pricing to appear on every OTA you list with)
  • Support for your centralized reservation system

In addition to making sure the hotel channel manager software offers these essential features, there are other considerations that you should keep in mind, as outlined in the table below:

Hotel Channel Manager Consideration Why it Matters
User-friendly interfaceStreamlines onboarding, reducing training timePromotes employee engagement and utilization, fostering quicker adoption
Robust data securityProtects sensitive business and customer data with SSL and TLS encryptionAligns with top-tier security standards adopted by leading channel managers
Unlimited property listingsAllows listing multiple properties across various OTAs without added expensesEnsures limitless scalability, crucial for future expansion and adaptability
Seamless connection to popular OTA websitesProvides effortless connections to major OTAs, maximizing property visibilitySimplifies the channel setup process, often requiring just a few clicks
Detailed analytics Helps in selecting lucrative OTAs for effective business strategiesOffers insights into OTA fees and charges, allowing better spending prioritization

Why Newbook’s Channel Manager Booking System Is the Best Option for Hoteliers

These days, accommodation providers often have a lot of software in their tech stack. This can result in siloed content and miscommunication, which can affect the guest experience and ultimately your hotel’s revenue potential.

Newbook offers channel, property, and revenue management for your accommodations business, focusing on centralization. This ensures a single, reliable source of truth for single or multiple properties, simplifying business management.

Centralized control streamlines channel management and reduces the risk associated with additional third-party software. Increased reliance on intermediary software heightens the likelihood of downtime, impacting accurate listings on various booking channels due to potential errors or malfunctions.

Newbook’s Online Channel Manager integrates seamlessly with popular OTAs like Airbnb, Expedia, and, providing robust functionality within its fully-featured PMS. This native channel management system allows unlimited listings at no extra cost, a feature often absent in other solutions.

hotel software newbook

Moreover, Newbook’s unique ability to manage multiple listings across various properties sets it apart from typical channel managers. This functionality significantly enhances the ease and speed of managing your property listings.

The reliability of Newbook’s system, boasting a 99.99% uptime rate, is noteworthy compared to most property management providers’ 99% uptime rate. The difference may seem slight but translates to a substantial variance in potential outage time.

Reliability Rate BreakdownWhat it Means
99%99% uptime translates to a potential outage of 3 days, 15 hours, and 39 minutes annually.
99.99%99.99% uptime means only 52 minutes and 35 seconds of potential outage annually.

For businesses heavily reliant on accurate OTA updates for bookings, a three-day outage poses significant challenges—either allowing incorrect information on OTAs, risking overbookings and pricing discrepancies, or managing the situation manually, causing undue stress. Choosing software with a higher uptime rate, like Newbook, ensures more reliable and consistent operations.

Hotel Channel Management Strategies: 4 Tips for Hoteliers to Implement

Here are several important strategies that hoteliers can implement to improve their channel management efforts:

1. Channel Selection

It’s important to choose the right mix of OTA channels based on your target audience. At first, you may want to experiment with some major players, but it’s also important to choose OTAs that speak to your hotel’s niche to find repeat customers. By prioritizing the channels that align the closest with your property’s brand, you’ll get the best chance for increasing bookings.

2. Optimize Descriptions and Images

Take the time to craft consistent and compelling content across all your channels. High-quality images of your property and amenities alongside detailed descriptions can have a significant impact on guest decision-making.

3. Integration and Automation

To ensure that your hotel has a seamless tech stack, integrate your channel manager with the other software your hotel uses. This helps facilitate seamless data transfer and a seamless workflow experience. 

4. Training and Staff Engagement

Ensure staff are well-trained in utilizing the channel management system effectively. Their understanding and engagement can significantly impact its success. If staff find the system difficult to use or find that it makes their job take longer than before, then they will be less likely to want to use it. 


Effective hotel channel management plays a pivotal role in driving the success and revenue of accommodation businesses in a competitive market. With the increasing reliance of travelers on Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) for bookings, hoteliers must leverage the potential of these platforms to maximize their reach and revenue.

A hotel channel manager serves as a central hub, streamlining the management of multiple OTA channels, optimizing pricing strategies, ensuring data accuracy, and enhancing the overall guest experience. By automating processes, such as pricing updates, inventory management, and distribution across various platforms, a channel manager not only saves time but also minimizes errors and reduces the risk of overbookings.

The implementation of a robust channel management strategy involves careful channel selection, optimization of content and imagery, integration with other systems, and comprehensive staff training. Newbook emerges as a prominent solution, offering a fully-featured channel, property, and revenue management system that prioritizes centralization, reliability, and seamless integration with major OTAs.

The impact of a reliable channel manager on business performance cannot be overstated. It expands online reach, enables faster booking acceptance, streamlines operations, and helps maintain consistent occupancy even during seasonal fluctuations. Ultimately, investing in a proficient hotel channel manager like Newbook maximizes revenue potential and ensures a seamless and personalized guest experience—a cornerstone for long-term success in the hospitality industry.

For a robust and effective channel management solution, contact Newbook today for a demo or to discuss the product directly with a sales professional.

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