Recent News & Updates
Channel management – does it suit every hotel?
This week, we were delighted to have our new link to SiteMinder certified (more info). This is a significant step forward for Welcome, as we have purposefully relented from jumping on the full channel management bandwagon, opting instead to focus on the two 'big ones' – Laterooms and Booking.com. Beyond these two online travel behemoths, hotels' reliance on the myriad of additional online travel agencies (OTAs) dilutes considerably and we’ve been keen to find the best solution, commercially, for our customers.
As time progresses, we will be developing our own direct links to many more OTAs including Expedia, LastMinute and Venere, but we wanted to be able to offer something sooner rather than later to those wishing to bring their hotel's online presence under one roof and synchronised with their Welcome system. Thankfully, we came across SiteMinder, who impressed us instantly with their breadth of OTA links and fair pricing model.
The link between Welcome and SiteMinder means that live rates and availability are automatically synchronised with OTAs and confirmed reservations sent back to the in-house booking chart without anyone at the hotel having to lift a finger. The time this saves is significant and, if our direct links with Booking.com and Laterooms are anything to go by, there’s even the chance of an upturn in channel business as a result.
You may find it odd, then, that I’ve titled this blog ‘Channel Management – does it suit every hotel?’…
Since the announcement of the SiteMinder link earlier this week, I’ve had lots of very interesting conversations with hoteliers and, whilst the vast majority see channel management as a significant benefit, there are a few who, quite simply, don’t.
The agents themselves won’t have you believe such hotels exist and nor will some PMS vendors, but I can’t help but agree channel management isn’t for everyone. If you’re lucky enough to either have a brand strong enough to cut through Google, or die-hard clientele who keep your occupancy on target , there’s a good chance you simply don’t need the help of an agency. And if that’s the case, fantastic! You can always rely on Welcome Online to deliver you profitable online booking.
I would therefore recommend anyone considering utilising our channel management service to give me a call to talk through the options. Along with SiteMinder, we can recommend the best course of action, whether that be to test the water with one or two agencies, spread your wings wide or to simply invest further in your own website.
I’d be delighted to hear from you. Please do not hesitate to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org, or give me a call on 07977 203426.