Channel management (in hospitality) refers to organizing and controlling the distribution of inventory, synchronizing availability and rates information across multiple booking channels. Diversifying distribution and developing the optimal channel mix (e.g., GDSs, OTAs, wholesalers, metasearch, etc.) is vital to expand customer reach, boost occupancy, and increase profits.
Manual channel management is possible with small or niche properties with few distribution channels. Larger hospitality service providers use channel managers, which are software tools that automate distribution management by syncing data delivery in real-time and providing consistency across channels. This is how hotels and vacation rentals can avoid double- or overbooking. Channel managers also generate reports, giving an understanding of how different distribution channels perform, assisting with analytics, and serving as a basis for revenue management decisions.