The rise in online bookings as a ‘booking source’ continues to grow year on year. Alongside accepting online bookings via theirown website, campsite and holiday park owners have started to seek out additional sources that will generate more bookings for their accommodation, the most popular beingthe use of Online Travel Agents (OTAs). OTAs promote your accommodation on your behalf,amplifying the power of your marketing spend by helping to reach customers your own marketing efforts may never reach.
The need for Channel Management
Advertising on multiple OTAs without a channel manager can be an operational nightmare. Channel Management helps with the process of managing your online distribution channels in order to sell your accommodation via OTAs. Without a channel manager you open yourself up to risk of double bookings. Manually updating multiple calendars is time-consuming and mistakes can easily occur. A common assumption is that it is sufficient to connect one OTA to another. However, this is not the case and can lead to many more issues. OTAs should be connected toone central system.Having a channel manager means the whole process of availability synchronisation between your booking system and OTAsis automated, free from the threat of double bookings.
Over-reliance on OTAs
Another common mistake is the over-reliance on OTAs to generate bookings. Holiday parks should focus on generating commission free bookings via their own website first and using OTAs simply as a supplement to this. OTAs shouldn’t be the main source of bookings; they should be used as an additional tool to help generate bookings in low season or during midweek when bookings can be quieter.
Many holiday parks have a misconception that they have to list all of their accommodation or give away all of their availability to OTAs. A handful of your availabilitywill provide enough visibility on the OTAs’sites. Remember you ultimately want as many bookings for your accommodation to be made directly through your own booking system.You don’t want to be paying commission for bookings that you know you can generate from your own efforts.
In summary, it is important that campsites andholiday parks implement their own online booking system first before going down the route of advertising on OTAs. Done right, channel management can increase your bookings and help you generate additional revenue for your holiday park.
If you would like to find out more about channel management email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 020 8133 1005 or visit www.campmanager.com/Channel-Manager/