Distribution Strategy and Channel management
Your distribution strategy and a carefully planned, effective channel management policy, in many respects, is the key to your reservations success at your hotel.
So what exactly is a “Distribution Strategy” and why should you as a boutique property have one as part of your revenue management plan?
A Distribution Strategy determines when and through which channels to sell your rooms, taking into account the costs involved for each channel and possible achieved rates. The more places you can be found online the larger your digital footprint and the more traffic and guests you are able to attract.
The distribution channels you choose are effected by not only their cost effectiveness, but also by:
- Knowing your different traveller segments
- Knowing your pricing strategies
- Selecting channels wisely during off peak seasons
Strategic decisions can directly maximise your profitablity.
Your channels fulfill many roles:
- Listing your property for sale on their website
- Providing a method for your guests to book accommodations at your property
- Sending your guest bookings to the appropriate system (such as a connected channel manager, directly to your email, to a Property Management System, etc.)
There are a wide range of distribution channels to choose from, each of which bring a unique benefit to your distribution mix.
Main Recommended Channels:
- Travel Agents and Tour Operators,
- OTAs, – Online travel agencies, or OTAs, are one of the most vital components of your distribution strategy. Some of the most famous OTAs include Booking.com, Expedia, Orbitz.com, Hotels.com and Priceline.com and although this is usually the most costly distribution channel for hotels, there are numerous benefits. Read here on how you can optimize this relationship.
- Tourist Offices
- Sales Representatives
- Your Hotel Website. – The most cost effective online distribution channel for your hotel is your own website. A hotel’s website is the only online distribution channel where they can generate direct sales, without having to pay a commission to a third party.
TIP: Your distribution strategy should incorpoarte both online and more traditional offline channels like your local tourism bureau, sales reps and travel desks.
Once you have selected the key distribution channels which suit your property, Channel Management is vital to ensure you optomise each of these platforms / channels. It is imperative that your channel manager is able to update your pricing based on market demands and consumer trends, and thereby maximise your bookings and revenue.
Wondering how to decide on a channel manager?
The Reservation office is able to assist you in auditing our distribution channels and work with you in setting up an effective distribution strategy.