Channel Management for Travel Brands - Know before you go.
As many tourism providers will know, there are a large number of providers that you can choose to join that offer Channel Management. Some profess to be the "Best" some profess to be "Free", some say they have the most channels and others just use the hard word to get you feeling that if you don't go with them you will miss out on the all important bottom line of increased bookings.
The true test of any system is two fold:
1. Do they offer channels that are actually relevant to your property and the market you want to target?
This is an important point to take into consideration as you can be sold on the idea that they have 20, 30 or more sites that you can connect to via their system, but in reality, there will only be a small number that really mean anything to your size or type of business and the market you are trying to attract.
2. Are they going to tie you into a contract that will bind you to stay with them for a certain time?
This, especially in today's market, is a very important point. There are some providers that get you to agree to a contract and offer all sorts of special listings and exposure, but when it comes to the crunch the international market trends change and can be fickle - dependant on the financial strength of the various economies, what's hot and not in world travel, new and improved travel websites that attract visitors away from older sites and a myriad of other variations.
To this end it is wise to get in touch with a tourism company that offers consulting as to who best would suit your business and what channels are going to get the best results for you.
My advice is to obtain sound tourism consulting from those who know so you don't waste your precious time and get sucked into the wrong channel. It is well worth it to start off on the right foot, it means you get in front of the right audience, with the right rates and message, and that can make all the difference for your tourism business.