Sales Channel Manager   ...   Main menu / Admin / Sales Channel Manager
 
The hoteliport Sales Channel Manager manages two types of sales-channel:
  1. (Offline) Travel Agents
    An "Offline Travel Agent" is a traditional type of travel agent which sends reservations to the hotel by phone, fax or email.
    These agents each have their own hoteliport Agent Profile and can be assigned a specific rate-plan such that, when their bookings are manually entered into hoteliport, the correct billing information and rates are automatically set.
    Typically, Offline Travel Agents must maintain their overview of rates and availability through frequent personal contact with the hotel.
    (hoteliport is developing an online system which will enable these agents to reference rates and availability and make immediately-confirmed bookings via hoteliport.com).
     
  2. Online Travel Agents (OTAs)
    Online Travel Agents such as Expedia, Booking.com and HostelWorld each have their own hoteliport Agent Profile and can be assigned a specific set of rate-plans such that, when their bookings arrive automatically into hoteliport, the correct billing information and rates are chosen.
    Synchronization of rates and availability between hoteliport and Online Travel Agents is managed by the integration of OTA rate-plans into the channel-manager system.
    OTA rate-plans not only contain daily rates and restrictions, but they also contain the number of rooms of each type available ("Inventory") for each day. Every time a rate-plan is edited, and every time a reservation is entered, moved or cancelled in the system, the channel manager automatically uploads rates and availablity for the affected period and room-type to all connected OTAs.
 
Agent Profiles
Both offline travel agents and OTAs have Agent Profiles.
Profiles contain identifying information used for contact, invoicing and reporting, and they also specify the rate-plan assigned to the agent.
 
•  To create a new agent
Open the Sales Channel Manager and click the New Channel button. Enter the agent's name and click Add. The new Agent Profile then opens.
 
Invoicing name, Agency Registration #, VAT #, Address and Contact Person appear in all invoices made for reservations billed to this agent.
Email is the email address used when sending invoices by email.
Rate-plan for manual input is the rate-plan used for all reservations made by this agent.
 
•  Copy to ...
Sales channels are specific to the hotel property being edited, so when profiles are created or modified they are saved to that property only.
This is because although the same agent may be used by several properties, the profile information may differ from property to property.
If your hoteliport account is for more than one property (a "group" account) you can use the Copy to ... function to copy Agent Profiles to other properties in the group.
You can then change property, edit the profile as required and then save without copying.
 
OTA Configuration
OTA Configuration is the process of setting up the connection between hoteliport and an Online Travel Agent.
This example uses a typical configuration for Expedia QuickConnect.
 
Choose the OTA from OTAs drop-down list. The OTA Configuration panel opens.
 
Hotel ID, Pricing Model, Username and Password are set by hoteliport and the OTA and cannot be edited.
 
•  Mapping
The names of room-types and rate-plans on the OTA web-site are not neccessarily the same as those in hoteliport.
The process of connecting room-type and rate-plans on both systems is called "mapping".
 
In the image above you can see three room-type names and their corresponding room-type IDs.
The room-type names are from hoteliport and the room-type IDs are from the OTA.
 
•  Mapping room-type IDs
Find the room-type ID in the list of Room-type and Rate-plan IDs and click to select it.
Press Ctrl C (hold down your Ctrl key and press C) to copy it, click your mouse-pointer in the Room-type ID input box and press Ctrl V to paste it in.
 
•  Base Alloc.
Base Allocation is the minimum number of rooms of each type allocated to the OTA (in this case Expedia) and it is set by hoteliport and the OTA and cannot be changed.
 
•  Max. Alloc.
Maximum Allocation is the maximum number of rooms of each type you want to allocate for sale by the OTA.
hoteliport will allocate all available inventory but you can limit the allocation by entering a lower value here.
 
Map all room-types in the same way and click Save Changes.
 
•  Mapping rate-plan IDs
Mapping rate-plan IDs is done in exactly the same way.
Click the rate-plan drop-down list for the room-type whose rate-plans to want to map.
The Rate-plan Mapping dialog opens as shown in the image below.
 
In the Rate-plan Mapping dialog, all hoteliport OTA rate-plans are listed on the left and rate-plans mapped to the OTA are listed on the right.
To copy a hoteliport rate-plan into the list for mapping, click its name in the list on the left.
To remove a rate-plan from the mapping list, click its name in the list on the right.
 
Find the rate-plan ID in the list of Room-type and Rate-plan IDs and click to select it.
Press Ctrl C (hold down your Ctrl key and press C) to copy it, click your mouse-pointer in the Rate-plan ID input box and press Ctrl V to paste it in.
 
For each rate-plan that you add to the list for mapping, a SAVE button appears. Enter the rate-plan ID and click SAVE.
 
•  Uploading Rate-plans
When rate-plan mapping is saved, you can use the Upload buttons to upload entire rate-plans to the OTA.
This function uploads the selected rate-plan from the current day for the next two years, or to the end of the rate-plan.
 
•  Downloading Rate-plans
This function is provided as an easy way to initialize rate-plans in new hoteliport accounts for Clients who already have Expedia accounts and active rate-plans on Expedia Partner Central (EPC).
First, make new OTA rate-plans in hoteliport and map them to their corresponding Expedia rate-plan IDs, then download from EPC as follows:
 
Click the Download Rate-plans button to open the Download Rate-plans dialog.
 
The Download Rate-plans dialog shows a list of hoteliport rate-plans and a list of hoteliport room-types.
Use the check-boxes to select the rate-plans you want to download and the room-types you want to download to.
The system uses the mapping information to find the corresponding rate-plans on EPC.
 
Use the drop-down lists to choose the first month and number of months you want to download
 
 
Differences between OTAs
The Online Travel Agent systems that hoteliport connects to are all technically different from each other - that is why there are slight differences in the OTA-Configuration pages for each OTA.
Although hoteliport presents as much as possible a uniform interface for each OTA, there are some basic differences that you should be aware of.
 
•  Rate-plans
Expedia EQC supports several rate-plans for each room-type, but Hostelworld WRI supports only one for each room-type.
 
Therefor, it is possible in hoteliport to map several rate-plans for each room-type for Expedia but rate-plan mapping is not required for Hostelworld. For Hostelworld, only one rate-pan can be selected per room-type.
 
Expedia EQC supports individual Minimum Length Of Stay (Min.LOS) settings for each and every date in every rate-plan, which means that different room-types can have different Min.LOS settings for the same dates and changes made to the Min.LOS settings in the rate-plan for one room-type do not affect any other room-types.
 
In Hostelworld, Min.LOS settings can also be defined for individual dates or date-ranges, but they apply to every room-type. Therefor, changes made to the Min.LOS settings for one room-type affect all other room-types too.
It may therefor be better to have a set of rate-plans specifically for Hostelworld instead of using the same rate-plans as Expedia.
 
•  Group Bookings
Hostelworld supports group-bookings but Expedia does not.
 
When multiple rooms are booked on Hostelworld, hoteliport creates a standard hoteliport group-booking with one invoice covering all rooms. When bookings are cancelled on Hostelworld, the whole group is cancelled.
 
When multiple rooms are booked on Expedia, hoteliport creates individual bookings each with its own invoice. Only the text in the RDF Notes links the rooms together. When bookings are cancelled on Expedia, only the specific room is cancelled.