Cloudbeds integrates Property Management and Reservation Management functionalities with its Distribution Module, that is powered by a powerful Channel Management tool called MyAllocator.
The whole concept of Channel Management is based on the ideal of integrating an almost infinite number of hospitality businesses worldwide to a great (enormous!) number of Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) worldwide. Different hotels have different ways of working, and each OTA has its own procedures, settings and variables. This is puzzling, we know.
Some of these differences need to be considered when working with specific OTAs. Some can be managed through manual settings and some might require some tweaking in the way you manage Cloudbeds settings (specially inventory and rates). Without further ado, here are some details about the main channels used today by Cloudbeds customers.*
Rate Plans on the OTAs Extranets – applies to all channels
Cloudbeds does not receive or update promotional rates listed by the hotelier directly into the OTA extranets. Cloudbeds connects to one rate plan only.
Additional Guests Rates – applies to all channels
The Cloudbeds Distribution Module will only communicate rates for single and double occupancy in a room. Rates for a 3rd (or +) guest in the same room needs to be manually configured on the channels – if accepted by them.
Reservation Emails – applies to Booking.com, Expedia, HotelBeds
When a connection is established to a hotel via channel manager, these OTAs cease sending emails to hotels (new reservations and modifications, cancellations, etc.). For Booking.com and Expedia, Cloudbeds takes over and sends out the emails when the alert is received from the OTA.
Inventory Automatic Cancellations – applies to AirBnB, Gomio, HostelBookers, HostelTimes, Wimdu
When a reservation received through one of these OTAs is cancelled by the guest, this update is not sent to the channel manager. The hotelier will only receive an email and will need to manually remove the reservation on Cloudbeds.
Inventory Automatic Modifications – applies to AirBnB, Expedia, Gomio, H360, HostelBookers, HostelTimes, HostelWorld, MalaPronta, Wimdu
When a reservation received through one of these OTAs is modified by the guest, this update is not sent to the channel manager. The hotelier will only receive an email and will need to manually make changes to the reservation on Cloudbeds.
Download Bookings – applies to AirBnB, HostelTimes, Wimdu
New reservations made through these channels are not automatically imported to Cloudbeds. The hotelier will only receive an email and will need to manually include the reservation on Cloudbeds.
Minimum Length of Stay – applies to AirBnB, Gomio, H360, HostelTimes, HostelWorld, Wimdu
These channels do not support Minimum Length of Stay, that is, Min LOS settings on Cloudbeds (Rates and Packages) will not be considered by these OTAs when placing a reservation.
Closing Availability – applies to AirBnB, Gomio, H360, HostelBookers, HostelTimes, HostelWorld, Wimdu
These channels do not allow the temporary suspension of availability (total inventory or specific Accommodation Types), as set in Cloudbeds’ Distribution settings. Closing availability on these channels need to be done manually on the OTA’s Extranet or with the help of the OTA’s account manager.
Calendar-based Channels – Applies to AirBnB, FlipKey, Wimdu, 9Flats, HouseTrip
Calendar-based channels work differently from most channels. For example, only availability information is updated, no rates, details or restrictions. It works one-way from the Channel Manager to the OTA.
Calendar-based channels work with calendar files. The hotel provides a special calendar file that contains an “appointment” for the periods with no availability, thus blocking the dates for bookings. All other dates that don’t have such entry remain open for bookings.
To receive the bookings back from the OTA, the OTA needs to send back a calendar file with the blocked dates. Even when available, these calendars don’t provide details about the reservations and guests, only calendar blockings. To view the full details, the hotelier needs to check the channel’s extranet.
It’s important to note that these channels are not updated immediately after changes are made to the channel manager / distribution module, as they download the calendar files in hourly intervals. For this reason, delays are quite possible, but since the user needs to confirm bookings manually, this is usually not seen as problem.
* Disclaimer: this information is provided as received by the Channels, or identified during connectivity tasks. For more details please contact your channel’s customer service representative. Cloudbeds is not responsible for its completeness, accuracy or keeping it up-to-date.