How can a central reservations system improve profitability and efficiency?
A central reservation system (CRS) is a platform used by hotels to centrally manage and distribute room inventory, rates, and reservations. The CRS typically receives inventory from the PMS, then distributes rates and availability in real-time to direct and third-party channels, including the hotel’s own website booking engine and call center (direct channels), as well as channel managers, OTAs, GDS, and metasearch (third-party channels). Reservations from these channels are sent back to the CRS and subsequently synced into the PMS for room allocation. Hotel revenue managers and marketing/e-commerce managers use CRS or distribution systems to create various promotions and offers through rate plans for different channels and to adjust pricing quickly to be updated across all channels. Reservation agents also work in the CRS to manage reservations.
- Increases efficiency: A CRS allows hotels to distribute their rates and inventory and receive reservations through a singular system—a hotel only needs to input rates and manage inventory through one backend instead of manually updating rates in various channels. A CRS also allows for cost efficiencies in distribution; although hotels can connect their PMS for channel distribution, CRS companies typically have the ability to integrate to different channels and partners (such as GDS and call center), giving hotels a broader reach for less cost.
- Grows distribution: A CRS allows hotels to connect to a broad network of travel distributors, allowing the hotel to expand its reach to different types of sellers (OTAs, travel agents, consortia, etc.) in many different worldwide markets.
- Delivers insight: A CRS gives hotel revenue managers a bird’s-eye view over their pricing and inventory allocations through all distribution channels, which allows them to quickly adapt to the market as needed.