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admin, December 18 2019

[Tip Sheet] What to look for in a hotel connectivity solution



Establishing or improving operations as an Online Travel Agency (OTA) is filled with challenges and pitfalls. Ultimately, decisions must come down to choosing that which will yield the maximum return for your investment. However, that is rarely a clear choice, instead, you can find yourself bogged down in features and functions that obscure the best choice unique to your OTA.

One area that has the potential for drastically increased margins is your hotel product, it’s a vertical that can work wonders, provided that it’s properly optimized. That’s a path that begins with finding the best connectivity solution for your hotel inventory suppliers.

There are a handful of hotel connectivity solutions out today, and they each offer their own set of features. Each feature is also executed differently, going through that list of features can be overwhelming. After all, it’s a decision that you have to get right, otherwise, your hotel product can fail.

To safeguard your success with hotels, we put together a checklist of questions to keep ‘top of mind’ when trying to assess a solution. They’re broken into three categories, Connectivity, Mapping, and Functionality.

Connectivity

Connectivity refers to all the hotel supplier-related questions you need to get answers to before moving forward. After all, it is the primary function of the service.

Mapping

Mapping is technically a drill-down of connectivity, however, it is critical and has enough questions to warrant its own category.

Functionality

Functionality is for all the features, functions and services that don’t fall into the primary two categories but have a significant impact on your services, costs and bottom line profits.



Connectivity (Hotel Inventory Suppliers)

○ How many suppliers are integrated?

○Are your current suppliers integrated?

○If not, will they integrate them?
○If so, will they charge you for the development cost of integrating them?

○Do they play favorites with suppliers, incentivizing you to work with certain hotel suppliers over others?

○How will working with them affect your relations with your existing suppliers, end-users and new clients?

○Are they compatible with all rate types?


Mapping

○ Do they provide mapping services or do you require external mapping?
○ Is their mapping included in their connectivity solution?

○ Does their mapping cover all your existing suppliers?

○ How often are they mapping?
○ Is it one-off, every 2 months, every week?

○ What information gets mapped?
○ Basic hotel information?
○ Amenities?
○ Room level mapping?
○ Additional hotel-specific services? Rates?

○ What insights do they provide into mapping?
○ Is their mapping process transparent?
○ Do you know which hotels are getting left out?
○ Do they provide any way to review the mapping?



Functionality

○ Are you locked into their ecosystem?
○ Which parts of your operations must be run through them to use their services?
○ Which parts are incompatible?

○ Besides hotel supplier connectivity, what other types of services do they provide connectivity to?
○ Payment gateways?
○ Car Rentals?
○ Reviews?
○ Tour services?

○ How will working with them affect your relations with:
○ Suppliers?
○ End-users?
○ New Clients?
○ Service providers? Keep this list handy when you’re improving your hotel product and you won’t risk missing a critical feature to your OTA’s success.

Keep this list handy by grabbing the PDF version. When you're improving your hotel product, you won't risk missing a critical feature to your OTA's success.

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