As online travel agencies (OTAs) become increasingly successful at generating reservations, more and more properties are signing contracts with various different providers. The two most popular OTAs are Expedia and Booking.com (and their affiliates).
If you are new to these two vendors, or are considering signing a contract with them, it is a good idea to take a close look at your contract terms. We frequently talk to properties that are unaware that they are signed up for Base Allocation with Expedia and/or Contracted Rooms with Booking.com. This means that you must maintain a certain amount of available rooms for the OTA, regardless of your inventory.
When you purchase our Booking.com and/or Expedia interface, and your property is sold out, or you close out specific dates, we will report no inventory available to the OTA. On occasion, when we report to the OTA that there are no rooms available, you will receive a reservation through fax or email from them. This happens when you have Base Allocation/Contracted Rooms and have not met the total guaranteed amount of rooms for that date.
With Expedia, we have a Base Allocation report available that you can run to show the number of rooms left guaranteed to Expedia for any date. Booking.com unfortunately does not send us this information, however we do not encounter guaranteed rooms as frequently with Booking.com as we do with Expedia.
If you are unsure whether or not you have Base Allocation with Expedia or Contracted Rooms with Booking.com, contact your account manager at the relevant OTA and discuss this with them. There may be options available to remove Base Allocation/Contracted Rooms. This is a good idea, whether or not you have your OTA services interfaced to Check-Inn.
If you are interested in the Booking.com and/or Expedia interfaces for Check-Inn, please contact us. These low-cost interfaces can save a huge amount of time. They will also enable you to sell more rooms because the two-way interfaces will automatically update Booking.com/Expedia with your rates and availability. There are yield management tools available which can be set to automatically raise rates as your occupancy levels rise.