Getting Started with the ThinkReservations Channel Manager
We want to get you up and running as soon as possible! We've made it easy to connect to all the OTAs you'd like to use through our Channel Manager, so you can begin bringing in bookings right from the start.
Not familiar with OTAs?
"OTA" stands for Online Travel Agency. They are services that allow prospective guests to check availability and book lodging (and often car rentals as well as airfare) online. Reservations made on these platforms are then sent to the property.
How can OTAs help your business?
The best part about OTAs is that they help you bring in reservations for you that you probably would not have gotten on your own. This is because of the broad audience that OTAs have and the trust and loyalty that people have in them. They have become ubiquitous travel search engines. Our goal is to put you in the driver’s seat so you can control them to benefit you by booking as many rooms as possible while also maximizing your profits. Using OTAs can even help boost your property’s availability to potential guests when searching online.
ThinkReservations and OTAs
To seamlessly bridge the gap between OTAs and ThinkReservations, we created our own Channel Manager. Channel Manager functions as an intermediary between your ThinkReservations Property Management Software and OTAs. You control your pricing, availability, and restrictions in one place, and we automatically synchronize it all with the OTAs. Our support team is here to help you get set up and connected and give you the tools you need to own the relationship with your OTAs. We have even put together several webinars for strategizing OTA usage, all available in our support center with tips and tricks to help you succeed.
The Channel Manager goes to work continuously working on updating your OTAs rates, restrictions, and availability. You can even use Yield Management Plans and separate rates. You only pay the Channel Manager commission when you actually get a booking and earn real revenue. ThinkReservations charges a 3% commission on reservations that the ThinkReservations system automatically brings in for you. The fee is charged only on the room charge and additional guest fees - not upsell items, room enhancements, or taxes. If the reservation is canceled, the fee is waived. There is no ThinkReservations-fee for using TripConnect, or for direct bookings that are made from your own website or on the phone. Direct reservations are fee-free, so continuously work to reduce your dependency on OTAs, and get more direct bookings.
What OTAs do ThinkReservations work with?
- Booking.com: Booking.com, Priceline, Agoda, Kayak, and others
- Expedia: Expedia, Hotels.com, Bedandbreakfast.com, Travelocity, Orbitz, Trip.com, and others
- Egencia and Hotwire can integrate with Expedia but require separate sign-ups through Expedia.
- Airbnb: Completely self-service. No need to contact ThinkReservations to get started unless you need help.
- HotelTonight: Also known as Hotel Tonight. Recently acquired by Airbnb.
- TripAdvisor: TripConnect Cost-Per-Click, TripConnect Instant Booking, and Review Express.
- Other Connections: Our iCal feed can push availability to other channels for a one-way connection to VRBO, HomeAway, GlampingHub, and others. There is no fee to use the iCal feed! More channels are planned for the future.
Getting Connected to OTAs
The steps to get connected are a little different for each OTA. But don’t worry! We’ve created step-by-step instructions for each one to make the process as easy as possible. You can find these instructions on our support center under the section called “Channel Management — OTAs.”
If your property is already listed on an OTA, you can directly connect it to your ThinkReservations account. Be sure to talk with your Account Manager about your OTA connection before launching to ensure that you are correctly connected.
"Get Started" Instructions for each OTA
Check prerequisites and see step-by-step instructions to get connected. Start with the links below to make sure that everything is set up correctly and in order.
Tripadvisor CPC, Tripadvisor Instant Booking
iCal (for VRBO, Homeaway, etc.)
Have questions? Schedule a Q-and-A session with an expert from the ThinkReservations OTA Team by using this helpful link.