Updated March 2023 – For travelers, nothing is more frustrating than being called up to change their reservation because you’ve overbooked them.

If someone books a tour with your company, they have chosen a date, time, and activity that is convenient for them. They don’t want to find out later that there isn’t a car available to take them on the tour, or that they have to forfeit their spot.

As a tour and activity provider, you want to avoid overbooking at all costs, as it will decrease your revenue, waste your time and damage your reputation. You also want to easily stay on top of your channel mix, allowing you to react quickly to your business needs.

This is why you need a channel manager.

What is a Channel Manager?

Channel Managers are making a splash in the Experiences Industry but are not new to tourism. Hotel channel managers have been used for hotel distribution by hoteliers for decades. Our industry has taken learning from the larger industry and applied them to the Experiences sector, making distribution more manageable than ever before.

A channel manager provides connectivity to multiple booking channels via one singular API. The API (Application Programming Interface) acts as an information highway, sending information back and forth between your booking source system and all desired reseller sales channels. But that’s not all; true channel managers offer more than simple connectivity. They provide the tools necessary to control all aspects of your distribution in real-time via a live two-way sync between your source system and all connected channels.

How to find the right channel manager

What are the benefits of having good channel manager software?

Having a solid distribution network involves working with many different channels at one time to distribute your products. Some common sales channels that tour, activity, and attraction operators use in their distribution strategy include OTAs (online travel agencies), retail travel agents, visitor information centers, global distribution systems, marketplaces, and hotel concierges. With a channel manager solution, the time-consuming tasks of managing each reseller individually are replaced by one central management location.

With a channel manager, you can streamline your online distribution, find new channels& broaden your reach across the entire buyer journey. Channel manager systems have relationships and partnerships with resellers across the globe, allowing you to diversify revenue streams and preventing reliance on any single source of bookings.

Benefits of using a Channel Manager for distribution

Some key benefits of using a true channel manager include the following:

  • Update rates, inventory, content & more in real-time across all channels, preventing human error, double bookings & overbooking
  • Access to new booking channels through relationships & connections built through the Channel Manager
  • Spend less time on revenue management by viewing all channels in one central location
  • Acquire more bookings to complement your direct bookings
  • Automate timely processes, including commission payments
  • Reduce time spent on administrative tasks
  • Digitize local offline partnerships

With so many different online sales channels being used at once to distribute your tours, activities, and attractions to increase your bookings, it is essential to have a good channel manager solution in place that will automatically update your inventory and provide every channel with accurate information regarding your availability, pricing, bookings and, cancellations.

With a channel manager in place, you will have a more user-friendly platform to manage, distribute and stay on top of all your business’s sales channels, including direct.

What should you consider when looking for a Channel Manager for your business?

Tips to consider when looking for a Channel Manager solution


Compatibility with booking software

Having a channel manager that works seamlessly with your reservation system would be best. Your booking engine and channel manager must be in constant communication to allow the seamless flow of information from your supply to all chosen resellers and then back to your system.

Flexibility is essential when choosing a channel manager. You won’t want to settle on a system that only works with one type of booking system. You may wish to review which booking engines the channel manager is compatible with. If you choose to change your booking engine, create your own, or use a third-party software, you will want to ensure that the transition is smooth and that you will own your guest data. For example, Rezdy’s Channel Manager is included with Rezdy Booking Software but can also be used with custom-built systems and third-party software.

Network of resellers

Each channel manager offers its own unique network of reseller connections. Evaluate what you are trying to achieve with a channel manager and ensure the tools, features & network of connections complement your goals. 

For example: 

  • You have an activity designed for thrill seekers. In this case, you should ensure that your channel manager has a connection with Adrenaline because this online booking site caters to thrill seekers. 
  • You have an activity popular with locals. Does the channel manager offer relationships with local visitor centers and accommodation providers? 
  • Perhaps you want to reach a larger, global audience via an OTA like Expedia, TripAdvisor, Booking.com, or GetYourGuide.

You will also want to ensure the channel manager has stable connections with resellers. Has the channel manager provider received any awards based on API performance and features? These awards are excellent indicators of the support team and how seriously they maintain their connections.

Access resellers across the globe with the right Channel Manager

Features and inclusions

Features and functionality are vital pieces to research as well. Partnering with a channel manager should make the overall management of your business operations easier. Look at what you currently do to manage & market your products and look for those features when evaluating the right channel manager for your business. If you use QR codes to check in your guests or promo codes & gift cards, you should ensure your channel manager can support those features.

Another functionality to look for would be the ability to manage your rates & inventory by season, time of day, or day of the week. These are essential pieces to your overall revenue management strategy. How many people will need to access your channel manager platform? Are there limits on the number of users you can have?

Customer support should be considered as well. Do you know if the channel manager offers support on a limited basis, or will you have support 24/7? Having help around the clock provides comfort because you won’t have to wait around if something goes array or you need assistance.

These are just a few things to consider when evaluating which channel manager will suit your tour, activity, or attractions business.

Channel Management provides solutions to Experience industry experts


There are many different channel manager platforms to choose from in the Experiences Industry. Some offer simple connectivity & others, like Rezdy, provide true channel manager solutions.

You don’t have to settle for the frustration of manually managing multiple different channels. With the right channel manager, you can save time, expand your reach, automate processes and grow your business.

Rezdy is designed to help tour, activity & attraction providers manage their business,  increase online bookings & occupancy and take their company to the next level.

Schedule a demo today and learn about the many benefits of choosing Rezdy as your channel manager, including access to the industry’s largest network of resellers across the globe & advanced tools to manage your distribution network with ease.

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And find out how the leading Channel Manager for tours, activities & attractions can help support your business

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