What is Channel Management?
The process of allocating and controlling inventory pricing and availability to various sales channels.
Managing inventory pricing and availability are best handled in a tour operator software that allows the tour operator to track sales from different channels. There are currently very few tour and activity sales channels that support direct connectivity for the purposes of checking availability and processing bookings in real-time. Up until the release of the Viator Supplier API in late 2014, there were no direct API connections available to support automated channel management.
For non-API enabled sales channels, pricing and availability are managed using an extranet provided by the sales partner. In most cases, availability is based on free-sell contracts and do not require real-time availability checking. Booking notifications with basic customer information are sent to the tour operator when a sale is made and the operator must manually or in the case some cases automatically enter the information into their tour operator software in order to track the booking and update manifests and other reports.