Acronym for Computerized Reservation System. A computer based electronic data system that allows a supplier (traditionally an airline or hotel) to manage their reservations and availability. Modern systems are generally based in the cloud and allow all types of suppliers including tour and activity operators to manage their inventory, accept online and mobile bookings, sell through a POS, and manage customer data.
Generally speaking, the CRS is the system that the supplier, it does not manage distribution on it’s own but connects to a network of distribution systems, a channel manager, or a GDS. In tours and activities, there are currently no GDS providers that connect to a supplier CRS and distribute inventory. There has been some momentum in this area, however, and there may be more channel management systems and GDS providers connecting in the future.