Booking Channel Management Systems


Accepting bookings from guests using a mobile or tablet!

With 44% of travellers researching and booking using a mobile (and 49% of people with 2 children) using tablets or mobiles, your park needs to be easy to book on a small screen. This should be the top actions you can take to help your park get more bookings.

So how can you make sure you meet your customer needs, and of course, your own at the same time.

The answer is in two parts, your website and your booking system.

It is important that you change your website to be mobile friendly and this is best done using a responsive design so that it is able to display properly on a range of screen sizes. Don’t underestimate how important this is and remember almost half of your audience is using a mobile or tablet.


Your online booking engine must be responsive, so the booking can be completed easily and quickly. So assuming you are on-board with this, the next point to consider is what the consumer is looking for. Things have changed in recent times with people looking for deals first, then choosing the type of accommodation. An example of this is a ‘weekend saver break’ (the deal) followed by the the type of accommodation, standard or superior /large or small (the accommodation). When you think about it, this makes sense, as people are thinking (searching) for a ‘weekend break’ not for a ‘double room’. Booking engines that can present deals, rather than rooms/pitches only, make it easier for people to find what they want. A really impressive example of this concept implemented in a hotel chain can be seen at, just explore the booking process on their site.

Booking engines are often misunderstood when it comes to the difference a good one can make. The ability to use promotional codes, set up conditions around promotions, and feature ‘Hot Deals’ really means you can increase bookings. Add to this some clever use of packages and you can now promote your different rooms based on deals not just on a single price or room type. Connections to TripAdvisor and FaceBook are essential of course.

Channel Management
If you were a hotel you would already be familiar with this term. Channels are routes you use to sell your park. Your website is a channel, a travel agent is a channel, PitchUp, are channels.

A successful marketing strategy will use several routes/channels but by having several, it means you have to manage availability and rates across them. Done manually this is almost impossible to do efficiently and to get the best result.

Typically parks will allocate lodges/pitches to a channel, but then what happens is the successful channel use their allocation and have zero availability, yet there are unsold lodges/pitches in other channels. So sales are lost until you manually intervene to reallocate.

A channel manager is software service that does this for you saving you time and ensuring that as bookings come in, say from your website, availability is adjusted automatically in the other channels.

If you need to change rates then you make the change in the channel manager and this is automatically updated to the connected channels.

Historically parks have not had any channels that can be managed in this way but this is changing with the world’s biggest channel now taking on parks with lodges, chalets, statics and pods. PitchUp too generate a lot of bookings for parks.

As a final thought in this article I should mention payment processing. The trend is for real time online payment – it’s how the internet generally works and how people expect to pay. It improves your cash flow as well as reducing the time to manual process payments. Of course you should only use a booking engine and channel manager that is PCI certified – if doesn’t have a certificate then walk away from it.

January 7, 2015


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