Communication between OTA and Visual Matrix PMS 🎥

Communication between OTA and Visual Matrix PMS 🎥

What is a Channel?

A Channel is a company or booking entity that provides reservations to a hotel. Channels can be of 3 types:
- Online Travel Agency (OTA): These companies are online portals for customers to book travel and accommodations (example: Expedia,;
- Global Distribution System (GDS): This system is used by travel agents to book travel and accommodations;
- Booking Engine: This product is used to book hotel accommodations through the hotel’s own website.

Channel Manager vs Central Reservation System (CRS)

They are sometimes used interchangeably as a CRS also plays the role of a Channel Manager. They both do the same distribution-wise, but distribution is all a Channel Manager can do.
The CRS has more functions and functionality: it includes a booking engine for direct hotel bookings, GDS (Global Distribution System) for corporate business, a Channel Manager for distribution, Meta for the connection to Google, Kayak, Tripadvisor (...) and offline bookings (direct bookings via phone).
If you are a Best Western, you are connected to Member Web via the 2way. Member Web is a CRS, a channel through which all reservations go before being sent to Visual Matrix.
The Visual Matrix Channel Manager is also close to a CRS as it offers a booking engine with several tools like a built-in OTA rate comparison.

The Communication Process

To be able to communicate with each other, each party needs to communicate and have the same information on room types, rates, status.
Between Visual Matrix (PMS) and the Channel Manager (or CRS), rate codes and room types have to be mapped into Visual Matrix.
Between the Channel Manager and the Online Channels, rate codes and room types have to be mapped in the Channel Manager.
These mappings are used so that the correct records are updated on each side.

What if a booking is missing in the PMS?

Because communication does not go straight from the online channel to Visual Matrix, there could be multiple reasons for a reservation for either not coming down or having the wrong information.
Visual Matrix sends information to all channel managers (Vertical Booking, Synxis, Siteminder, Innlink, Member Web, ...) in real-time. Then, communication is between the channel manager and the online channel.
If you are using anyone else than Visual Matrix Channel Manager (via Vertical Booking), Visual Matrix will only be able to look at the communication from Visual Matrix but will need you to see or contact your Channel Manager (Siteminder, Synxis, Innlink, Member Web) to get more information if nothing is found on Visual Matrix side.

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