CRS connections

The CRS manages (as the name implies) all reservation information of all hotels in a hotel chain. Think about the availability and prices of rooms, guest information, payment processing and the centralization of data from all connected hotels. How does it work, and can an independent hotelier make use of a CRS?

All you need to know about CRS systems

The term CRS is often confused with GDS (Global Distribution System), and this is mainly due to history. Initially, the CRS was developed to manage airline tickets for various airlines, but after a few years GDS took over. The CRS found its place with hotel chains to centrally control and process all reservations.

The CRS manages the distribution channels that are important for hotel chains: GDS, wholesalers, call centres and reservations made by phone. A CRS can also link directly with booking sites (OTAs), but generally, the CRS manages OTA’s via integration with a channel manager. The CRS centralizes all data from the hotels’ PMS systems and uses this for the benefit of distribution, sales, marketing, revenue management and guest experience. The latter is especially important, because guests expect the same personal service and experience in every hotel, whether it is in Amsterdam or Dubai. Loyalty programs are therefore often part of the CRS.

Active CRS users are mainly revenue managers, reservation agents and marketing/e-commerce managers of a hotel chain. There are also software companies that provide a CRS for independent hotels. If you are considering this, check carefully whether the features really add value to your hotel operations. These systems are usually nothing more than a channel manager and booking engine in one.

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What are the benefits of being part of a Chain’s CRS?

Real benefits are there not only for the brand owner but also for the individual hotel. It removes the need for the brand owner to invest capital and, for the individual hotels, it helps growth substantially in terms of revenue, resources and awareness.

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