The last time I wrote a blog was back in 2016. We had just attended the Expedia Hackathon as developers and returned home victorious as first place winners. Since then a lot has changed; alongside my role as developer, I’ve taken on the role of product owner as well. It’s an exciting challenge because it means I think a lot more about what the product should do instead of just how it should do it.
It also means I get more chances to talk to other people and see how they think about channel management and the changes in the industry. The Booking.com Connectivity Exchange Event in Amsterdam last week was a great chance to meet up with industry peers, get a sneak preview of the new functionalities Booking.com is working on and figure out how their innovations will impact our own.
Over the past two years, Booking.com has put a lot of time and effort into developing applications that allow external partners to connect to or make use of part of the Booking.com functionalities. These applications are known as APIs, and they now offer more and more features and innovations alongside the necessary upload of rates, availability & restrictions or the download of reservations. Their goal is to make all the extranet functionalities available through APIs as well so that hoteliers can do everything from their provider portal instead of having to work in two different systems. Currently, about 69% of the extranet functionalities are available as APIs with much more to come.
1. Opportunity API
One of the new APIs is the Opportunity API. This API enables hoteliers to create opportunities for their bookers from their channel manager instead of the Booking.com extranet. They will get access to a list of recommended opportunities for their hotel along with the need it will solve.
2. Promotions API
Another one that might be of interest is the Promotions API which allows hoteliers to create and manage special rates for last minute bookers, early deals and business bookers. According to the Booking.com statistics, setting up these promotional rates increases in the number of bookings.
3. Messaging API
Benefits for guests have also not been ignored. With the Messaging API, hoteliers can access any questions submitted by guests directly from their provider system. This should help keep the response time towards guest inquiries low and guest satisfaction pre-stay high.
What functionality would you like to see in the Channel Manager?
As product owner, the challenge is always finding the right balance when planning development for the many new features our connectivity partners launch. Is there a specific API that caught your interest? Let us know!