How do online travel companies manage hotel bookings/availability?

Most people are familiar with online travel sites that allow you to book hotels directly (often at cheaper rates than through a travel agent, or even if you contact the hotels directly).

So how do the online travel websites manage their accomodation stock? For example, are they somehow connected in to each hotels room management system and thereby able to see whether rooms are available?


Do the hotels offer up a block of rooms to each of the online travel sites for them to exclusively sell?

If someone works in the hotel industry, perhaps they might know.

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4 Responses to “How do online travel companies manage hotel bookings/availability?”

  1. Jem G said:


    The hotel I work for deals with several different online companies, and we do indeed offer them each only a few rooms. We are also able to do what is known as ‘closing out’ which means that if we are starting to get full we can go onto each website and tell it not to sell anymore rooms for us. This can also be done with a specific type of room so say we are starting to get full on double bedded rooms we can ‘close out’ on those but continue to sell the websites allocation of twin bedded and single bedded rooms.

    Hope that helps.

  2. bennachie1 said:

    I think hotels offer up blocks of rooms to sites and adjust these according to how busy they get.

  3. simpsond47 said:

    Jem G ! What a brilliant answer – I never understood how the system worked until I read your reply to this question. Uncle Rico – give that person 10 points ! lol !

  4. travel8 said:

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