D-Edge | The CRS: The Heart of Hotel Distribution
89% of major hotel chains have shifted toward a CRS-centric strategy
IHF Associate Member

Among the critical choices in formulating a revenue management strategy, selecting the primary distribution system for a hotel stands out. Historically, the Property Management System (PMS) fulfilled this role, but its limitations have become increasingly evident in recent times.

Let's clarify that our PMS partners are invaluable, but it's essential to recognize that the PMS was primarily designed for operational management rather than distribution.

On the other hand, the Central Reservations System (CRS) was purpose-built specifically for distribution management. It empowers hotels with enhanced flexibility, broader reach, improved connectivity, and more control over reservations and revenue within the distribution network. Therefore, it's unsurprising that a significant 89% of major hotel chains have shifted toward a CRS-centric strategy.

The CRS is in fact a connected network of distribution applications that includes the following components:

  • Central inventory management – for managing rates, inventory, and content
  • Internet booking engine (IBE) – for direct bookings via the hotel website
  • Channel manager (CM) – for bookings via OTAs and wholesalers
  • Global distribution system (GDS) – for bookings via travel agencies, TMC (Travel Management Companies, or Corporations Travel Managers
  • Central reservation office (CRO) – for bookings via the hotel call centre or reception desk
  • Payment gateway – for processing online payments and checking the validity of payment methods
  • Business intelligence (BI) – for aggregating raw information from multiple sources and tracking, analysing, and interpreting important data

Moreover, the CRS seamlessly integrates with the PMS to synchronize bookings and inventory. Depending on a hotel's setup, these components may originate from a single vendor as part of an integrated platform or come from multiple vendors linked through Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Additionally, other third-party solutions, such as Revenue Management Systems (RMS) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, can also be integrated through APIs.

For guidance on determining if a CRS-centric approach aligns with your hotel's strategy, D-EDGE Hospitality Solutions has prepared a comprehensive guide, available here.

Contact details

Jacqueline Reid

0044 7984 064638

Irish Hotels Federation | Working Together