CRS stands for: Central Reservations System. It is a computerized reservation software used to maintain the hotel information, room inventory and rates, to manage the reservation and process. A CRS provides hotel room rates and availability for many different distribution channels such as the GDS, IBE, OTA, 3rd party websites etc.
Essentially speaking it is an application with various functionalities to manage a hotel’s distribution / bookings. We can also call it a database distribution system, since the CRS of a hotel transfers data to the distribution channels. This way hotels are able to reach travelers and travel managers on a global scale. Bookings are made via multiple sources (OTA, travel agencies, the IBE on the hotel’s own website), and all reservations sources will appear in the system via interfaces.
A CRS is beneficial for a hotel because it allows reservations to be checked and booked with a simple search. It also allows revenue managers or front office managers to easy adjust the prices corresponding to demand for multiple distribution channels and platfroms at the same time. It is kind of a mission control software for hotel distribution.