What is the meaning / definition of Direct Connect in the hospitality industry?

Direct Connect is a synonym of Interface. A point where two systems or organisations, meet and interact.

In the tourism/hospitality industry Direct Connect is a technological connection that interchanges and synchronises data across multiple distribution channels, such as between a Hotel CRS (or PMS) and OTAs.

A commonly used standard interface is the so called XML, which enables real-time, two-way communication link between a hotels reservation system and a third party (for direct rate and availability updates). It means that the OTA reservations are then automatically sent to the hotel via the CRS / PMS.

The advantage of direct links is reduced maintenance for rates and availabilities. Meaning reduced workload and minimisation of human mistakes.

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