This will be a series of short articles where we discuss how to sell travel inventory online.
The rate plan
A rate plan can be linked to whatever type of travel inventory you want to sell.. The rate plan is the HOW in “How do you want to sell your room?”. It contains the rules that determine whether the traveler sees the rate or not.
The types of rules that are available to you is entirely up to the rate plan. In this example, let’s keep it simple.
My room is ONLY available on Mondays
… is a perfect example of what a rate plan can do for you. Travelers looking to book your room on a Tuesday will not see this rate.
My room is ONLY available on Mondays IF the guest stays for MORE THAN two days
Here we added a second restriction. Travelers looking to book your room on a Monday but only for one night will not see this rate.
Rate plans usually contain many rules. Pricing travel inventory is complex because the requirements are many. Price and availability can change hourly and the rate plan plays a role in making this possible.
Rate plan level availability
Most times, availability is set at the inventory level. It makes logical sense.
I have 10 rooms of this type and I want to make all of them available through my rate plans
These ten rooms are divided equally among your rate plans. A more advanced scenario is to keep availability on the rate plan level.
I have 10 rooms of this type and I want to make 2 available to Rate Plan 1, 5 available to Rate Plan 2 and 3 available to Rate Plan 3
The derived rate plan
A derived rate plan means simply that some of the settings on this rate plan come from another rate plan. Another thing such a rate plan can do is change the base rate with a derived rate.
One more person to the room will cost an extra $50
In this example, the rate plan says to add +50 to the base rate if an extra occupant is in the room. We assume that the room type supports an extra occupant and a rollaway bed will be provided. As you can see, the rate plan also has the power to change price of the inventory itself. The end result is a derived rate.
The rate plan are the gate keepers to your inventory.