well we use all three of them but you must use a PMS otherwise you will get overbooked all the time!, booking moves a lot of people but they dont do prepaid reservations so you have to pay them every month and it can get very expensive!!!
It depends a lot on what kind of hostel you run and where it's located. For example, HW is more popular in Europe than it is in Latin America, and Expedia is a lot more popular in the US than it is in Europe. If you have a lot of private rooms, you might appreciate Expedia, while HW is a better channel for guests who undertstand what dormitory accommodation is all about.
For my hostels, the commission is 15% for both HW and Booking. HW let us write our own descriptions about our hostels, the rooms, the atmosphere, etc. Booking will have someone write the description for you and give you very little control over how they present you to potential guests.
A channel manager will it makes it easy to put all of your availability on multiple sites simultaneously while reducing your risk of overbookings if you decide to use a combination of those three (or more).
Regardless of which OTAs you choose to work with, it is wise to make sure that your own site has the best price that you offer (it can be the same as the OTAs, but never more expensive) and that it is easy to make a reservation. Otherwise, you may just drive your direct bookings away to those OTAs where it will cost you ~15% in commissions.
As far as changes to the OTAs go, Booking has consistently been getting bigger and bigger, adding any type of accommodation that you can conceive of to their inventory. That increases the number of potential guests as well as competition. HW recently brought in a new CEO who was previously at Expedia. Some wonder if that is a sign of changes to come for both sites.
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