A online travel agency, also known as OTA, is a third-party company that resells services like hotels, flights, short term rentals, car bookings etc. OTAs have become popular amongst consumers due to their wide variety of options and simplified process of booking.
OTAs have a lot of benefits for travelers, but also pose challenges for hoteliers and travel managers. Depending on how a travel program is managed, an OTA can make business travel more manageable by providing access to the best rates on airfares and schedules across multiple airlines and connecting them with a single point of contact for changes and cancellations.
As an added benefit, OTAs offer opportunities to showcase rooms and properties through amenity descriptions, photos, nearby points of interest and more. This helps travelers connect with your property and see why it would be the perfect fit for their next stay. OTAs are also a powerful marketing channel as they provide visibility and demand that is difficult for individual hotels to attain without an investment in online advertising.
While we recommend listing on a few key OTAs, it is important to prioritize direct channels as part of your distribution strategy. Guests booked directly on your website avoid paying commission to an OTA, which can save you money and drive more qualified traffic. To learn how to improve your direct bookings, check out our article on 8 Ways to Gain More Bookings With Your Hotel Website. online travel agency