Online travel agencies (OTAs) offer a wide range of choice for travelers. They typically make money by charging a commission per booking and offering display advertising.
By listing on OTAs, hotel owners can reach a huge audience and generate more referrals. However, there are a few things that you should keep in mind before making the decision to work with an OTA.
They are a one-stop shop
Online travel agencies (OTAs) occupy a significant share of the digital travel market and offer a one-stop-shop booking experience for a wide range of travel products. OTAs offer consumers flight choices, codeshare combinations, hotels and packages, car rentals, cruises, rail, tours, and other options. They also provide a high level of convenience and are easy to use.
OTAs plug into the global distribution system to resell flights on behalf of airlines, hotels, and other suppliers. They often offer package deals combining airfare and hotels, as well as discounts and flash sales.
Building an OTA requires registering as a travel business, obtaining licenses and permits, establishing relationships with travel suppliers and businesses, negotiating contracts, and developing a user-friendly website and mobile app. It also involves selecting a technology platform that can power an OTA and integrate with Global Distribution Systems and supplier APIs. Finally, OTAs must establish and comply with applicable tax rules. These rules and rates vary by jurisdiction.
They are easy to use
Online travel agencies are a great way to book your next vacation. They allow you to compare prices from a variety of airlines, hotels, and car rental companies in one place. They also offer discounts and promotions. They are convenient and easy to use. They also make it easy to cancel your reservation if you change your mind.
OTAs are popular with travelers, and 18% of people say they use them to book all or part of their trips. These websites plug into a global distribution system (GDS) and offer real-time price data from airlines. They can combine multiple airlines for the perfect itinerary, so you could fly Delta to get to your destination and then take a cheap Ryanair flight back home.
OTAs have a lot of consumer data and provide insights to help marketers reach and engage travelers. Many also offer regionally-based account teams that can share industry expertise and tactics with their partners.
They are convenient
Online travel agencies have a wide range of products, and they’re very convenient to use. They can also help travelers find deals that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to find. For example, they can bundle airfare, hotel, and car rental together into a package that may cost less than booking each component separately.
OTAs are a big part of the online travel landscape and are growing in popularity. As a result, they’re an important distribution channel for accommodation businesses like hotels and B&Bs. Moreover, listing in OTAs can also provide exposure to a wider audience and help generate more leads.
While many people know of Expedia, Orbitz, and other top OTAs, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of smaller OTAs. Whether they’re large or small, most OTAs plug into the same global distribution system that airlines use to share their flight inventory. Some OTAs like Kiwi even let you purchase multiairline itineraries—you could fly Delta’s first leg, then take the next leg on Ryanair.
They are reliable
Online travel agencies are a one-stop shop for everything from flights to hotels, short-term rentals and car hires. The top OTAs include Expedia, Orbitz and Travelocity, as well as metasearch services like Hopper and Priceline. They act as middlemen between airlines and travelers, but can often offer cheaper prices than booking direct.
In addition to being a convenient one-stop shop, online travel agencies also offer a range of additional benefits to travelers. These can include the ability to compare prices, package deals that bundle air and hotel together and independent reviews.
However, despite the fact that many of these companies provide reasonably good customer service, they are not without their problems. There are horror stories of surprise cancellations, hours-long holds on the phone with overseas call centers and months of waiting for a resolution. This is a real concern, but it is not universal. Moreover, there are some OTAs that have connections with major travel suppliers and can negotiate waivers and favors that airlines might not offer their own customers. online travel agency