Choosing the right Online Travel Agency (OTA) for your hotel can be daunting. There are many options to choose from when it comes to choosing the right OTAs – and there are just too many of them. So how do you know which one works for you and which ones are not relevant? And where can your hotel find a giant list of OTAs?
Before you start though, select the main channels that you will be selling your hotel rooms through. Are you planning to sell mostly direct or through a mix of online and offline channels?
Study channel profitability. What is the cost of getting a reservation through the Global Distribution System versus that of an Online Travel Agency? Is there corporate demand for your hotel?
Back to OTAs – over the last decade OTAs like Booking.com and Make My Trip have excelled in making online bookings easy for customers – they have become the ultimate online marketing and technology specialists enormously successful at driving hundreds of thousands of bookings from all around the world.
But now with several hundred OTAs vying for online bookings, how can your hotel know which one to choose? Because clearly you cannot be listed in all of them!
- The need to choose the right OTA for hotels has become extremely important. This is because OTAs offers the customer a wide range of services in addition to being a great distribution channel.
- Consumers like OTAs as they receive value, high quality information and best prices.
- Many customers who research a hotel leads them to the hotel website for more information. This can then help generate direct website traffic and reservations.
- There are many OTAs but only some of them will be relevant for sending bookings to your hotel and destination. Choose the right OTA to generate significant revenue opportunities.
Benefits Of Choosing OTAs
- MAXIMUM REACH: OTAs market their brand and hotel inventory heavily. This results in high visibility of the kind that an independent hotel cannot achieve on their own. The hotel needs to evaluate however that the costs of this reach in commissions to the OTA are viable.
- DIVERSE BASE OF CLIENTS: OTA’s can be conducive to building new and new customers and therefore expanding the customer base. Because of its huge size, reach and scale, it can provide the customers with a very powerful tool for marketing and distribution.
- DELIVERING MEANINGFUL PACKAGES: Meaningful packages can be provided to the undecided customers. The OTAs assume the role of a powerful travel agent or tour operator by providing some extra incentives like entertainment, car rentals, air rentals etc.
- UNDIVIDED ATTENTION: A deep study about each local market is made thoroughly in order to give out the rates in the market. This knowledge helps to increase the efficiency of the booking.
- INCREASED TRAFFIC THROUGH BILL BOARD EFFECT: Many small hotels are unable to spend an effective sum on online marketing campaigns. Used wisely OTAs can help increase the traffic to your own hotel website.
How To Choose The Right OTA?
Online travel agencies offer the owners a lot of opportunities like giving rich and extended information about the hotels. You can leverage the OTAs to its full advantage by using the right ones.
- CHECK THE OTA PORTFOLIO: Before choosing the right travel agency for your hotel, check out the portfolio of the company and its reach which includes information about B 2 B and B 2 C travel portals. You need to understand that for how long the company has been there in the market.
- CHECK THE HOTELS & DESTINATIONS: How strong is that OTA in your destination? Does it represent a small portion of hotels, or a substantial set? Cross check production numbers with helpful competitor hotels to understand OTA production for their hotel.
- CHECK THE OTA’s MARKETING PROFILE: What are the promotions that they run? Do they meet the needs of your hotel? Are they very price conscious and do they focus only on low prices than high quality? Can you showcase your hotel really well?
- CHECK COST OF DOING BUSINESS: What are the costs of doing business with an OTA? Are there hidden costs
If you want to maximise your hotel’s online bookings, spend some time to choose the right OTA. For most hotels, OTA channels have a significant revenue impact.