The importance of an online travel agency (OTA) should never be underestimated in the hospitality industry. These provide one of the most convenient ways for consumers to view and compare hotel rates online. This can be done from the confines of their home, or more importantly, while they’re on the road and desperate for a room.
In this article, you’ll learn more about online travel agents and what they provide. We’ve compiled a list of the top OTAs you should be using if you’re in the hospitality industry.
Importance of Online Travel Companies
It’s a given that most hotels are going to have regulars that provide them with consistent business. However, with the explosion of OTAs in the hotel industry, it’s unrealistic to expect all inventory to be sold directly. Additionally, travelers that aren’t local to your area may not be aware of the existence of your hotel.
This is where OTA hotel booking plays a major role. A large majority of consumers rely on hotel online travel agencies. These platforms give you the opportunity to sell out your inventory and build relationships with new customers that may not otherwise know about your organization.
It’s important to be aware of the top online travel agencies that will most benefit your hotel. When you deal with the top OTAs in the business, you give your hotel more visibility. This significantly increases your chances of selling additional inventory, even at the last minute.
However, it’s vital that you’re listed with the right OTAs to put your hotel in front of the most eyes. If you’re not using the right platforms, you’re not benefiting your organization, and in turn, this does nothing for your revenue.
Different OTAs are effective at marketing towards different demographics. We’ve compiled information regarding what specific OTAs can do regarding different markets.
The following list provides a sample of the top online travel agencies you should be giving your attention to.
Best Online Travel Agency List
The same company owns Booking.com and Priceline. When it comes to OTAs in the hospitality industry, they’re one of the oldest, having been active since 1996. This company has listings in nearly 200 countries all across the globe. Like other companies on the list of OTAs, Booking.com allows consumers to book hotels, holiday homes, motels, and other hospitality options.
Hotels.com allows consumers to book hotels, as well as B&B reservations and short-term condos. They are headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and exist under the Expedia Group umbrella. International accommodations are available at Hotels.com, and a large portion of their focus goes toward repeat business. The “Hotels.com Rewards” allows customers to book a free night after every 10 bookings. When you list on Expedia, your hotel will automatically be visible on Hotels.com.
Expedia is one of the largest OTAs in the hotel industry and the main one operated by the Expedia group. This company has been active since 2001 and calls Bellevue, WA, home. Expedia has managed to become one of the most profitable OTA travel companies globally. It has 40 separate websites localized in different countries. Customers have multiple options on Expedia, including hotels, holiday homes, B&Bs, rental cars, activities, flights, and other services. The marketing strategy at Expedia places emphasis on affordable options for hospitality.
Agoda.com is based out of Singapore and accommodates consumers on a global scale. They share space with other companies on this list under Booking Holdings – the parent company of Booking.com. On Agoda.com, consumers will have the option to browse over one million hospitality options. Their main focus is on the Asian market, although they’ve started placing more focus on Europe and America. Their primary marketing tactic is giving consumers the option for affordable accommodations.
Priceline.com is owned by Booking Holdings as well. However, Priceline.com is based in Norwalk, Connecticut. Priceline.com stands out from other hotels under the Bookings Holdings umbrella by focusing on discount travel options. Their primary highlight is their “Name Your Price” option, where customers can set their own price, location, and star level for hotels. After receiving this information, Priceline.com will find the best possible option.
HRS.com is based out of Cologne, Germany, with offices in Paris, London, and New York. They initially began as an offline travel agency, dating all the way back to 1972. HRS.com provides services for private and business travelers. However, its main focus is on business, giving corporate travelers a 30 percent discount. This is a great option for emphasizing your customers who travel for work.
AirBNB.com offers the ability to book extended lodgings or overnight stays online. Their primary offerings are homestays, although more recently, they’ve begun listing hotels as well. It’s important to note that Airbnb is very selective about which hotels can list on their website. They have very strict criteria that hotels must meet. Hotels must prove they have a unique design, guests have shared common spaces, and rooms have a local influence.
Laterooms.com is a hotel reservation platform based in Manchester, UK. Although the company was founded in 1999, it did not offer hospitality options until 2002. Their main selling point is offering last-minute deals on same-day bookings. These last-minute accommodations are sold at a discount. Because of this, LateRooms.com could be a great option for hotels that commonly have leftover inventory they’re looking to sell.
TripAdvisor.com is a hotel and restaurant platform which places emphasis on reviews and the customer experience. Needham, Massachusetts, has been home to TripAdvisor.com since 2000. This company works with third parties to display live availability and pricing information. They also have a partnership with Expedia and Priceline.
When it comes to OTAs in the travel industry, there’s one important tool that can keep you ahead of the game. The Hotelogix Channel Manager allows you to maintain your listings on the channels of your choice all from one single interface.
Additionally, this tool updates your availability automatically and posts this information to all of the channels you select. Price changes and cancellations are also updated automatically.
Connect your PMS to Channel Manager to relay information regarding your direct sales. This information will automatically be updated as well!
If you’re in the hospitality industry, you need a variety of technological tools like Channel Manager. This is just a fraction of what Hotelogix provides. We specialize in increasing your revenue by using smart management software and other strategies.
Contact one of our representatives so you can schedule a demo. Find out what Hotelogix can do for you and your hotel today!