The role of online travel agencies.
Online travel agencies (OTAs) are one of the main sales channels for hotels and departments. They give you the possibility of reaching new markets, but it is necessary to design an appropriate distribution strategy to be effective in the sale. There are more than 500 OTAs on the market, but do you know in which OTA your establishment should be present?
OTAs are not only a sales channel but also a marketing tool as they give visibility to our brand.
On the one hand they allow us to show our establishment through a profile where we enter characteristics, details and photographs of our choice and, on the other hand, it happens that many potential clients looking for accommodation through an OTA, after seeing it on the portal They go to the establishment’s website to find more detailed information.
Not all OTAs are the same, because they have a different client profile, and many times they do not compete with each other, but they work in a complementary way, offering our hotel or department to clients with different needs.
How to choose OTAs for our distribution strategy?
To choose in which channels we must be present, it is essential to first analyze our product and know what our target audience is. Having this clear we can select those agencies and channels that are best suited.
In broad strokes we find two types of online agencies.
- B2B (Busines to business): Those agencies that operate as wholesalers, do not sell directly to the customer but to
- B2C (Busines to client): These are the companies that sell directly to the guest, such as Booking Expedia, Despegar.
A very interesting point is to analyze the geographical origin of our clients, because this way we can prioritize among these types of OTA:
- Local: Your main clients are in the same country as our hotel.
- Regional: Its clients come from several countries in the same region. For example, some OTAs are specialized in Latin America, or are stronger in Europe, the United States or Asia.
- Global: They have a global presence, and attract customers from all sides. Booking and Expedia are the clearest example.
It is also important to identify the style of the online sales channel; luxury travelers, backpackers, corporate, etc. This will allow you to show your establishment in the places where your direct competition can also appear.
Undoubtedly, the best way to manage OTAs and wholesale agencies is through a Channel Manager that connects with all of them.
By having a Channel Manager, the number of OTAs that your establishment works with would not be a problem in terms of working time allocated to it, since from a single system you would manage rates and availability.
Our Channel Manager connects with more than 500 OTAs and wholesalers, and gives you in one click statistical information on the origin of the guests, sales channel, average stays, rates and much more.
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