Should you list on Online Travel Agencies (OTAs)?


OTAs, or Online Travel Agencies, are websites dedicated to providing lots of travel like accommodations, tours, and activities, all in one place. You’ve undoubtedly heard of some of the big players like Expedia, Viator, and Booking.com. One of Checkfront’s most requested features is direct integrations with these websites, and of course, we listen. We’ve built and added these integrations so you can automatically list your inventory on OTA’s without any need for dual data entry, so the question might be now: should you use them? I’m fortunate enough to have had many candid discussion with our customers and tourism professionals, and the number one reason, actually the only reason that people are hesitant to use OTAs is because of the large chunk of commission that comes out of each sale. It’s a completely valid concern, you want to minimize costs where you can, but the reality is, unless you’re completely booked up through the whole season, there’s a real opportunity here for you to quickly scale your business and increase your bookings. One common misconception about OTAs is that suddenly all of your bookings will come through them, meaning your paying commission on every sale. However, the customers that are booking on OTAs are doing so because it’s their preferred and trusted method of booking, meaning if you’re not listed on these websites, you’ll have no way to funnel those customers into your business. My recommendation would be to try using OTAs and remember, you don’t have to constantly maintain a presence on these website in order to be listed, you can just use them during your slower weeks or months. With our new social media driven world, one customer could equal five with repeat business and referrals. It’s another opportunity to plug gift certificates, collect e-mail addresses for your newsletter, and sell physical merchandise like memorabilia, clothing, or food. What may have been lost in commission, can be recouped in other ways. Most of all, let this be a positive experiment. If it doesn’t work for you, at least you’ll have known, and other doors of revenue expansion will open up. Thank you so much for watching, and don’t forget to subscribe for early access to our weekly Check-ups and more great video content to come.

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