Get Your Hotel Listed On OTAs: The Pros and Cons

Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) serve as popular platforms for travelers seeking package deals, accommodations, flights, tours, and various travel services. They play a crucial role in distribution channels, extending reach and boosting bookings.

Yet, while OTAs offer extensive reach, they come with the drawback of commission payments on each booking. To guide decision-making, this blog post provides a detailed analysis of the pros and cons of online travel agents. 

What is an Online Travel Agency (OTA)?

An OTA, or Online Travel Agency, is a comprehensive online marketplace where travelers can seamlessly search, compare, and book a wide array of travel services, including flights, hotels, tours, and car rentals.

With over 400 OTAs globally, encompassing major players like Expedia, Priceline, and, as well as metasearch engines, hostel platforms, vacation rentals, and tour resellers, these platforms have emerged as the preferred choice for travel bookings worldwide.

Offering unparalleled convenience, OTAs allow travelers to explore destinations, read reviews, and compare prices effortlessly.

Research underscores the significance of pricing, with 45% of U.S. travelers opting for OTA attraction tickets due to perceived better pricing.

Gambar Blog SoftInn (3)-3

From a business standpoint, OTAs typically generate revenue through commissions on bookings, alongside options like display advertising and pay-per-click fees to enhance visibility in search results.

Advantages of Online Travel Agencies (OTAs)

Listing your hotel on OTAs offers numerous advantages:

a) Global Market Access: OTAs provide access to international markets, particularly beneficial for hotels in tourist hotspots seeking to attract diverse guests.

b) Streamlined Booking: OTAs offer user-friendly booking platforms, simplifying the reservation process and enticing more guests to book accommodations

c) Revenue Management Tools: Many OTAs offer tools to optimize pricing strategies, leveraging market insights to maximize revenue potential. 

d) Customer Reviews: OTAs often have review and rating systems where guests can share their positive reviews that can bolster hotel's reputation and attracting more potential guests.

e) Inventory Management Flexibility: OTAs enable effective room inventory management, allowing adjustments for minimum stays, real-time availability updates, and last-minute promotions to fill vacancies.

f) Seamless Integration with Channel Managers: Integration with channel managers facilitates efficient synchronization of room allotments and rates across multiple OTAs, reducing the risk of overbooking and saving time.

Disadvantages of Online Travel Agencies (OTAs)

Despite the advantages, there are noteworthy disadvantages to consider when listing your hotel on OTAs:

a) Commission Fees: OTAs impose commission fees per booking, potentially denting your hotel's profit margins, with rates varying across platforms and accommodations.

b) Lack of Control: Listing on OTAs may entail relinquishing control over booking processes and guest interactions, as reservations are managed by the OTA, limiting direct engagement until guests arrive.

c) Rate Parity Requirements: Compliance with rate parity mandates by some OTAs restricts the flexibility to offer distinct rates, constraining exclusive deals or discounts for direct bookings.

d) Dependency on OTAs: Overreliance on OTAs for bookings exposes your hotel to risks associated with changes in their policies or algorithms, potentially impacting visibility and bookings.

e) Brand Dilution: Presence alongside numerous competitors on OTAs can blur your hotel's brand identity, posing challenges in differentiation solely through OTA listings.

f) Limited Customer Data Access: OTAs often withhold customer data from hotels, hindering the establishment of direct guest relationships and implementation of personalized marketing strategies.


Examples of Online Travel Agencies (OTAs)

Hotels have several popular OTAs to consider for partnerships:

  1. Globally renowned for its vast accommodation options and competitive rates.

  2. Expedia: Trusted worldwide, Expedia boasts a strong global presence, appealing to diverse travelers.

  3. Airbnb: Originally specializing in short-term rentals, Airbnb now offers traditional hotel accommodations alongside its unique listings.

  4. Agoda: With a focus on the Asian market, Agoda provides a broad range of accommodations across different price points.

  5. One of largest online travel platforms in Indonesia and an OTA that offers wide range of services


Implement Channel Manager - Sync room allotment and room rates to OTAs

To effectively manage your presence on OTAs, it is recommended to implement a channel manager.

A channel manager is a tool that allows you to synchronize your room allotment and rates across multiple OTAs from a single dashboard.

By using a channel manager, you can avoid the risk of overbooking and ensure that your room availability and rates are always up to date on all OTAs. This saves time and eliminates the need for manual updates on each platform.

Channel managers also provide valuable insights and analytics, allowing you to monitor the performance of your hotel on different OTAs and make data-driven decisions to optimize your distribution strategy.

p/s: Check out this page as well to discover a comprehensive list of channel managers available in the market. These channel managers connect with most of the popular OTAs you've heard of, ensuring efficient management of your hotel's online presence.

In Conclusion,

Listing your hotel on OTAs demands a thorough assessment of your unique requirements and objectives. By considering the advantages and drawbacks, you can strategically align your decision with your business goals, ensuring a prudent approach to maximize your hotel's success in the competitive hospitality industry!

You're reading a blog compiled by Softinn. We're a hotel-technology company with the mission to make hotelier work easier. Do subscribe if you enjoy reading our blog or you may interact with us on our Facebook Page.

Products that make it easier to run a hotel

Get Monthly Updates

We won't spam your inbox. We promise to send a curated list of posts to your inbox once a month, nothing more.

Subscribe Now