The Best OTAs For Hotels - Make The Most Out Of Them!
OTAs have become an integral part of hotel bookings. Yes, you have to pay a commission, and you also have to follow their terms, conditions and policies. But they are necessary for hotels, especially those that don’t have a hotel website or those hotels whose website is not sufficient enough to be a major source of hotel revenue. That’s why we need to identify the best OTAs for hotels.
As you can see, OTAs have become a major source of online bookings. Without an OTA listing, hotels will lose out on a chunk of online hotel revenue. Before we reveal the best OTAs for hotels, we need to understand why OTAs are a thing.
Why Do Guests Choose OTAs For Hotel Bookings?
There is various reason why guests prefer to choose OTAs for online hotel bookings. Be it convenience, ease of use, or the various options of hotels. Guests don’t have the time to check each hotel on Google (or another Search Engine, maybe…). Search Engine Result Pages, also known as SERP. OTAs provide an easy way for guests to check the properties in the location they are going to visit.
Another advantage of OTAs is that they help the guests filter properties based on types, budget range, amenities and more. For example, if you are looking for a property in Manali with a Jacuzzi.
You just have to type the location, and in the amenities filter, choose ‘Jacuzzi’. What if you want something in the high-mid range? Don’t worry! You can choose the budget you want in the filter options as well.
And Voila! You have a list of properties that suit your taste and budget instantly. This is why guests look for the best OTAs for hotels to book their stay.
8 Best OTAs For Hotels
Now that we have discussed the various reason for the popularity of OTAs, like us now discuss the best OTAs for hotel bookings. They are considered to be popular choices among hotel customers and are reliable as well.
They have been in the market for years now, even since the beginning of the OTA segment. Hotels need to be on these platforms if they want to earn the maximum revenue.
Booking.com is considered to be one of the oldest OTAs. It is headquartered in Amsterdam. It is recognized as one of the market leaders in the OTA business, offering several types of accommodations, and hotel options, with a presence across the globe. Hotels, Apartments, Resorts, B&B etc, it offers them all.
It also showcases the booking info clearly and gives the guests all the relevant information about the property. It is among the best OTAs for hotels.
Airbnb is popular amongst small business owners and hoteliers. This OTA is known for offering a personalized experience with a homely feel. It is among the best OTAs for hotels. However, properties need to follow strict criteria before they are considered to be eligible for listing. This platform has revolutionized the travel industry, and more hotels are now listed here.
Agoda is among the emerging OTAs for hotel bookings. It is gaining popularity with travellers and hotel guests due to the emphasis on offering cheaper and discounted accommodations. It is preferred for group bookings because it offers flight + hotel combo bookings at a discounted rate. Agoda is owned by Booking Holdings, which also owns Booking.com.
ClearTrip was founded in 2006 as an air and hotel aggregator. It has been India’s fasting growing OTAs with hundreds of partners from the hotel and airline industry. This OTA provides a variety of options and allows travellers to enjoy vacations at a great price. If you are an Indian hotel that wants to boost revenue and also get a vast bundle of services, then ClearTrip is the place for you.
5. MakeMyTrip (MMT)
MakeMyTrip was founded in 2000 and is a household name in India. It is among the oldest and best OTAs for hotels in India. It offers a wide variety of hotels and homestays, spread across India. It offers Indian and International holiday packages as well. In 2017, it merged with Ibibo, making it the largest acquisition in the Indian online travel segment.
Expedia is one of the most popular OTAs for hotels. It is known for offering the “best price guaranteed”. It provides everything in one place - flights, hotels and packages. It owns around 200 travel booking sites, and various mobile apps and sites.
TripAdvisor is not technically an OTA, it is a hotel aggregator platform. However, TripAdvisor allows hotels to use their site to get listed on Booking.com. It also has an advertising partnership with Expedia.
Hotels.com is another emerging OTA site that belongs to the Expedia Group. It offers the best deals and discounts for those looking to book budget or luxury hotels.
Tips For Choosing The Best OTAs For Hotels
Now that we have discussed the best OTAs for hotels, we want to share certain tips on how can you choose the OTAs that are suitable for your hotel business.
First and foremost, you need to choose OTAs that cater to your target audience. If you want to cater to International travellers, you need to be on Booking.com and Expedia. If you want to focus more on domestic travellers - MMT, Agoda, and ClearTrip do the job.
You need to choose OTAs that cater to the audience in your target location. If you are an international hotel targeting Indian travellers, you need to be on OTA platforms that are popular among Indians.
OTAs have two factors - reach and commission. Some OTAs have a wide reach but charge a high commission. Some have a lower or specific reach but charge a higher commission. Look at the features, commissions and reach of the OTAs before choosing one or more.
You need to also choose hotels according to the hotel type. For example, standard hotels and resorts do well on Booking.com, MMT and other OTA platforms. If you are a homestay and a unique boutique property, you will do well on Airbnb. Choose the ones that are best suitable for your business.
With so many options, you can easily choose the best OTAs for hotels. Read our blogs to know more about the various aspects, concepts, trends and challenges of the hospitality industry.