Online travel agencies may take away a significant share of your hotel income but they remain important business partners. The reason is that they give you a lot of presence on the Internet and increase the number of booked rooms. But not all OTAs may be beneficial for your property. So how do you choose the right one then? Here we will give you a few hints.

Define guests and markets

Before choosing an OTA, you should know what kinds of guests and markets you want to work with. It is also a good idea to check the OTA’s demographic and geographic ranges and see if they meet these needs. These crucial starting points will define your entire approach towards the final choice. When you have made up your mind, you should find out whether the OTA you are considering offers access to these guests or markets. If it doesn’t, maybe it is time to move on.

Pay attention to the OTA’s experience

You definitely don’t need an OTA that doesn’t have experience with the kind of property you own. What good is an OTA, specialized in large hotel chains, when all you have is a guest house? To avoid such a situation, you need to perform a check on the OTA’s products and services list to see where you fit and whether the agency has worked with properties like yours. It is also a good idea to directly ask the people behind the OTA what they like and dislike about your property. If the OTA has a good record, this is a strong indication you are on the right track.

...and existing resources

To promote your property in the best way possible you need an OTA that has long-term presence, especially in the markets you are interested. It would be even better if the OTA is large and has a proven record of servicing properties. In any case it is important to take a look at the technical aspects and how the OTA handles them. For instance, can it work with your channel manager? This is an important question because despite working with a famous OTA, you may end up updating your room availability manually.

What to do when you find the right OTA

Congratulations! You have found an OTA that is perfect for you! But you are not finished yet. Now you have to find out what they need from you:

  • High quality photos
  • Short hotel description
  • Room descriptions, etc.

Then you need to know how reporting and online bookings will be managed and which products the OTA will sell. You should be careful with all details and if in doubt, it is time to ask questions and receive clear and informative answers. If everything is okay, then a contract will put an official end to this long quest.

Finding the right OTA for your business is not an easy task. It will take time and effort but if you follow our suggestions, the entire process will be faster and less problematic. Once you are done, however, you will enjoy much improved online presence and more bookings than ever. And this always matters in the hospitality industry.

You may also find interesting:

Problematic Online Bookings
The Benefits of Online Booking Systems
Deal with Negative Hotel Reviews in Style

About Clock Software

Clock Software is a global provider of cloud-based property management systems (PMS), integrated online distribution, online & kiosk hotel self check-in solutions and mobile & in-room guest engagement systems with customers in more than 65 countries.