What Does OTA Mean in the Hotel Industry? 

An OTA is a marketing and distribution channel all in one. More than half of OTA users first visit the hotel’s website. So, what can hotels do to improve their website traffic? Marketing to Millennial travelers should be an integral part of the hotel’s homepage. For large brands, this means portraying experiences across their brand hotels. While smaller hotels can display their uniqueness on their landing pages. 

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OTAs are a key distribution channel for hotels 

To maximize your hotel’s profitability, you need to make sure that you match your prices with those of your competitors. This is particularly important when you’re targeting regions with excess booking intent, or niche markets. OTAs and channel managers provide tools to help you monitor market conditions. For example, the Expedia Group’s Rev+ tool helps hotels maximize their profitability by offering occupancy forecasts and competitive pricing insights. 

OTAs also provide hoteliers with free market data to monitor competition and make strategic decisions. In the US, for example, a high percentage of hotel bookings are made through OTAs. In China, hotel bookings through OTAs were double those made on the hotel’s website. Additionally, hoteliers should pay close attention to the profile of guests on OTAs, as they are twice as likely to book through an OTA than the hotel’s website. 

They are a marketing and a distribution channel in one 

In addition to facilitating bookings, OTAs are useful distribution and marketing channels for hotels, as they can help hotels target the guests they want to reach. Some of the OTAs can offer package deals that can attract high-quality guests, such as those on a business trips. Others can focus on attracting budget and luxury guests, or even specific regions. In any case, OTAs can help hotels maintain their average daily rates by helping them capture last-minute bookings. Further, by attracting the right kind of guests, OTAs can help hotels maximize revenue and customer loyalty. 

Most travelers use OTAs more often than hotel websites, so they play a vital role in a hotel’s distribution strategy. Many OTAs spend millions of dollars on marketing and are a low-risk opportunity for growth. But how can OTAs help hotels? What are their advantages? Here are three benefits: 

They help drive bookings 

The use of OTAs in the hotel industry has several benefits. These websites help hoteliers increase their visibility on search engines, and they also allow them to better compete with OTAs when it comes to booking rooms. OTAs offer self-service options, but hoteliers must recognize the human element to work with these sites. Develop a relationship with market managers by inviting them to your property or having them come over for lunch. Market managers can provide you with valuable insights into what works and what isn’t. These relationships can help you increase your direct bookings and loyalty with customers. 

Consumers want all of their choices in one place, so they use OTAs to compare prices. OTAs save consumers time by eliminating the need to check each hotel’s website. They also prioritize rich content and a consistent user experience across multiple devices. By utilizing OTAs in the hotel industry, hoteliers can focus their marketing dollars on building their brand and growing their bookings. These benefits are why OTAs are so important in the hotel industry. 

They can reduce dependence on direct distribution 

OTAs have become the champions of online sales with double-digit growth rates. But these giants come with heavy commissions ranging from 10% to 30%. With the recent coronavirus, hotels faced increased competition with their websites and social media offerings. To defend their profits, hoteliers must find ways to reduce the impact of these commissions. The question is: how? Let’s explore this question in more detail. 

A key strategy to reduce OTA dependency is content parity. The hotel should have consistent descriptions and images across channels. Visitors will choose the description that is most relevant to their needs. For example, a room description should mention whether the hotel offers complimentary newspapers or not. While centralized image and content distribution services can help reduce OTA dependency, these services are often expensive for smaller hotel chains. So how can hotels reduce OTA dependency?