If you have a business in the travel, tourism, or hospitality industry, partnering with an online travel agent can be incredibly beneficial.
Online travel agencies (OTA) can connect your customers with a variety of travel services, including hotels, resorts, car rentals, tours, and other activities.
Partnering with an OTA will help you increase your market, increase customer satisfaction, and will make your job easier.
But how can you partner with an online travel agent?
Let’s take a look at how you can partner with an OTA, how it can benefit your business and the most popular online travel agents you can choose from depending on your goals.
What does an online travel agent do?
They facilitate booking flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and other touristic activities for travelers.
When you hire one, it is your online travel agent who books all your hotels and flights. You don’t have to deal with anyone else. They also offer recommendations for places to visit, they make dinner reservations, and more!
So imagine, if you could partner with one, you could be their go-to option when tourists need your type of product or service. But let’s take a more in-depth insight into the benefits they offer.
Benefits of Partnering With an Online Travel Agent
Why should you consider partnering with an OTA?
Partnering with an online travel agent offers several benefits for businesses and customers.
Benefits for Businesses
There are a variety of reasons your business should consider partnering with an OTA, including:
- Increased Bookings – According to TrekkSoft research, companies working with OTAs receive, on average, 20% more bookings per year than companies who don’t.
- Online Visibility – Partnering with an OTA makes it easier for potential customers to find your business online.
- Improved Customer Experience – Teaming up with an online travel agent will help increase customer satisfaction and encourage repeat customers.
- Increased Productivity – Utilizing the services of an OTA will help you focus on other aspects of running your business.
These benefits make partnering with an online travel agent a fantastic decision for businesses in the travel, tourism, and hospitality industries.
Benefits for Customers
Online travel agents don’t just make your job easier; they can also greatly benefit your customers.
Benefits for customers include:
- Easy Booking – OTAs allow customers to book their hotels, car rentals, and activities online — making it incredibly easy for them to plan and book their trip.
- Easy Payments – After booking their trip, your customers can easily pay online. This process is fast and secure.
- Better Deals – Online travel agents are often able to offer great deals on travel services. This can encourage repeat customers as they trust you to provide discounts on vacation packages and services.
Using an OTA can benefit your customers just as much as your business. As the travel and hospitality industries are customer-oriented, you should be sure to do whatever you can to increase customer satisfaction.
How to Partner With an Online Travel Agent
Partnering with an online travel agent is easy to do. All you have to do is follow a few simple steps to start experiencing all of the benefits of partnering with an OTA.
1. Create a Website With an Online Booking System
Modern businesses require modern solutions. This means creating a website that advertises your services and includes an online booking system for customers.
The travel industry is competitive, and many customers choose to plan and book their services entirely online. To take advantage of this market, you need a modern website with modern tools.
Online booking systems make it easy for customers to schedule reservations, make payments, and cancel, if necessary.
For businesses, these systems make it easy to manage client reservations, accept payments, and make refunds.
Some of the best online booking systems available include:
Online booking systems like these will help you increase customer satisfaction and easily manage your travel or hospitality business.
2. Identify Your Target Market
To get more customers, you need to identify your target market accurately. In other words, you need to determine who you are marketing to.
What is the primary demographic of your customers? Where are the majority of your customers located?
For example, if you are targeting Japenese tourists, your website should be translated into Japanese. If you focus on family activities, you should use marketing strategies designed to attract this market.
You need to identify your primary audience to make adjustments to your website and services as required.
Also, every OTA has a different target market, so you should choose an online travel agent that focuses on serving the same audience as your business.
3. Highlight Unique Benefits of Your Business
What separates your business from others? Why should customers choose you?
You should make sure to highlight all of the unique benefits you can provide to potential new customers, like:
👉🏽 Incredible customer service
👉🏽 Extensive experience
👉🏽 A great reputation
👉🏽 Comprehensive knowledge of a particular aspect of the travel industry
To successfully attract new customers, you need to be able to separate yourself from competitors.
Most Popular Online Travel Agents
There are plenty of online travel agents to choose from. You don’t have to limit yourself to only one. Depending on the exposure you’re looking for and your target market, we recommend you to partner with a few of them.
Expedia allows customers to plan every aspect of their trip, including flights, hotels, car rentals, and activities. Frequent travelers can earn rewards. Customers can also read hotel reviews written by other travelers.
It is known for offering extremely low prices on travel services. Expedia is incredibly easy to use and makes vacation planning simple.
Expedia is free to use.
How to sign up:
Join the Expedia Group
Orbitz is one of the premier online travel agencies available. Customers can book accommodations, flights, activities, cruises, and more. Orbitz offers great deals of travel packages, and customers can earn rewards for booking.
Orbitz is an excellent option for people looking for low-cost, all-inclusive travel packages to locations around the world.
Orbitz is free to use.
How to sign up:
Visit the partnering center to add your business.
One of TripAdvisor’s primary features is the ability to get recommendations for things to do in locations around the world. After booking their trip, customers can read customer reviews and view ranked lists of popular attractions in their destination. Customers can also link with Facebook to share their travel experiences.
TripAdvisor is straightforward to use, helps users get in touch with great travel deals, and helps customers get the most out of their vacations.
TripAdvisor is free to use.
How to sign up:
Visit com and click “Join” in the upper right-hand corner to sign up.
Airbnb’s most significant advantage is allowing users to book accommodations at locations around the world. Instead of booking hotels, customers can choose from shared or private homes at an affordable price. Airbnb also allows customers to book experiences in their destination.
It is an excellent option for budget travelers and people who prefer privacy over the services provided by hotels.
Airbnb is free to use.
How to sign up:
Visit com and click on “Become a host”: there you’ll have the choice of offering your space or experience.
TourRadar specializes in helping customers book tours and experiences in various destinations. There are no booking fees, and customers can earn travel unlimited credits by booking tours or referring friends.
It is an excellent website to find unique, affordable tours at locations around the world. Users can read tour reviews and talk to advisors for tour recommendations.
TourRadar is free to use.
How to sign up:
You can join the TourRadar Partnership Program here.
It’s Time to Find a Travel Agent!
Partnering with online travel agents is a fantastic way for tourism businesses to increase their market exposure and improve customer satisfaction. Following the steps provided in this article will make partnering with an OTA easy.
But of course, the OTAs we mentioned are not the only ones. There are hundreds of small travel agencies that have plenty of customers. So choose whichever works best for your business.
Do you have a tourism-oriented business or a seasonal business? We invite you to keep reading: