Small accommodation providers can benefit greatly from online travel agencies (OTAs), using them to attract global guests.
But with a limited number of rooms to sell, you need to make sure you partner with the right agencies. How can you make sure you’re establishing the most effective partnerships?
Here’s what to look for in your OTAs, so that you can make sure you’re getting the most value (and bookings) out of the relationship.
Before choosing an OTA, it’s important to define what kind of guest you want, instead of just accepting anyone and everyone. Then, you need to consider whether this OTA can give you that guest.
The OTA should be able to describe what demographic and geographic reach they have. You may want to consider offering special rates for certain countries to sweeten the deal.
For example, if you want to tap into the Chinese leisure travel market, then find an OTA that has access into that niche. Try Ctrip, eLong, or LY.com. However, if you want to get more business travelers, it may be best to go through a meeting planner.
Your property should also fit into the OTA’s overall product/service mix.
How many inns, bed and breakfasts, hostels, and guesthouses do they have as a part of their product mix?
Ask them what they like about your property, and what experience they have in selling similar types of rooms.
The OTA you choose should have a good track record in working with small accommodation providers like yourself.
Obviously, the OTA you choose should be established in the markets that you’re trying to reach, meaning they have the right resources to service both you and your guests.
Find out how large the business is, and what systems they use to keep everything running smoothly.
Once you’ve decided on an OTA, it’s time to make the partnership official by putting it in writing. Make sure you decide on…
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