As you seek to expand and improve your online distribution network, you will quickly discover that metasearch engines and online travel agents are the major players in the travel industry you need to engage with. In order to develop an effective B&B distribution strategy, you will need to know the difference between the two and how each type of agent can help your B&B.
Online travel agents, or OTAs, are large websites that provide listings of all hotels in a particular area, while simultaneously promoting their current room rates. Common OTAs include Expedia and Viator, and travellers who use OTAs can book a room at your property directly through the OTA website.
The benefits of working with OTAs include:
The cons of working with OTAs include:
Metasearch engines are websites that compile travel data for interested users. For instance, a prospective traveller can search for hotels in a particular city and generate search results that include the property name, location and current room rate, among other details.
The main difference between metasearch engines and OTAs is that travellers cannot book directly via the metasearch results page. Kayak and TripAdvisor are popular examples of metasearch engines.
The benefits of working with metasearch engines include:
The cons of working with metasearch engines include:
In addition to actively working to connect with distribution agents and improve your overall B&B distribution strategy, you’ll want to have the right technology in place so that you can implement your distribution plan. Little Hotelier includes a channel manager that allows you to broadcast your live rates and availability to all your distribution partners at once.
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