Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Book now, pay later; why OTA's are the way forward

Online travel agencies popularly known as OTA’s are a collection of businesses designed to work both independently and collectively with hotels and travel related bodies to ensure the improvement of the hotel and travel industry, as well as provide amazing and affordable options for many travelers from all walks of life; with different tastes and preferences. In the past, the marketing and sale of hotel rooms used to be solely by the hotels themselves. Ocassionally, hotel marketing was done via media platforms and offline.
However, in the wake of ecommerce and online marketing, OTA’s have emerged as a major driving force in the hospitality industry and are recognized as the way forward. Jovago examines ways that OTA’s are beneficial to both hotels and travelers below.
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-First of all, OTAs have all of the inventory under one roof. This makes them the number one go-to place for any traveler. OTA’s give options. With companies such as Jovago having an inventory of over 25,000 hotels in Africa, travelers now have the world of  hotels literally  in their palms. With a wide array of options to choose from, you cannot get it wrong with the choice of  hotel when travelling. Price and facility comparison is also something that OTA’s give you with just a few clicks.

-OTA’s also make search and reservation easier. When booking directly from a hotel website, guests or travelers do not have recommendations to book other hotels if the hotel they desire is fully booked or rooms are unavailable for particular days. However, with OTA’s, even if your preferred hotel is unavailable, you are given many similar options to choose from. So without having to stress over what to do next, you can just find a new hotel and book right away.

-Massive deals and discount promos regularly. Although many hotels give discounts off their room rates or come up with packages sometimes, the weight of these discounts cannot be compared with those of OTA’s. Many of the Travel Agencies give very good discounts and offer amazing deals on special occasions, festivals and events. Also, since there are several hotels listed on these OTA’s, it provides for competition between these hotels in terms of who gives the least discount and who gives the most. This is beneficial to the guest as a room that may be more expensive on the hotel website may be far cheaper on the OTA.

-Search Engine Optimisation. Many OTA’s now pay for SEO. Google ads and other SEM tools are now used to make them very visible on webpages. Most of them want to be the topmost hotels on any search which makes them go extra miles to spend huge sums on SEO and SEM. Trackable links also give social media users and news readers direct access to so many options.

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-Customer Reviews. On hotel websites, we find reviews by customers that have utilized the facility and services in the past. Before they book a room at a hotel, many guests usually want to find out the experiences of others who have used the hotel. On OTA’s, you find a regular update of hotel reviews from many different hotels and this will inform you on the best choice to make based on other people’s experiences.

-Increased sales and Productivity. For relatively no cost, hotels who get listed on OTA’s get extra brand awareness and marketing. They are assured of reaching new guests that the hotel may not acquire on their own. OTA’s drive traffic to hotels and bring them extra guests which increases profitability and productivity.

As a matter of fact, OTA’s have inventories of more than 250,000 hotels around the world, which brings both travelers and hotels to one place. If you haven’t used an OTA before, the time is now. Do not stress yourself while you can simply contact an OTA and get things done.

Credit : Jovago


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