Cesar Ritz Colleges
Are online booking agents good for the hotel industry?
Submitted on: 21 – 1- 2021
Table of contents Introduction 3 Marketing 3 Loss of Customer Information 3 Reach 3 Loss of brand control 4 Conclusion 4 Referencing 5
A lot of people from all over the world think that the best way to book a hotel is to use the OTAs (Online Travel Agents). Also, most of the hotels in the world are available on the OTAs, the Online Travel Agents is online companies that allow the consumers to book either hotel rooms, plane tickets, cars, and travel packages from a website or an Application, and they are considered as the 3rd party agents as they resell all of these things.
(landman, 2020) This research will investigate whether OTAs are suitable for the hotel industry or not.
First of all, as most people know that the online tourism agents are essential in the tourism industry, and there is a relationship between them and hotels marketing, but like anything in the world, it has two sides, positive and negative, the OTAs are the best marketing plan for any hotel especially the unknown hotels; because OTAs have worldwide consumers, without them not everyone can know about the hotel, and maybe just the locals will know about it and a little group of people. (The Marketing Secrets Behind a Winning OTA Strategy for Hotels, 2019) On the other side, it can be just a loss of money because the OTAs make more bookings because of their worldwide users, and they make money by charging fees from the hotel, and it is a percentage of what the customer paid. (OTAs) to Increase Your Hotel Bookings, 2020)
Booking with an OTA is such a great idea, and a lot of people are booking with an OTA these days. Maybe because it’s easy for people to see the prices and differentiate between the hotels in the city they are going to. Obviously, to book with OTAs you have to share your personal information like email address and phone number, but this information will be shared only with the OTA, not the hotel itself. This may affect the residents in the hotel from getting special offers like free breakfast, good packages, and so on. (Getting Real about OTAs: The Pros and Cons of Distribution Marketing, 2016)
As mentioned above, People these days tend to book a hotel using OTAs, and honestly, it’s not that easy for beginners since it will guide you to sections that will make it hard for them to reach. Moreover, OTAs give you features in booking, especially in foreign markets, like translating to multiple languages for foreigners, but this would be so expensive for them. (There are Benefits of Working with OTAs, 2018)
Last but not least, there is a problem that could affect the hotel owners, which is “Loss of brand control” for example, if the guest books a room, and he got another room by mistake because of the OTAs or anything else, he/ she would blame only the hotel. (Problems with Online travel agencies, 2016)
Regarding the information above, there are two faces of the OTAs, and everyone can choose personally if they are good or not by seeing if the positive is more than the negative or the opposite. But we can see clearly that the hotel industry is more damaged than the customer. But, I still think that they are the best way to book a hotel, flight tickets, and anything related to the tourism industry if the customer can use them correctly.
event.com. 2019. The Marketing Secrets Behind A Winning OTA Strategy For Hotels. [online] Available at: <https://www.cvent.com/en/blog/hospitality/secrets-behind-winning-ota-strategy> [Accessed 18 January 2021].
Happybooking.se. 2016. Problems With Online Travel Agencies. [online] Available at: <https://www.happybooking.se/en/blog/march-2016/problems-with-otas/> [Accessed 20 January 2021].
landman, P., 2020. OTA – Online Travel Agency. [online] xotels.com.
Available at: <https://www.xotels.com/en/glossary/ota/> [Accessed 17 January 2021].
revfine.com. 2020. 12 Online Travel Agents (Otas) To Increase Your Hotel Bookings. [online] Available at: <https://www.revfine.com/online-travel-agents/> [Accessed 17 January 2021].
roomkeypms.com. 2016. Getting Real About Otas: The Pros And Cons Of Distribution Marketing. [online]
Available at: <https://roomkeypms.com/blog/getting-real-otas-pros-cons/> [Accessed 14 January 2021].
www.hospitalitynet.org. 2018. There Are Benefits Of Working With Otas. [online]
Available at: <https://www.hospitalitynet.org/news/4087197.html> [Accessed 15 January 2021].