THE GIANT list of Online Travel Agencies – An Introduction

I think we are all agreed that the world of hotels and travel is constantly changing. New ideas and business models are replacing existing ones quickly.

And this has made finding a quick reference guide to online intermediaries like OTAs difficult. Even hotels with resources are finding it tricky to navigate through this flux. And if you are an indpendent hotel owner or a sales manager who also is in charge of online distribution, it is even harder work.

The first requirement was to identify “what type of companies should and could come under this list”.  For sanity reasons, I have taken the approach that they qualify for the list if they sell inventory as a third party on behalf of the hotel. (again there are exceptions but….)

Even classification is a moving target!

As I started building the list, the need for further classification was clear. What is an online travel agency? Is it just a well known site like Booking.com? Or are group booking sites included? What about metasearch and last minute booking apps? Do airline websites that offer hotel bookings qualify? Or only if they work independently?

To address this, I have made an effort to classify them into broad categories. And then there are those that defy classification. How about Accorhotels for one? Is it a hotel chain or an OTA or a hotel collection or a marketing consortium? Even classification is a moving target!

Of course with such a vast array of choices, it brings you to the next and bigger question. What are the parameters that a hotel can and should use to choose the right types of booking intermediaries to work with? This and the evolving world of hotel technology will form the related parts of this work. If you would like to be notified when these are published, just join the list here to be notified.

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Comments 8

  1. Post
    Author

    Thanks for your feedback and comment. We do not have a list that has a specific Africa focus. And an important reason is that the online booking industry in Africa is still evolving and it is early days. Even Booking.com has become more aggressive only since last year. I had an opportunity to study demand for hotel rooms in East Africa recently as I was working on a new hotel project in Uganda. So I can give you some related insights.

    I noticed that Jovago has made some very good inroads (it is a home grown African OTA). Booking.com is growing fast since 2015 in many parts of Africa. Expedia is growing relatively slowly as they are very picky about featuring hotels in destinations with high demand and they charge 25% commissions on an average which puts many hotels off.

    What I always recommend is to study the channels that are working/active for competitor hotels in Zambia and the wider South African region and then explore which ones work best for the type of clientele that you seek to drive to your hotels. Another way to approach it is to list your key source markets and identify the OTAs with a strong user segment in those markets.

    Hope this helps! If you want to have a chat to share some more ideas, I am happy to help. You can reach me on +44 7881 807139

  2. Post
    Author
  3. We are a startup OTA in Kenya,not yet started trading but we have already acquired hotel inventory ready for distribution. With over 200 signed profitable contracts with hotels in Kenya from 10% to 30% commission on booking. We are interested in partnering with Overseas Travel Agents than need hotel inventory in Kenya. We require only a small margin on a booking plus we will offer local assistance in confirmation of bookings with hotels and any other requirement. Contact us to discuss info@directbookings.co.ke http://www.directbookings.co.ke

  4. I have a luxury boutique cottage in the hills in India(www.onepartridgehill.com).The property has been built keeping environment sustainability in mind. We have solar heating, rain water harvesting, our own composting pit. Keeping in mind that our property must be accessible to The differently abled, we have a wheelchair ramp too.

    Plus we are in an excellent location, have spectacular views, bespoke interiors and great staff. Our rating on Tripadvisor is 5 star plus we are competitively priced. However we have not been able to get our due in terms of the no of guests checking in.

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