Growing Your Tour Business with OTAs

by Shannon Roche

Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) typically grew roots for the flight and accommodation industries, but there’s been a fast growing shift towards tours and activities.

Not only are some OTAs completely dedicated to offering Tours and Activities, well established flight/accommodation OTAs like Expedia have opened up branches to cover the increasing traveler demand for ‘Things to Do’.

After you’ve solidified your own web presence, it’s important to test different marketing channels where travellers can find you. Choosing an OTA to list your offerings on is a great way to get noticed and grow.

Phocuswright conducted a survey to map out the top 10 reasons why travellers use OTAs:

Phocuswright: Reasons Travelers Booked with OTAs

It reinforces what I mentioned in my video on Should You List on Online Travel Agencies (below), travellers are using OTA’s because it’s their preferred method of booking. They are used to the way the website functions, they can see the most options, and there’s a trusted brand taking the credit card. Take advantage of OTAs massive marketing budgets.

Integrating your booking system directly will mean there isn’t extra effort beyond signing up and activating the OTA add-on on your part. Your availability is updated live across every venue you list on, and you’ll see your calendar start to fill up.

If you find the majority of your bookings are coming in through OTA’s, you need to review and ensure that your own website is easy to find, and easy to book on both on desktop and mobile. OTA’s should drive around 30% of your revenue.

With OTAs, it’s never been easier to kick-start your growth.