What is an Online Travel Agency (OTA)?


Whether you've heard the term Online Travel Agency or not, you definitely know what they are. Online Travel Agencies have taken over the travel industry by changing the way that you and I research, reserve, and experience destinations around the globe. Airbnb is the largest and most well known OTA which has hosted over 400 million guests since it's launch in August of 2008. Other major OTA's include Booking.com, TripAdvisor, and the Expedia Group. In a nutshell, OTA's allow homeowners and vacation rental property managers to market their properties to massive audiences, while providing travelers a plethora of travel accommodations around the globe, but you probably already know that. What you might not know is the significance of an OTA vs. other means of getting bookings. Let's dive in.

OTA's dominate bookings in the vacation rental industry and the volume of bookings that they can provide to a homeowner or management companies far outweigh the expenses of using their platform for bookings. OTA's often charge individual homeowners anywhere from a 3 to 5% commission on the total net rental revenue (number of nights booked x nightly rate), for each booking that is taken on their site. If you're working with a large management company managing 1,000+ properties, you may be able to pay for an annual marketing subscription to these sites, rather than a per booking commission which will save you money annually. OTA's are a valuable asset for vacation rental properties if done right. With a good listing, you can ensure that your listing is being seen first and promoted by the OTA. Attracting the attention of hundreds of travelers each week and providing consistent cashflow through those bookings. Click here to learn the things that you need to do (things we do with our listings) to have a killer Airbnb listing.

How we work with OTA's. iTrip Vacations prides itself on it's integration with the biggest OTA's in the world. Focused on technology, iTrip has worked to develop seamless communication and information transfer with OTA's to ensure that the guest gets the best overall booking experience. This means that our response times are faster than other listings on OTA websites, all of our properties can be booked instantly through an OTA, our rates, pictures, and descriptions are always accurate and guest are getting exactly what they see when booking the property through an OTA. This level of integration has awarded iTrip an Elite Partner status with VRBO for 3 years running, and we're only 1 of 3 management companies globally to be awarded this status. We not only integrate with the major OTA's, but 40 other marketing channels that further increase the exposure of our properties.

To learn more about our marketing program, and what makes us different from our competition, please give us a call!

Written by Keith Wachter

Business Development Specialist

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