Online Travel Agencies (OTAs): Complete Guide for Hotels

In a complex but exciting hospitality industry, OTA is a new term that has been used many times. OTA has changed the interaction of a guest with a hotel while changing many other rubrics related to the hospitality industry from a technological upliftment perspective.

The hospitality industry includes all the financial or economic activities that directly or somewhat indirectly add to or depend upon travel and tourism The hospitality industry includes many sectors, which hotels and resorts champion. Online travel agencies go hand in hand once we spell out the word hotel.

OTA stands for online travel agencies. These online platforms serve as intermediaries in facilitating the booking process. Not only do online travel agencies facilitate booking, but they also provide a vast marketplace for accommodations worldwide. More and more hotels now understand the relevance and importance of online travel agencies. This makes it essential for them to understand the concept and use it better to enhance their business.

In this vast pool of online travel agencies, it becomes challenging to manage the hotel efficiently. In a technologically advanced world, marketing has taken the lead as it has become one of the most essential reasons that drive more sales. Online travel agencies are tied to the hotels that help drive missing sales.

Through this comprehensive guide, we try to explain the complex concept of online travel agencies simply. We will not only suggest ways to leverage online travel agencies better in your business but also suggest insights and provide you with tools that will help you navigate this challenging but exciting digital terrain.

We will further explain how you can critically make ties between a hotel and a hotel marketing agency. Indeed, this collaboration will enhance your online and offline presence while amplifying your brand's presence. So let’s dive into online travel agencies, aka OTAs.

What is an OTA?

Several times, we have used the term OTA. Apart from knowing that OTA stands for online travel agency, there is an extensive overview. This new technology demonstrates the shift in travelers’ approach to discovering and booking their accommodations.

To go by definition, an online travel agency popularly known as OTA is a website that acts as a search engine for travel. They explore the gap between the guest and the hotel digitally. They are solving this problem by connecting these hotels to the probable guests and helping them plan their trips. OTA sites help to book and seal many packages related to accommodation, airfare, rental cars, and more.

Online travel agencies are platforms that can range from big giants like or Expedia to niche players like Airbnb, with the tie-up of the hospitality marketing agency with an OTA in an online or digital marketplace that will connect your hotel with a broader audience of your to-be guests.

Evolution of OTA over the years

The Internet has indeed revolutionized every realm of the economic sector. This happened with the hospitality industry as well. At the beginning of the late 20th century, with the Internet, came the convenience of handling everything while sitting at home.

This also gave rise to the convenience of online marketplaces. And so the concept of online bookings was also born. In the earlier days, when you had no option, you would just land in a place and choose from the numerous available options without exploring much. But now, due to the masterminds of hospitality marketing agencies, you can compare and contrast and simultaneously cater to your needs and wants with an online booking system.

Initially, OTA was not a concept, so it was not widely or prevalently used. OTA has evolved into a comprehensive and exhaustive travel hub. The linear view of hotel reservations has changed. The travel game is now more enhanced and widely distributed than just booking a random hotel.

A hotel marketing agency allows travel agencies to enter the business of booking hotel reservations and facilitating the booking of travel such as flights, deciding or planning the activities they would do, or even curating an entire vacation package. This reflects the broader industry change, specifically, modern guests or travellers' changing behavior and expectations.

Role of OTAs in Hotel Bookings

Nobody can deny that now, a significant portion of hotel bookings are made through OTAs. This makes us realize the correct leveraging of these platforms to enhance not only the hotel business but also the consumer choice as a whole. You can now deal with your travel decisions and correctly use every penny you invest in traveling.

Now, online travel agencies are even dominating this industry. We must acknowledge the challenges in this space as well. Hotels face commission rates, dilution, overuse, or overreliance on specific platforms.

But overcoming these challenges, the business goes up if the hotel knows how to use online travel agents, and so does the guest experience. So, let us identify this vast and intricate world of online travel agencies through insights that will help hotels navigate this ever-evolving landscape.

Advantages of OTAs

Online travel agencies have many advantages over just making your booking easy. These advantages include low-cost methods of selling accommodation services. This means you can sell the accommodation services at low costs while getting a high return on investment.

Further, online marketing spending reduces tremendously as online travel agencies invest in advertising to attract potential guests who quickly form a larger chain of guests through word of mouth. Even the essential reviews given by the guests of the hotel further help them decide whether to choose the very particular hotel and if it caters to their specific needs.

The best part is that users or probable guests can easily compare various available accommodations, costs, and other options in a single place. This enhanced and comprehensive comparison will help you choose the correct hotel, which prevents you from searching through various tabs, simplifying the process greatly.

How do OTAs work?

As we saw the history of OTA expand with the Internet, the service has forever helped guests make travel programs better and more significant. This tool reshaped the entire hospitality agency and its function in the real world.

Various sites, like, Airbnb,, and Trip Advisor, offer various booking advice while a guest researches for the next trip. A hospitality marketing agency provides advice that helps cater to guests' needs while booking. This can range from recognizing the immediate need or problem through information evaluation and search, leading to their purchase decision and hotel feedback.

Many properties use a whole network of chains. Such channel managers help streamline the overall operation of the hotel. This not only prevents the duplication of the effort but also increases the revenue and minimizes hotel waste.

Choosing the Right OTAs for Your Hotel

With increasing technology, everything indeed improves. This improvement is due to the rise in the players that create more competition in the market. Indeed, more competition will bring more consumer choice. However, increased choices in the market will also make it difficult for the guest to choose the correct OTA for the hotel.

This is due to the changing nature of today’s consumers or guests. The hotels need to know what online travel agency they must cater to, along with the guests being transparent about the choice. Various OTAs and unique features, challenges, and points will help the hotels up their game.

Types of OTAs

Generally, hospitality marketing agencies have noticed that hotels are booked for two primary purposes. These two purposes are primarily for business purposes and leisure travel. Broadly, both can benefit from the following types of OTAs.

1. Grow My Bookings

The best-ever OTA in the market— Grow My Bookings, brings you the expertise from digital marketing experts passionate about the hospitality industry. Grow My Bookings has experienced small business accommodation entrepreneurs themselves. With the belief that their experience in the hospitality industry is essential in understanding hoteliers’ and lodging entrepreneurs’ challenges in today’s highly competitive hospitality market, they help hotels thrive. Based in India, Grow My Bookings has a deep understanding of overseas countries’ hospitality market that promotes your business by leaps and bounds.

2. is one of the largest websites that helps you book accommodations according to their types and packages. Booking through this platform is very easy and intuitive. This website will not only help you book your hotels but also help you book your flights, car rental, taxi hire, and whatnot by just clicking a button. It also runs various reward programs. It is very efficient to make your experience exciting through an attractive interface.

3. Agoda

Agoda is also one of the top-notch platforms for booking hotels online. Compared to, this platform is specifically for finding reasonable accommodations for you that can be arranged, from private homes to apartments. Having a simple interface, this does not deal much with your flights and other travel accommodations but instead offers you good deals while booking and has an excellent support service. Not to forget, this platform has quite a good support service and a lot of reviews to back your research.

4. is the next preference when booking hotels and flights through an aggregator. This also caters to flight, hotel packages, and even vacation packages, primarily for the target audience of last-minute travelers. It is famous for offering hotels that suit your budget needs and types. It is also famous for its flash sales or last-minute deals, offering extra entertainment for various purposes at the very last minute.

5. Travelperk

The solution for a beautiful corporate travel is the travel perk. It changes the experience from a linear design to a refreshing one associated with business travel. It helps you and your team book, manage, and report on your travel related to work purposes in a stress-free and cheap manner. The booking is centralized, and the expense reports are real-time, which helps you integrate all your needs and make the best out of your corporate travel.

How to Choose the best OTA?

It is challenging to choose from the plethora of online travel agency options available in the market. Here comes the role of a hospitality marketing agency, which has devised a few factors to help you choose the correct one. Online travel agencies help us in many ways to make our booking easy.

While going through a particular online travel agency, we should look for various comparison tools to help us complete our tasks quickly. There should be authentic and pure reviews on the agency, and all the information should be provided transparently. The online travel agency should also offer flexible cancellation policies and leverage their booking in the space of flights while mixing and matching it with various deals and packages.

Each OTA caters to various needs in its distinctive manner. So, go through the commission rates and fees while selecting one. All that needs to be done is to be convinced of a perfect hotel marketing agency that is wonderful but also affordable. For every demographic and psychographic, online travel agencies should provide something to cherish, such as specific listings and packages that are tailored to the specific guest's choices and preferences. 

While we are now aware that the fees matter and so do the target audience management, we should also be able to integrate with hotel management systems. Hotels should prioritize OTAs, which offer smooth connectivity and help them blend with or reach customers more efficiently. Hotels should not forget to enable real-time updates on their rooms' availability, current rates or prices, and everything about their bookings.

Maximizing the Benefits of OTAs

As a hotel owner, one should continuously optimize the hotel listings. The visuals should be high-quality and catchy, and the descriptions should be compelling. All this will maximize the benefit of the OTA by helping it stand out in a crowded OTA marketplace.

The primary function of a hospitality marketing agency is to make good use of all these tools to enhance the hotel’s presence. This can be achieved by striking the correct balance between the hotel’s facility and the guest’s capability. A hotel marketing agency has complete expertise that can be well-utilized by hotels.

Overall, a hotel marketing agency will enhance the online presence of the hotel. This digital presence will improve the brand’s image in the minds of the guests and even probable guests. This can be achieved through a hospitality marketing agency’s expertise in curating creative and compelling content with a strategic dissemination approach. Numerous social media campaigns by hotel marketing agencies will then play a striking role in storytelling that entices potential guests.

The hotel marketing agency’s specialization will serve as a testament to ensure a better return on investment or a better strategy to cater to a huge audience. This will decrease the cost of operation while efficiently managing time and resources through professionals handling digital marketing, which ensures optimal resource allocation.

Increasing the online presence, correctly branding and positioning the hotel, and doing SEO-friendly digital marketing are not just simple terms to write but are also implemented practically by hotel marketing agencies. These efforts will drive more and more guests to the hotel while also building the brand image and the trust of the hotel as a whole.

Challenges and Solutions 

As we saw, online travel agencies can be well utilized by hotels with the expertise of the hotel marketing agency. However, this expertise helps you enhance your profits and will also very smartly cater to or instead handle the everyday challenges hotels face in the OTA landscape.

We know that a particular OTA should not be over-relied on. A diversified distribution strategy will help the hotel to move to greater heights. This will prevent negative impacts or sudden changes in policies or market rubrics. Not only is the hotel marketing agency an expert in managing customer expectations, but strategic communication with transparency is at the tip of a hotel marketing agency, which is crucial for bringing the repeat rate to a higher level.

All these challenges can then be quickly sorted with the diversification of distribution channels, where hotel marketing agencies will cater to these bookings through websites, partnerships, and various channels, reducing the over-dependency on any single platform. Through creative targeted communication strategies, more and more probable guesses will be drawn towards the hotel, increasing or contributing to a hotel's resilience.


By going through this comprehensive guide, you explored the exciting space of the intersection of hotels with online travel agencies that have been made possible with the help of a hotel marketing agency. Now, we understand the role of a hospitality marketing agency in increasing the presence of a hotel.

We also understood the concept of an online travel agency – what it means, its role in the hospitality industry, and how we can choose one particular OTA from the numerous and various options available to us. Further, we understood how we could strategically consider every option related to the online travel agency that can lead us to further maximization of benefits.

Promotion makes a business come to life. So, through numerous promotional tools, we understood how important it is to actively engage with guests and potential guests in the digital realm. Each effort will then help us understand the role of promotion in elevating a hotel's online and offline presence with the efforts of the hospitality marketing agency.

We also understood that this task is not as easy as it looks. With the help of a talented and all-round hospitality marketing agency, we learned that we can quickly mitigate challenges and embrace solutions that are true to their word. 

Hence, to stand tall in this technologically advancing digital era, hotels should not forget to harness the power of online travel agencies or OTAs to cultivate meaningful partnerships. This partnership, driven by the hotel marketing agency, will help hotels survive and thrive in this competitive hospitality industry. 

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