Optimizing Sales Channels: Online Travel Agents (OTAs)

Online Travel Agents (OTAs) play an indispensable role in the travel industry, connecting attractions and tour operators with prospective travelers worldwide. They are a powerful tool in your sales strategy, acting as a vital link between your business and the consumer.

However, like any sales channel, the key to maximizing their potential lies in understanding their operations and optimizing your engagement. Let’s delve deeper into this important sales channel.

Understanding OTAs

OTAs are third-party booking websites that offer customers a variety of travel services, including flights, hotels, and experiences like tours and attractions.

Some popular OTAs include Expedia, Booking.com, and TripAdvisor. When it comes to attractions and tour operators, OTAs essentially list your services on their platform, broadening your market reach and leveraging their customer base.

Pros and Cons of OTAs


1. Extended Reach: OTAs offer a platform to reach a global audience, beyond your typical marketing capabilities.

2. Marketing Benefits: OTAs invest heavily in SEO and marketing efforts, effectively increasing your visibility.

3. Customer Trust: Many travelers trust OTAs and prefer booking through them due to their easy comparison features and comprehensive offerings.


1. Commission Fees: OTAs charge commission fees, which can sometimes eat into your profit margins.

2. Less Control: You have less direct control over customer data and the booking experience when using OTAs.

Why Use OTAs?

The immense reach and marketing power of OTAs make them an essential channel for operators. They provide access to a broader customer base, boosting bookings, especially during off-peak periods.

John Schnobrich via Upsplash

How to Optimize the OTA Channel?

1. Choice of OTAs: All OTAs are not created equal. Understand the customer base, reach, and commission structure of different OTAs before choosing to partner with them.

2. Manage Your Listings: Regularly update your listings, ensure the accuracy of information, and respond promptly to customer reviews.

3. Negotiate Commissions: While OTAs do charge commission fees, these are often negotiable. Aim for a balance that suits both parties.

Pro Tips and Action Items

1. Optimize Your Descriptions: Well-written, engaging descriptions with high-quality images can improve the performance of your listings.

2. Actively Engage with Customer Reviews: Respond to both positive and negative reviews professionally. This shows you value customer feedback and helps build trust with potential customers.

3. Promote Direct Bookings: While OTAs are an important channel, don’t neglect to promote direct bookings through your website. Offer incentives to encourage customers to book directly next time.

4. Use OTA Data: Use the data available from your OTA platform to understand customer behavior, peak booking times, and more. This data can help inform your marketing strategies.

In the coming posts, we’ll explore other vital sales channels, providing insights on how you can optimize them for your business.

At Ventrata, we are committed to supporting you in making the most of every sales channel. For more information on Ventrata, check out Customer Success or request a demo

Contact sales@ventrata.com to chat to a member of our sales team

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