How to get back customers from Online Travel Agencies (OTAs)?

How to get back customers from Online Travel Agencies (OTAs)?

To win back customers from Online Travel Agencies, you need to get to the crux and analyze why OTAs have been successful in attracting customers to their sites. OTAs have highly efficient & flexible performing bookings engine that performs a wide variety of tasks and is not just restricted to booking alone. These booking engines have also integrated reviews and recommendations: an essential factor in the decision-making process. Reviews let customers get a realistic view of a product to help make an informed decision.

Online travel agencies sites also act as an aggregator. This allows for comparing the various offerings of varies price range, which can be filtered according to a lot of preferences. This enables comparison shopping of other travel components, thus allowing travellers to save time and money when they combine multiple products.

In addition to providing ease of booking and convenience, package bookings are highly valuable to hoteliers as package travellers tend to stay longer, book long in advance and have lower cancellation rates.

OTAs have leveraged in technology and have created dedicated apps and websites to optimize user experience across all devices, enabling users to browse and book a trip easily at their convenient time and place.

Online Travel agencies offer real-time availability to travelers, allowing them to choose when they would like to book an activity that fits their needs. Bookings can be made even at the last minute or the night before taking the trip.

Mobile bookings are consistently on the rise. Mobile platforms account for one out of every three transactions with nearly 45% of site traffic. China leads the online travel market sales through mobile platforms with a staggering 60% of Chinese preferring OTAs.

  • Online bookings will account for 40% of all bookings in the Asia Pacific, 48% in the U.S., and 55% in Europe by 2020.
  • In developed markets, between 61-75% of customers used an OTA to shop for their travel needs, while 15-44% visited a travel agency.
  • Travellers who said they booked their trip at the last minute or did same day check-ins was 40%, while 55% per cent have used a mobile app to book their trip. 
  • 47% of customers stated that they like OTAs because the websites were easy to use.
  • Only 14 % of Indians prefer a known hotel chain while price, location, and service top their preference list. Price is the crucial decision-making factor for Indians booking a hotel while amenities are the least important factor when booking a hotel. Indians prefer hotel location over customer service when booking an overseas hotel while service surpasses location when booking in India.

 OTA’s are increasingly connecting in real-time. This enables hoteliers to receive feedback from guests staying at the property in real time so they can immediately address any issues to enhance the guest experience. 

How traditional agents can still turn things around and win back customers from online travel agencies

Providing an easy and simple website is the gateway to getting more customers. Trust me. No one wants to navigate and find something in a cluttered, boring, outdated website. Click—Click—Go, this is what modern travellers are looking for. A responsive website that is mobile friendly is a must too.

The sheer volume of options available on online sites has led many customers to abandon comparative shopping. This method of shopping may or may not save them money, but will cost them hours of their time.

The generation Z and millennials travellers are looking for more immersive locale experience trips and are open to visiting agents who are willing to provide tailored packages. These travellers consider agents who specialize in specific niches as market experts, with inside information on the best hotels and attractions necessary to create the desired “experience”.

Your experience, combined with a 360° ERP solution like WebCRS Travel with a robust CRM,  Itinerary generator, Mobile App for Guest will help you automate these processes, and provide all the services that OTAs offer and more. 

To know more, contact us and get a  free demo now.

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