The hotel plays an important role in developing a tourism business, and better hotel quality will attract more customers. As the support by 4.0 technology, hotel industry turned to the new trend, more interesting, more convenient, and more attractive.
Do you ever hear about the smart mirror, automatic sensor, centralize management system,…? While these terms may be new for some people, these technologies are applied to many famous hotel and location.
Online Travel Agency (OTA) appears in the blooming era of online tourism (e – tourism) which uses technology in every tourism process such as booking, transporting, eating and visiting. In the situation when 2.5 billion people using Internet via smartphone; keyword “Tourism and Hotel” ranks 5th among user’s concern; 62% of people uses smartphone to find tourism services; 72% tourist hope to book tour via mobile and 54% tourist want to connect to travel agency online, OTA becomes one of the most promising business trend with an expectable profit.
It is undeniable that the combination of tourism services and technology called OTA changes the whole tourism and bring a large amount of money to this field. According to Google and Temasek Holdings (Singapore), Southeast Asia OTA profit is predicted to shoot up to 89.6 billion USD in 2025. Another survey from Phocuswright, 39% of the digital travel market belongs to online travel agencies, and the number is expected to grow. The successful examples naming booking.com, agoda.com, traveloka.com or trivago.com seem like an unbreakable confirm for an effective tourism solution.
However, the attractive surface of OTA and online tourism involves many people to jump in. A numerous Online Travel Agency entrepreneur are set up and make this market become saturate and strictly competitive. So, what is the main strategy for your OTA to exist and grow strongly? Here are the tips to build a successful online travel agency.
Define your travel market and its potential customer
The first and the most important step before you start your career, not only OTA. Each travel market owns different negative or positive points so they are suitable to different types of customers. TheTravelNet showed five travel markets to consider naming:
Libertine travel: tourism services for liberal and open – minded tourist
Special needs travel: travel for disable people or ones who suffer mobility difficulties, concentrate on finding airlines and resorts to reach their requirements
Wellness travel: travel for young and health, providing yoga and meditation cure along with other tourism services
Organized tours for millennial: focus on young customer who find adventure, exploration and memorable experiences without worrying about fee
Specialty cruises: travel by cruises and related services for group of travelers
Your travel market depends on your capital, start – up building conditions, customer’s demands and partly on tourism trend. You have to define your travel market BEFORE deciding target customer. Travel market has a great influence on reduce unnecessary type of customer and focusing on the right target who use your services. Defining target customer includes gender, age, habit, requirement…
Launch your own research to seek a relevant market, browse local forums or ask your advisors are some suggestions needed.
Maximize the advantages of technology
You run an OTA means that you have a huge supported from technology, just make use of this advantage. Learn as possible as you can about smartphone application, web design for PC and mobile, user – friendly systems to ensure your OTA maximizes it benefits. It could be better if your Online Travel Agency Software is available in Android, IOS and even Window to increase mobile setting rate. For foreign travel, an ideal OTA website should include multi – language support and secure online payment.
Technology will be out – of – date so you definitely upgrade your website/app frequently. The rising trend for 2018 OTA is put virtual reality into practice. Virtual reality provides 360 degree video of famous tourist attraction around the world or hotel rooms, clubs, festivals, airline services helping customers make right decisions before booking. You possibly develop your own project like this by Adamo Digital’s supports. Our company developed successfully some of OTA solutions such as: booking room, booking ticket online, tour management, etc. Some of Adamo Digital recent customers naming e-destinACCESS in USA or Wego in Singapore, etc.
Consider cost – reducing practices
“Cheapest is dearest” has not been right in competitive environment of OTA. More and more online services appear in tourism market with the same qualifications, same benefits but one with reasonable price will be in customers’ first choice list. But, how could you improve your service and maintain low price at the same time? Will it destroy your budget?
It is high time for you to connect with other tourism services such as ticket office, hotel, resort, restaurant, tour guide or other businesses being worry about the scary growth of online tourism. They need to survive through this crazy wave by leaning on OTA and provide their services. Vice versa, a shake – hand between OTA and its partners can make a deal for discount, voucher or presents for your customer. Sharing interest for a bigger profit, why not?
“Top to toe” service
Most of OTAs are trying to support their customers on the whole journey and should you do. One small worthless thing can destroy journey’s happiness. So a good OTA must guarantee to provide perfect from the beginning (booking, advising) to the end (coming back home safety). This make customer to stay with your brand longer, spend time to create good impression and avoid other OTAs from stealing yours. Moreover, after service plays an important part in bring your customer back next time. By some simple caring tips like birthday cards, membership, old customer’s benefit…, you exist in your customer mind already.
Booking.com possibly be a good example of an OTA with “Top to toe” service.
Whatever tips are used, one of the key criteria for building online travel agency to gain customer trust is thoughtful attitude to details. You need to look from customer’s side, understand their needs and take care of them in a good way.
Right now, today, Vietnam is the top software development outsourcing destination in the world. In fact, this has been the case since 2016, when Cushman & Wakefield named Vietnam as the number one global destination for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). This is why companies from all over the world choose Vietnamese providers as their trusted partners, and why so many companies continue to invest in Vietnam. So, how you can select a winning development partner for your business? That’s the subject of today’s blog.
With the growth of online businesses and the emergence of the millennial/young professional travel trend, Online Travel Agencies have become a growing segment of the travel industry. While there is already a good number of OTAs up and running there’s always room for growth, and this is still a quite new strategy for boosting the market value of existing travel businesses. In this blog, I will provide a brief summary of what constitutes an OTA, how to build one and ways to best leverage the business assets an OTA creates.
What is an Online Travel Agency OTA?
An Online Travel Agency is essentially a website through which a company can offer a variety of travel products to consumers. This covers a wide variety of travel-related products and services, such as airline flights, hotel booking, car rentals, cruises, tours, vacation packages, and more. The OTA is essentially a middleman, or broker, connecting travel product and service providers with consumers through a user-friendly interface.
Following trends established by the 4.0 revolution, the travel industry has been shifting towards internet-based solutions to reach target customers, which accounts for their rising popularity.
How to get started?
Millions of people use OTAs for business and vacation bookings, which reflects the fact that today, just about anyone can find travel services online. To reach these customers through an OTA, you’ll need to define and refine your objectives and requirements. To do so, you’ll need to determine the following:
Which platform do you want to build? Mobile app, website, or both?
What services do you want to provide?
Which functions/modules do you require for your OTA? (Examples include flight booking, hotel reservations, rental car reservations, transfers, and so on. Also think about payment/finance/insurance options, which customers will expect to be able to do through your OTA.)
These are the basic considerations you’ll need to think about when building an online travel agency.
Next, add these services to your website/application by either having a CMS system for whatever content you have, or you can just integrate the XML/API to get the content from third party suppliers. Choose the right set of travel API for all the travel products you want to sell. There are several to choose from so depending on your specific needs, pick the API that best enhances the user experience for your services.
The next step will be defining the business model. Contact the travel technology partners whose products and services will be featured on your website/app OTA. It’s important to invest the necessary time and effort here, along with your development team, to ensure a successful and user-friendly experience. Be prepared to update the website/app frequently as new technologies become available; you want to present the best and most cutting-edge experience to keep existing customers and attract new ones.
The above graphic shows you the overview of the relationship among functions of basic OTA, which can be customized and set up more modules as the request. These also summarize all standard information that you should collect and prepare for while building an OTA.
Adamo’s advice to effectively apply OTA to boost business
In general, OTAs are in wide use globally, either connected to Global Distribution Systems or individual airlines. Travel startups that want to develop their online business with multiple travel products need to know how to productively integrate OTA principles into their business. As a qualified developer of OTA systems, Adamo Digital can provide some tips and suggestions to integrate OTA technologies for selling travelling products.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
The first objective of any OTA is to attract traffic when people looking for travel services do a search through a search engine like Google. To maximize potential, your website must be visible at or near the top in the top of the search engine results. For this, your website must have good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tools, and that’s why you need a digital marketing team with the expertise to help you attract the most attention.
To succeed, your website/app must be user-friendly and accessible across multiple platforms (PC/laptop/tablet/smartphone, etc.) Additionally, the front or “landing” page should feature attractive offers and deals, such as discounted tickets for special events, vacation packages, and “bundled” discounts. This is important in order to gain the immediate interest of your customers and represents the competitive advantages of your website or app. Again, the goal is twofold: Attract new customers and retain existing ones.
Making these extras available creates more perceived value, but adds complexity behind the scenes. The fact that creating the best customer experience means more complexity on the back end should be invisible to your clients; these functions should be seamlessly integrated into your website or app. This is when a technology partner with the requisite expertise becomes indispensable. .
Your website or app should also include reviews from prior users, which will help your customers in making decisions. Furthermore, building trust via the website/application’s performance is also a smart strategy to impress and retain users. Regularly reviewing and improving the look, quality and performance of your website and/or application keeps it fresh and exciting for existing and new customers alike.
At the forefront of the 4.0 revolution, the OTA segment is considered as a great resource for travellers. According to the 2018 Distribution and Revenue Management Trends Report, most hoteliers being interviewed have implemented an online distribution strategy and they are well aware that despite the daily tasks they need regular optimization.