banner type: None
thistemplate: template_content_hubs.php
5 benefits of using online travel agencies
5 benefits of using online travel agencies

5 benefits of using online travel agencies

Online travel agencies (OTAs) can be one of the greatest allies that lodging operators have. They help open up new markets and secure a stream of steady bookings when used in parallel with a strong direct booking strategy. Travelers gravitate towards OTAs due to their strong presence, which results in trust and credibility. Here we look at some of the benefits OTAs bring to travelers.


1. Convenience

With so much information online today, travelers use OTAs to easily browse and book their accommodations using a trustworthy website. OTAs provide the convenience of price, location, and property-type comparisons. The ability to filter down thousands of properties to one that fits their trip goals is an invaluable tool that saves hours of time. 


2. Loyalty programs

Larger OTAs have loyalty programs that reward travelers for booking multiple trips through their site, including rooms (or beds), car rentals, plane tickets, and activities. For example, the new One Key reward program gives travelers the flexibility to earn and use rewards across Expedia Group using OneKeyCash.


Get the hotelier’s guide to top distribution channels.


3. Price-driven decisions.

Online travel agencies are often considered the cheapest place to book and the best place to find package deals. Though many hotel brands have tried to change this perception by pushing direct booking campaigns and strategies, OTAs still benefit from being thought of as low-cost leaders.

For example, Agoda has a ‘Coupons & Deals’ section of its website offering daily deals and spontaneous savings. Every day, these offers change and include incentives such as percentage off coupons and special rates on select hotels. Offers like this are hard for consumers to pass up and help increase the likelihood of generating a booking. 


4. Extensive advertising & marketing budgets

Discount and deal-centric advertising campaigns help shape consumer notions that OTAs are the best place to book. In 2023 alone, Expedia Group, Booking Holdings, Airbnb, and spent a total of $16.8 billion USD on sales and marketing, up 20% from 2022.

How are they spending these enormous budgets? Skift reports the going rate for a 30-second Superbowl slot during the 2023 game was $7 million USD, with making an appearance in the fourth quarter with its Booking.yeah ad. 



Airbnb, on the other hand, partnered with Mattel to deliver the “Malibu Barbie DreamHouse” listing on Airbnb. Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky said this campaign “became a phenomenon on social media and got more press, more articles than our IPO.” 

Online travel agencies have one job: to get their inventory, including yours, in front of the right person at the right time. They’re constantly creating new and innovative ways to get rooms and rates in front of travelers. Of course, the cost of this innovation is how they justify their fees and commissions to the properties that list on their platforms. 


5. Secure global payments & traveler protection

OTAs give travelers the ability to complete safe and secure payment transactions in their preferred currency. They support multiple payment methods depending on location, providing travelers the flexibility that independent properties are often unable to accommodate unless they use secure, integrated payment processing (which the Cloudbeds Hospitality Platform offers) that’s equipped to send hospitality-enriched data to banks and also supports multiple payment methods and currencies. 

In addition, OTAs often offer traveler protection to provide peace of mind while booking. Last year, Airbnb introduced Aircover, a free protection for travelers included for every guest. Its purpose is to help provide refunds or new accommodations if you experience an issue such as a host cancellation, trouble checking in, or a key missing amenity. 


The Big Book of OTAs

Get the hotelier’s guide to top distribution channels, including recipe for ideal channel mix, top performing OTAs in your region, and a directory of 90+ OTAs.
Web Beacon
“Hi there, I’m the Cloudbeds assistant. I can help with any questions or schedule a demo. Ready to chat?“
Chat with Sales
Chat live with one of our expert hospitality consultants to discuss your specific needs.
Live Chat
Questions, Support?
Get Support or use our automated system to easily search for answers to your questions.
Ask a question
Schedule a Demo
Schedule a live demo and see for yourself how Cloudbeds can grow revenue, streamline operations, and enable memorable guest experiences.
Request a Demo
3033 5th Ave. Ste 100
San Diego, CA 92103
Contact Us