In The OTAs vs. Direct Booking Battle, The Consumer Wins

Much has been written about the so-called war between OTAs and hotels over third-party bookings vs. direct bookings. As OTA commissions have increased (along with their advertising spend and potential reach), major hotel chains are making a push to drive direct bookings. Hilton’s “Stop Clicking Around” campaign promises consumers the best experiences and lowest prices… Read more »

Tours & Activities And OTAs: Partnerships With Benefits

The flurry of recent acquisitions and investments has made it clear – the tours and activities sector is now even more attractive to OTAs. Some of the largest players, including Booking.com, Expedia, TripAdvisor, Ctrip and Airbnb, have either purchased companies or expanded their tour and activities offerings. A 2017 Phocuswright report on tours and activities… Read more »

Travel Loyalty Programs: Looking Beyond The Points

travel loyalty programs

Major hotel brands have been aggressively pushing their travel loyalty programs over the past few years. And, at the same time, Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) have rolled out new or improved rewards programs. Is all this effort impacting the number of “loyal” travelers? Do these programs still matter? Brandie Wright, Phocuswright analyst, reports, “Half of… Read more »

Generational Travel Differences: 4 Insights And 4 Surprises

generational travel differences

We’ve all read about the generational cohorts and the characteristics of each – from the tech-challenged baby boomers, to the self-reliant Gen Xers, to the social media savvy millennials. But are these generalizations actually true? And how can travel companies use this knowledge to their advantage? A number of recent studies have delved into the travel habits… Read more »

OTAs vs. Direct Booking: Rivals or Competitive Teammates?

Online Booking

It’s an interesting time for hotel chains and online travel agencies (OTAs). Sizable marketing campaigns and enhanced reward programs from Hilton, Marriott and others are designed to get travelers to direct book. OTA loyalty programs, such as Expedia+ and Priceline Rewards TM Visa ® card, offer travellers numerous benefits for not booking direct. While each… Read more »

5 Accounts Payable Headaches Travel Companies Can Avoid with Virtual Payments

Businessman

Companies in the travel industry face unique accounts payable (AP) challenges due to the nature of their business. From traditional travel agents, to OTAs, to tour operators, making payments typically involves a large number of suppliers across the globe. Suppliers might include large multinational corporations or small, local vendors in more remote locales. For companies that are… Read more »

Chinese Outbound Tourism: Still Growing, But Changing

Chinese Traveler

The numbers continue to impress – Chinese outbound tourism has seen double-digit annual growth since 2004, with 135 million travelers and $261 billion spent in 2016. And Chinese outbound tourism is expected to continue to grow. A recent Mastercard report predicts 8.5% annual growth until 2021, when China will represent 40% of all Asia Pacific… Read more »

3 Trending Niche Markets for Travel Agencies

online travel agents

Some travel agencies specialize in the luxury travel space. Others focus on serving cruisers. Then again, many travel professionals offer a little bit of everything, suiting the fancy of whatever travel ideas customers bring to their attention. There’s no one right way to provide travel services, as long as travelers get to-and-from their destinations with… Read more »

Industry Resources Help Travel Agents Sail Through Cruise Sales

Travel agents sail through cruise sales

The cruise sale is a complex undertaking for the travel agent—because it’s a complex decision for the travel planner. It’s rarely a straight forward process, especially for the first-time cruiser. Travel consumers have so many cruise options to wade through, from where to go and what to see to which cruise line to use, which… Read more »