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 »

Opportunities Along the Online Travel Shopper’s Path to Purchase

online travel shopper

The travel planner’s path to purchase is a journey onto itself. It’s not as exciting, perhaps, as the trip they’re about to take, but it’s nevertheless filled with hope and anticipation. Travel suppliers who understand the steps their customers take through the decision-making and buying processes are able provide the right content at the right… Read more »

Corporate Travel Managers Beware: Your Business Travelers Keep Booking Direct

corporate travel managers beware

Open booking policies are far from the norm for corporate travel policies. While most companies allow for some off-channel booking, they prefer travelers to schedule their flights or stays with preferred suppliers using their corporate travel management or booking system. But it’s getting so much easier for travelers to book directly with suppliers—via websites or… Read more »

Tipping the Bucket List: Insights on Experiential Travel

emerging market

Take one look down a person’s bucket list and you’re bound to see travel mentioned somewhere. A bucket list is a collection of experiences—and doesn’t traveling provide the epitome of experience, from the awe-inspiring to the truly visceral? But can bucket lists drive business? The answer is “yes,” as long as suppliers use what they… Read more »

Give Consumers What They Want from Online Travel Agencies

consumers and OTA

The travel booking marketplace is highly competitive. Travelers can book directly from hotels and airlines as well as using the services of a real world or online travel agent. The latest report from Phocuswright shows that online booking is close to beating out offline options, with Europe going 52% online this year and the US… Read more »

What Will Drive Consumers to Traditional Travel Agents in 2017?

drive travel agents

In both the leisure and corporate travel markets, travel planners today aren’t short on options for ways to research, plan and purchase their trips. Traditional travel agencies have held a place in travelers’ hearts, phone books (and browser bookmarks), and even policies for as long as they’ve been providing their services. Let’s explore what’s going… Read more »