An online travel agency (OTA) is a marketplace that lets users search, compare and book travel products and services. This includes hotels, flights, car rental, tours, cruises and other vacations. OTAs are the Everything Store for travel, accessible via any device.

OTAs are the most popular distribution channels for travel products. They allow travelers to compare prices and features across thousands of flight, hotel, car rental and other options. They also provide a single point of contact for customer service issues, including changing or canceling reservations and providing refunds.

However, there are some downsides to online travel agencies. For example, airlines, hotels and car rental companies pay hefty fees to OTAs. These fees reduce profits, so they’re not as willing to offer upgrades or special perks to their travelers who booked through an OTA. In contrast, traditional travel management companies work with the same airlines and hotels to negotiate better rates, offers, perks and upgrades for their clients.

The right OTA for your property depends on the demographic of your target audience, your booking goals and your budget. A good mix of direct marketing and OTA listings will help you reach more travelers worldwide, drive higher conversions and maximize revenue.

Whether you want to start small or expand your presence, it’s important to know how each OTA works and what features they offer for travelers. Refer to this list of the most popular OTAs and choose the best one for your business. online travel agency