By Taz Bareham — 3 Feb 2014
Distribution channels are important for tour operators. Working with OTAs to increase your bookings and your revenue is integral to the success of your business. While you should definitely be checking out what’s popular locally, here are the top 3 global OTAs that you should be working with:
Expedia is the largest travel company in the world. In fact, it was named Top Travel Company on Travel Weekly’s 2013 Power List. With a global presence in over 70 countries, Expedia receives over 50 million unique visitors each month, and its mobile apps are downloaded nearly 80 million times at a rate of over 200 downloads per minute.
Site visitors start off by selecting a destination. Then Expedia will offer a selection of tours and activities – whether it’s transportation that’s required to get around town, a tour to see sights, or something more interactive like taking a cooking class. To apply, click here.
Unlike Expedia, Viator is wholly focused on tours and activities. It sells its products to a global consumer base at Viator.com, 60 additional consumer-facing websites, mobile websites and apps, and through its global network of affiliates. Viator’s listings are supported by more than 500,000 reviews, photos, and videos posted by travelers. It boasts 9 million visitors per month.
Viator will need to approve you first! They will check with the local visitor’s bureau and relevant associations to see that you’re a legitimate business. Then they’ll make sure that your customer service is on par, usually by sending a destination expert to test the products themselves. To apply as a supplier, click here. Another cool thing that Viator does is create a site specifically for tour guides. Here, guides can list tours, license, photos, availability and payment details. The site will allow real customer reviews, SMS booking notification, and an online booking function. To register as a tour guide, click here.
Like Viator, AdventureFinder is specifically focused on a niche – adventure travel. It’s owned by Orbitz, one of the big players when it comes to travel companies.Travelers can choose from nearly 2,500 trips and tours around the world from top tour operators.
Consumers can organise custom trips, browse vacations tailored for groups, singles, couples and families; and search/sort by price, trip duration, and preferred destination with more than 30 interests and activities. Tour operator listings have descriptions, logos, photos, departure months, prices, accommodations, group size, age requirements and demographic information. Payment is through a pay-per-click format, as users will click to your website to learn more and check availability.
A good booking system will simplify the booking management process between you and your resellers. That way, incoming bookings are seamlessly integrated, while your system manages your Agent’s commission. If you haven’t signed up with Rezdy yet, feel free to test it out (this feature is available on your free trial). You can also download our free ebook to keep learning about distributing your tourism products: