Now that you have your reservation system set up, you want to focus on your distribution strategy. You know that direct bookings are important, but you recognize the need for agents to resell your tours and activities in order to reach the global audience that you desire. The next best step might be partnering with a large Online Travel Agent, or OTA. These websites earn high volumes of traffic each year, and they can help package your tours and activities in a way that is enticing to their thousands of customers.
There’s a few things you need to do before you get listed on one of these sites. Here’s the steps you should follow:
OTAs want to know what tours are available at a moment’s notice, so you don’t want to have a delay in your availability postings. With Rezdy, you can display your live availability through the Channel Manager. Regardless of who sells your tours and activities at any given time, your live availability is updated and your agents can see what tours have spaces open.
Establish prices for your various tours and activities, and keep them consistent amongst all parties who are selling your tours. This includes your own direct bookings. If you offer a discount for booking with you directly, OTAs will not work with your business.
In addition, if you decide to run a promo code for your products, then you will want to share that same code and discount with all agents who are reselling your tours. Consistency is the key to maintaining good relationships with OTAs.
When you partner with an OTA, you will increase your exposure to a much larger audience. Some people might be interested in your tours and activities, but opt out of the package available through the OTA. Nevertheless, they may go directly to your site in order to book one of your tours. This is why it’s critical to have a user-friendly booking system integrated with your website. Travelers today want to quickly and easily make their reservations online, so you need to make this possible for them.
OTAs use promotional materials such as tour descriptions, videos and high-resolution photographs in order to market your tours and activities. Have this information ready in your booking system, and make it available for OTAs. This allows them to easily promote your business and generate bookings for you. (Tip: Have a look at Rezdy Marketplace, to see how to structure your details)
Rezdy is available not only to help you with your online booking process, but also with your distribution strategy. This online booking system also includes a channel manager, that makes it easy for you to connect and do business with large OTAs.