What nobody ever told you about OTA
If you have been intrigued by this article, you have probably already heard of the OTA, you have surely benefited more than once of their services, as all the rest of us, and probably now you have decided to have a better understanding of this issue.
The OTA as the definition suggests, are online travel agencies, which promise (but not always allow) to be able to book with the best prices directly from their applications or their Web portals.
In the last decade we have seen the constant power struggle between hoteliers and online travel agencies, better known as OTA. The relationship between hoteliers (included Villa’s management Companies) and online agencies is a love and hate relationship. Some people consider them real enemies because they consider customers as numbers since they do not care about the personal needs of each guest (for example communicating in a standard way something that is indeed special) and dragging down prices and consequently the quality of the services. And there are those who perceive OTA as an important ally in order to increase visibility and online presence, and therefore necessary for their business.
On the basis of an excellent visibility on the Internet, the OTA claim the best rates forcing the hotel to bend to incredibly harmful contractual terms for the journeys quality and therefore harmful for the guests’ satisfaction.
If hoteliers and industry experts are familiar with direct bookings, we cannot assure that the most part of people have the same familiarity with direct booking. If you ask ten people which is, in their opinion, the best way to book a holiday through the internet, making a great deal, we would receive ten different answers.
First of all, everyone has his own concept of business as for example not everyone believes that the best solution is cheapest solution. Despite this, there is a lot of people who believe that the best deals can be found on Expedia or Priceline portals (such as Booking.com) and not in direct channels (online and offline) of the single tourist facility.
The OTA, as intermediaries, are not interested in the innovation of the market system, but operate with the sole purpose of earning a lot money in the quickest way. Ask yourself, for example, of 100 bookings we have made, how many bookings were carried out through Online Travel Agencies and how many those through direct booking.
The latest report from Phocuswright “Channel Surfing: Where Consumers Shop for Travel Online”, about the last two years, reveals in fact that in the most developed markets (US, UK, Germany), the percentage of customers who have used at least once OTA to book accommodation for their stay is between 61 and 75%, while only a percentage between 15% and 44% of consumers have checked and booked through the Hotel/Villas website where they stayed; it is at least interesting to note that users in the US, often regarded as “buyers more easily influenced by advertising” are instead among the most careful in the choice, and they are first in this ranking.
There are several reasons why travellers prefer OTA and although the perception of finding a lower price is among these, however, it is surprising to see that it is not the first ground of appeal. Below we analyse five main reasons why customers choose the OTA. We will see that most of these reasons are only myths to debunk and which measures take those dealing with holidays, with the aim of guaranteeing the best experience to potential visitors of their accommodation facilities.
1 – “The OTA website is easier to use,” False
The user experience trumps everything. The OTA has become the undisputed queens of the user experience: they know that giving users a better browsing experience compared to other websites, those users will book their holiday and they will earn money. In this case they will choose the OTA booking system and not another one, because it is simple, intuitive, easy to use (47% of customers).
This is why when we developed our website (www.luxuryholidaysinsardinia.com ) we have worked closely on the user experience. We wish that when you use our website is a pleasure, we want to give you a great and enjoyable experience even before you choose in which villa you want to spend your holiday and above all put you in the condition to book your holiday from any device (tablet and smartphone), at any time and wherever you are. Hence we are committed so that you can easily find the information you need from anywhere on the website.
Simplified booking processes: when it’s time to purchase, simplicity is essential. As many as 18% of users leave the booking process on the hotel website due to too much information to be entered. For Luxury Holidays in Sardinia, in order to complete your booking, you just have to enter your name, e- mail and choose the payment method, avoiding all unnecessary steps so that you can complete your reservation with 3 simple clicks, just like in the OTA portals.
2 – “The OTA usually have better prices”, False
Approximately 30% of consumers stated that they have preferred the OTA because they think that OTA offer lower rates compared to accommodation facilities websites. In the US as many as 50% of the tourists believes that the OTA have better prices than the respective accommodation facilities websites, while only 15% of them do not think that way. Actually, OTA ask the hotel the best rates and they do not worry about related services. This necessarily leads to a reduction in the quality of your stay, or better, it is quite obvious that booking directly from the hotel website, the customer will ensure for the same price a wide range of services that would not have had booking through OTA. We tried it ourselves on our skin, experiencing it as tourists, as for example finding out that the guests in the next room also had at the same price the unlimited access to the SPA and free wi-fi in the room.
As already operate the world’s major hotel chains such as Hilton and Marriot, in our website you will find the best offers combined with premium services such as, for example, the free intermediate cleaning and linen change or free early / late check in reserved for our guests who, like you, choose to book directly from HERE.
3 – “The OTA brand is more reliable” false
The OTA has become undoubtedly a landmark in the research and booking process. It must be said that the OTA has been incredibly useful to some hotels to enter new international markets that otherwise would not have reached and for travellers to find a “box” which aggregate a large number of choices. But now two questions : are OTA really attracting bookings ? Or these bookings could have been attracted by a hotel or another accommodation facility its own?
All accommodation facilities to be desirable have to offer a high quality service as well as take care of the spaces and monitor their online reputation listening to what the guests who have chosen them have to say. What we at Luxury Holidays in Sardinia do every day, with passion and professionalism is to listen to what our Guests who have spent their holidays in the Villas before you told us, understand it and improve it when we were not able to do our best; our goal is to improve our company and services day by day in order to provide a better and better experience.
But it is important that you know that the Ota do not know and do not inspect the facilities, all the information is entered by the hoteliers, which are solely responsible for your vacation, with their brands, with their name, with their face. When you book through Ota you are not booking a hotel they managed, you are booking an independent facility or managed by a hotel chain; I bet you are now struggling to figure out which is the added value of the OTA brand!
Trust is an important element in the choice of a holiday, nobody would go to another city or state with no reasonable certainty of where you have to stay, so who better than someone like you, who have spent before you his holiday in the same accommodation facility, can give you an opinion about that?
We love to listen to our guests and we encourage them to leave their feedback in the different platforms available, because we believe that this can help you to choose your holiday and it helps us to improve our services, and after that we collect them all in our website (you can read them by clicking on: FEEDBACK ).
4 – “The data security is the highest” False
The above mentioned study shows that besides providing customers a simple and pleasant browsing experience, another important element is above all a secure payment process and a secure data processing.
Almost 50% of users leave in advance the booking process due to problems in the payment system, including 15% because the payment process is too long, 18% for too much information and data to be entered, 18% because the payment method that you would like to use is not available, 12% because the payment process is unclear and unintuitive, 18% had doubts about the website safety, 18% for the inability to complete the transaction due to other errors.
This is how we work and this is why we use the Simple Booking engine, so that you can safely book through a few clicks (in the same way as for OTA), so that you can be confident that your data will be managed through the most reliable safety systems in the market (such as Symantec, Verisign and PCI Security Standard Council) following the highest security standards with the certification PCI DSS much more evolved of the classic SSL used by OTA: your safety is our priority!
5 – The ota are easier to find online – but why?
The presence of ota is very strong, for more than a decade they have been left alone in their online presence, now times have changed and in order to emerge they need to carry out aggressive pay-per- click campaigns (they pay every time you click on their site, then eluding Google algorithms that reward the best outcome available), remarketing tactics (you make a research, they store your data and “haunt” you on the web), and massive advertising campaigns on TV.
In fact, hoteliers and hospitality professionals launch strong and clear messages to tell users that the best deals can be found on their website and nowhere else. As reiterated by the General Director of Federalberghi, Alessandro Nucara – “starting from July 1st, if you contact directly Italian hotels, you have better conditions in terms of price and additional services than those published on the major portals.”
Safety, reliability, simplicity, best price guarantee:
These are the reasons why you are sure to be in the right place and we will give you one more: use the promo code BestPrice and discover the special rates reserved for you.
Sardinia is ready to welcome you and embrace you with its unique sea, pristine nature, a great food and wine culture to be discovered. Do not miss this opportunity. Enjoy summer between sea and relax: don’t wait, book your holiday in Sardinia HERE with Luxury Holidays in Sardinia!