An online travel agency (OTA) is a company that provides access to travel products and services including hotels, rental cars, airline tickets, cruises, tours and more. They act as intermediaries between suppliers and customers, aggregating and bundling inventory and travel information services. They may also act as tour operators or provide additional travel-related content and tools like maps, reviews, tips and recommendations. OTAs have the advantage of offering a wide range of choice to consumers while being more efficient than traditional travel agencies.
OTAs are a popular distribution channel for vacation rentals, as they allow travelers to easily search and compare options, book online and receive confirmation within minutes. They can also help drive traffic to your listing and increase your exposure to a wider audience. However, while OTAs have their pros, there are some considerations that should be taken into account by both homeowners and guests.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is that OTAs are not responsible for collecting, reporting or remitting taxes on behalf of you or your guests. Depending on the terms of service and how they are structured, the merchant of record for lodging taxes may be the OTA or hotel.
Ultimately, the decision to list your property on an OTA should be based on the benefits they can offer you as a homeowner and the type of vacation experience your home provides. With business travel slowly resuming post-pandemic, many companies are turning to third party travel solutions such as an OTA or Travel Management Company to streamline their booking process. online travel agency