Millions of people utilize the internet as a source of information when seeking accommodations for travel. If you're a host or property manager, you probably know that guests book vacation rentals through a variety of online resources. As much as direct bookings are important to your business, indirect booking sites such as OTAs are growing in popularity as they are the perfect way for hosts to reach their target audience at the perfect time and place. Therefore, the most innovative approach to increasing reservations is to consider marketing your properties where travelers frequent the most. Online Travel Agencies.
There is now a growing trend in global online travel being catalyzed by the expansion of the tourism and travel industries as well as the increased use of online travel agencies in the short-term rental industry to increase sales and profitability. Statista reports that travel and tourism contributed 5.81 trillion U.S. dollars to global GDP in 2021, up one trillion U.S. dollars from 2020 but not catching up to pre-pandemic levels. This market is forecast to amount to approximately 691 billion U.S. dollars by 2026. According to IMARC Group, the market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.70% from 2022 to 2027, reaching US$ 843.52 billion.
OTAs are web platforms linked to accommodation and travel that act as a mediator between property owners and guests.
These OTA sites earn revenue from being an intermediary in the relationship between hosts and guests, as well as providing excellent service to guests in order to increase reservations. In exchange for a fee, these OTA channels advertise these property listings and handle any conflicts that might arise such as damage to property, bad guest behavior, or even negative reviews.
Remember that an OTA's main goal isn't to rent out your property; it's to improve their conversion rate since doing so makes their annual revenue more competitive. In order for you to capitalize on these websites, as a property manager or host, you must ensure that you have the best market price, a better listing description, outstanding photos, 5-star reviews, and, ultimately, a higher conversion rate than your competitors.
If you are trying to increase bookings, fill up your calendar and have a healthy occupancy rate then you cannot ignore the use of OTAs. Since these channels control ⅔ of all online bookings, they are a crucial resource when hosts are trying to sell their unsold inventory.
Property managers are increasingly relying on OTA websites to advertise their vacation rentals. Why? Because these websites are visited by millions of tourists, business travelers, families, and large corporations, each day who are looking for accommodation for their vacations or longer stays. Here are some reasons why OTAs are important to your business.
OTAs have a large number of users and can give your rental property more exposure, helping you reach a wider audience and attract more guests.
Many guests prefer to book their vacation rentals through OTAs because of the convenience and trust they associate with these platforms.
OTAs operate globally and can help you attract guests from all over the world, which can increase your revenue exponentially.
OTAs facilitate the payment process and receipt of funds, making the booking process convenient for both you and your guests.
OTAs often have review systems in place that allow guests to rate their stay, which can help improve the reputation of your vacation rental over time.
By listing your rental on multiple OTAs, you can potentially increase your revenue by reaching a wider audience and receiving more bookings.
Using multiple OTAs can help you diversify your income and spread out your risk as opposed to listing on only one.
When choosing an OTA, consider the following factors:
- Traffic generated by each platform
- The commission rate
- The global reach of the platform
- Competitors you will face on each platform
- Your property type
- Your location
- Your revenue goals and long-term goals
- The type of demographic you’re looking for
- Language availability
Your goal as a host is to find the best vacation rental sites on which to list your property so that revenue can be generated. For maximum reach and finding the perfect OTA best suited for your business, we've researched the best in the business.
In order to increase bookings for your property, you need to list your property where your guests and target audience are most likely to be. An ideal way to reach this target is to be featured on the right OTA channels. In this section, you'll find a list of the most popular OTAs where you'll be able to meet your ideal guest audience.
Here are our top 7 OTAs we believe will help you achieve your goals.
- Homes & Villas by Marriott International
- Google Travel
Airbnb is a brand that is synonymous with short-term rental services and is frequently regarded as one of the finest. It is the place to be if you are venturing into the world of short-term rentals! Airbnb has listed properties in more than 220 countries and has hosted more than one billion guests. Since its inception in 2007, Airbnb has revolutionized vacation rental, transforming the entire ecosphere, by making shared spaces, reviews, and guest experiences more important.
OTAs like Airbnb are prominent in the world, thus meaning it an excellent way to advertise your short-term rental. Besides offering a number of tools and services to help you manage your listing, Airbnb also offers hosts the following advantages.
With the split-fee option, hosts will pay around 3% or 14-16% with the host-only option.
VRBO is regarded as a pioneer in the industry. In over 100 countries around the world, they provide homeowners with an online space to advertise their vacation properties. In addition, they reach a wide audience of travelers who may be your potential guests. In addition to homeowners, VRBO also provides listing services to property managers. Travel insurance can also be purchased on Vrbo when guests pay for their reservations. As well as being known as part of one of the world’s largest travel companies, VRBO is widely regarded as a trustworthy company.
More than 2 million properties are listed on the site in 190 countries, including homes, condos, and some less traditional properties, including castles and treehouses, with a strong presence in American markets. Besides traditional vacation rental properties, Vrbo is popular in beach markets and leisure destinations. The website traffic of VRBO averages 20 million visitors per month.
Headquartered in Amsterdam, Booking.com is one of the largest and oldest OTAs for accommodations, including bed and breakfasts, self-catering apartments, and vacation rentals. Booking.com's listing database has over 28 million listings, covering more than 130,000 destinations in 228 countries. An excellent sales channel to expand both market reach and increased bookings. The website traffic of Booking.com averages 350 million visitors per month.
Listing is free
Any type of property can be listed
At the time of listing, you can import many details from your existing listings to save time
Provides an easy-to-use interface and instant booking capabilities.
Provides step-by-step guidance - on how the platform works, best practices, and things to watch out for.
Advanced filtering and searching system.
i.e: It displays results tailored to the guest's specifications based on what they're searching for. Hosts who want to reach a specific audience can utilize this feature.
A fixed host fee of 15% on completed bookings, upon guest check-in. ** If a guest cancels a booking, no fee is charged.
Tripadvisor Rentals is a popular web-based rental listing service where thousands of vacation rental managers and owners list their property listings, from private rooms to luxurious villas. TripAdvisor is the world's largest travel site and has over 988 million reviews and over 463 million monthly users, so it has the ability to gain trust from travelers, helping owners get bookings for their rentals, consistently.
Tripadvisor offers reviews and advice on hotels, restaurants, attractions, and more, as well as a forum for asking questions and sharing stories. Additionally, Tripadvisor offers a range of travel services, such as booking hotels, flights, and vacation packages.
A 3% host fee is charged per booking. This commission is based on the host’s total rent, including any required and optional fees specified for the property.
There is no doubt that Marriott is one of the most trusted brands in the world when it comes to the accommodation industry. Marriott has been a global player for many years. Marriott Homes & Villas is one of the newest entrants into the vacation rental OTA space.
Marriott works with reputable vacation rental management companies to manage luxury villas, homes, and condos and Marriott's home rentals combine the comfort of a traditional hotel stay with all the amenities of a private home. Listing your vacation rental on Homes & Villas by Marriott International will give you access to a larger audience of potential guests. All Marriott home listings are meticulously maintained to ensure they meet Marriott's high standards of quality, design, and customer service. Most Marriott properties listed are exquisite and feature unique accommodations, these include chic penthouses, waterfront villas, lavish mansions, and charming cottages. Generally catering to large parties, these homes feature outdoor fire pits, private pools, and open lawn areas. Additionally, Marriott's marketing and loyalty initiatives, as well as its extensive network of travel partners, will help your vacation rental stand out from the competition.
The website traffic of Marriott bonvoy averages 100,000 visitors per month.
The standard commission is 15%.
Marriott Homes & Villas charges a commission on the nightly rates and cleaning fees minus taxes.
Hopper is North America's most downloaded travel app!
A travel booking app and online travel marketplace, Hopper, Inc. specializes in flights, hotels, rental cars, and short-term rentals. The corporation has offices in Montreal, Canada, and Boston, Massachusetts.
Hopper Homes is a new travel category for the Hopper app, which lets users search for flights and accommodation. In their mobile-only app, Hoppers is rapidly adding 2.3M users per month as they are a heavily in-demand 70M user booking platform. Using Hopper Homes, users can search for vacation rental properties based on location, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as amenities like outdoor space and parking.
Hopper uses artificial intelligence and data to predict future prices and alert travelers when flights and accommodations drop in price. As an accredited travel agency, they work with airlines, hotels, vacation homes, and vehicle rental companies all around the world to ensure guests have the finest vacation possible at the greatest price.
Reach new Traveler Demographics - Hopper provides property managers with access to new customer demographics that are likely to give them long-term customers such as Gen Y/Z consumers, who are primarily mobile-first generations. Since Hopper is a mobile-only travel app the highest consumers would be from this customer base.
Access to loyal and committed customers
Approximately 65% of reservations made on Hopper are repeat bookings. This is great news for property managers who wish to reach an audience of loyal, highly engaged guests. By leveraging social media, Hopper encourages users to download their app and keeps them engaged with personalized notifications. Using artificial intelligence, these messages provide advice on when to book and how to plan a trip better.
The company does not charge hosts any commissions or guests any service fees. Instead, the company gets discounted net rates from each property and adds a dynamic markup to them to ensure that they offer the lowest prices while also maximizing their own earnings.
The Google Vacation Rentals product is the latest addition to Google's suite of travel search tools. The Google travel search engine is used by millions of users every day around the world. In response to this demand, Google created Google Vacation Rentals, which combines short-term rental listings with its travel search function. To book a hotel, travelers visit partner sites, share listings with travel companions, and research lodging on Google. With Google's Vacation Rental search features, travelers can find the best lodging options for their queries-whether they're looking for a quaint cabin or a large house.
Listing your vacation rental on Google Travel can be beneficial for your business because it will allow potential customers to easily find and book your rental. With Google Travel, potential customers can search for your rental using keywords and filters, and they can even compare prices and reviews from other vacation rental sites. Additionally, by listing your rental on Google Travel, you can capitalize on the huge amounts of traffic that Google already receives. This can help you to reach a much wider audience and ultimately increase your bookings.
The scope of your vacation rental business increases when you list on multiple OTA websites. However, in spite of the benefits discussed, you should always be aware of how each OTA platform works before listing your property. Do your research and find out which OTAs are best suited to your needs.
As property managers involved in vacation rentals, it is imperative not to put all your eggs in one basket. Since you are constantly at the disposal of the operators of that website, if all of your efforts are concentrated on one OTA or booking channel, you risk losing bookings. For instance, regular changes in policies, operations, and search algorithms may cause your listing to lose favor with the search engine, thereby sending your listing off the grid.
The best way to manage multiple listings on different channels is to use reputable property management software, which will help you diversify your booking sources and improve your market position. For growing property managers, Hostaway offers an all-in-one solution. Hostaway's proprietary channel manager is the heart of its platform, praised by both channels and property managers worldwide. Manage your bookings across different OTAs via one dashboard, with the fastest and most advanced multi-calendar, in the industry. Our featured tools automate and simplify everyday tasks. To discover how Hostaway can help you grow your property management business, contact us to schedule a demo.