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Are OTAs Right For Your Business? Find a Balance with Google Things to do

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Online travel agencies (OTAs) can help you bring in more revenue, reach additional audiences, and fill open spots on your tours and activities. But these third-party resellers also may take high commissions, so it’s well worth weighing the pros and cons before deciding to partner with an OTA. 

Fortunately, FareHarbor has helpful tips on how to determine if OTAs are right for your business. And, if you do decide to use OTAs, FareHarbor offers distribution programs where we handle the associated contracts and API connections for you as part of our free client services. 

How Your Business Can Benefit from OTAs

If you regularly have excess openings and want to capture more bookings, OTAs will put your offerings in front of customers who might not find your business otherwise. When you’re not able to maximize the full capacity of your tours and activities, you’re leaving money on the table! 

Building partnerships with third-party resellers is one way to create additional streams of revenue and reach in-destination travelers and last-minute bookers. This is largely because OTAs often target customers who have just booked a flight or hotel in your area and are looking for activities to round out their itinerary.

You also benefit from doing less market and audience research since you can take advantage of the OTAs’ large user base. Plus, these sites are typically well optimized for mobile, where the majority of bookings happen. 

Before you decide to work with OTAs, there are a few more questions to keep in mind. 

Can You Afford the Commissions?

If more bookings are exactly what you’re looking for, OTAs might be a good fit for your business. But before you sign on the dotted line, make sure to consider the commissions associated with OTAs. These typically average 20% or more of your retail price. You shouldn’t rely on OTAs too heavily as a single source of revenue while letting your direct booking goals fall to the wayside. 

Evaluate your current business needs to help you reach a decision by asking yourself these questions:

  • Do you need a substantial boost in customers? 
  • How much would OTAs benefit your bottom line with their associated commission fees? 

This decision is all about striking a balance to ensure that it is the right move for your business.

Have You Done Your Research?

From Viator to GetYourGuide and others, FareHarbor is integrated with over 100 global and regional OTAs to help you build revenue. If you’re still wondering if OTAs are right for you, start by researching which partners you’d like to work with.

Here are a few things to consider for each OTA:

  • The sign-up process and necessary contracts and agreements 
  • The terms and conditions as well as cancellation policies 
  • The number of visitors they get and the rate at which they’re booking activities
  • How to get your tours and activities on their platform 

If you’re already a FareHarbor client, take a look at our current OTA integrations on Compass.

Striking a Balance: Use Google Things to do

Do you like the idea of using OTAs, but worry about the high commission fees? Google Things to do (Google TTD) is a great solution! 

A replacement for Reserve with Google, Google TTD lets you list your tours and activities for free as part of a program that takes bookings directly through the search engine. Google TTD allows you to use the benefits of Google search to capture more bookings, similar to how your tours and activities would be listed on an OTA.

Even better, FareHarbor’s Connectivity Team will help you get set up on Google TTD and service your connection for its duration. This ensures that all bookings from Google flow into your FareHarbor Dashboard. 

OTAs might not be the right fit for your business, but Google TTD gives you a taste of what these partnerships are all about – without breaking the bank. 

FareHarbor clients can learn more about Google Things to do, including optimizing your listings and setting up ad campaigns, on FareHarbor Compass.

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