If you want to book a business trip, an online travel agency (OTA) can be helpful. They offer a wide range of inventory and can help you compare prices and services to provide you with the best deal.
Even better, they provide transparency and choice in the travel market, so you can ensure you get the best value for your money. No wonder their services have become a popular choice with corporate travel management. According to reports, from $761,9 billion in 2022, the global online travel agents market size may expect to increase to $865,5 billion by 2024 at a CAGR of 13.6%.
Let’s learn more about how an OTA works, the tools they offer, and how they affect business travel booking.
What Is An Online Travel Agency?
An online travel agency is a marketplace for travel. It represents a one-stop shop for all your travel needs, from flights to hotels to tours to car rentals.
Sites like GetYourGuide, Expedia, and ITILITE attract visitors daily because of their easy-to-use, price-to-book, and product-to-travel features.
The Practical Impact of Online Travel Agencies On Business Travel Booking
One of the best advantages of online travel agencies for business travel is that they are very popular with most travelers. Business travelers have more choices, and companies can plan business trips to different destinations.
The impact of online travel agencies is far-reaching and benefits business travel booking. Here is why:
In 2022, the global online travel market was approximately U.S.$ 475 billion, and the projected estimate may exceed U.S$1 trillion by 2030.
In the past, you could book a hotel by phone, walk-in, or through a travel agent, but things have changed over the years. Nowadays, there are many different ways to make business travel bookings, and one of the most popular is through an online travel agency (OTA).
It all started in 1996 when Microsoft released Expedia in the US. It was just a tool for booking a room at first. But it became popular because of its good reputation and branding. Another factor that made OTAs so prevalent was a need for more transparency between hotels and tour operators.
Puts The Customer First
According to Statista, Mobility Market insights, online sales channels accounted for two-thirds of global travel and tourism revenue in 2022. This popularity is not unreal. Online travel agencies always have their customers at the heart of everything. They work hard to ensure the travel experience is good.
They provide customers with what they want and offer better rates than the service providers for digital transformation like eCommerce or mobile shopping. Since OTAs can offer considerably more with the digital user interface, others will continue to lag.
Saves Money And Valuable Time
Something that comes as a boon for business travel booking is the time-saving advantage. If you want an online travel agency, you will not have to worry about driving miles or waiting hours to contact a travel expert. All you have to do is type in your travel information, and they will reach you. It works best for business travelers who work during the day and need access to the closest travel office.
Additionally, employees have plenty of time to research options and decide without the company having to deploy more resources to make plans. And the best part? You will not have to pay any consultancy fees as you would for a physical travel agency. So you can get advice for free! And any changes have no cost until you are ready to travel.
The DIY Experience
If you prefer your employees to be independent and make your business travel bookings, you might find an online travel agency more attractive and, eventually, more affordable.
They provide bundled services and cost comparisons to help you make the best decisions for your business. When you book through an OTA, you can check out reviews online because feedback can make a big difference in deciding between a luxury hotel or a budget stay.
No matter what step you take, your online travel agency experience impacts how you manage your business travel booking. After all, corporate travel management is about optimizing the best journey for your employee and using omnichannel customer support to support your team.
Frequent Business Traveler Rewards And Incentives
Some online travel agencies have loyalty programs that allow you to earn rewards nights, points, and even premium perks for your stay at listed properties. For instance, a few online travel agencies offer a program that rewards you with a free night if you spend ten qualified nights within the program, which is very easy to use and undoubtedly incentivizes you.
Some OTA loyalty programs give benefits when users book vacation rentals, airline tickets, rental cars, and more.
If you book through OTAs, you get points and miles when you use your credit card to make your reservation.
Although, the points you earn and the perks you become eligible for are worth a lot more than what you would get from an OTA with a higher elite status level.
It is always a good idea to check out the nightly rates and perks you are eligible for before you book a hotel room, whether through a trustworthy online agency like ITILITE or directly.
The Bottom Line: OTAs Offer Opportunities For A Diverse Travel Experience In the New Millennia
As travel moves forward, OTAs are ready to impact corporate travel management with top-notch service from booking to departure and return.
And to improve the business travel booking experience, they are innovating with a range of customer service tools and self-service content. OTAs plan to help customers throughout. Self-service content with automation and AI chatbots can answer questions like I lost my ticket or What are the trip cancellation policies and tips for safety? But it is more than just self-service content that can help customers.
The OTA service can reach out to customers wherever they are, even if it’s in a different time zone or trying to get to their next flight.
The customer journey is changing, but with the latest tech, online travel agencies like ITILITE keep customers coming back.