Thursday, June 30, 2016

Why do you need an OTA?


Well this is one of the frequent questions that we have to answer with clients. Rather this should be rephrased as " Do I need an OTA? " The obvious answer is “Yes”. But then I always advise our clients to think about this one more time and let us know whether
1. They need an OTA to channel their existing and future business? or
2. They need an OTA as all others are having one?
The choice made above determines what kind of an OTA you need. If your choice is 2nd then I would sincerely suggest you to not invest much time in this and take up some white label solution of an existing OTA and put your logo into it and put it on your website. Your customers will see that you "also have" an OTA and will appreciate you for that. Your business will as usual happen over the counter and in the present manner
If your choice was no: 1 then you should be serious in how to move forward, selecting your supplier, selecting your Technology partner, selecting your server hosting company etc. You are investing for the future and you better get it right.
You also need to be patient and have a realistic time frame of when your product will roll out. It is always better to come out with a tried and tested product in the market rather than rush through something and then answer all your client calls. Keep in mind that you are working with customers’ travel itineraries and their transactions and so be careful on how you proceed.
The one other point to be kept in mind is that there is always a host of factors in play for an OTA to work and so do not jump into conclusions when something goes wrong. You are dependent on your supplier content, your internet connection, your server performance, your own system performance and not to mention the guy who is using it.
You also need to have a good relationship with your technology team as you will need their regular support in tweaking the product and enhancing it with supplier patches etc. You will have cases of Flights missing, fares not appearing etc. A regular support from the IT team is a must for the successful working of an OTA.
Hope you have some idea about the basics of going in for an OTA by now.
To be continued...

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