The travel industry has seen rapid growth over the past few years. This has mostly been because of the changing fortunes of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) countries and other previously poor countries in Asia, Africa, and elsewhere. According to the Company Barclaycard annual Travel in Business surveys, online travel bookings have been on the increase since 2000 when only 17% of all travel bookings were made online. As much as 90% of hotel bookings in most hotels today take place through OTA (online travel agency) channels It goes without saying that this trend is set to increase given that the people who did online booking in 2000 still do it today and younger people do online booking given that internet use continues to grow and there is greater confidence with online travel agencies. According to recent PhocusWright study, as much as 90% of hotel bookings in most hotels today take place through OTA (online travel agency) channels.
Given the growth of online travel agencies, it is not surprising that there is a lot of money to be made in the sector. The process of setting up an online travel agency or OTA is not easy given the intense competition in the sector and the fact that you will be up against established and search engine optimized players. You first have to determine the field and area of specialization where you want to invest. This is because there are different travel software programs for different fields and areas of specialization. The process of setting up an online travel agency or OTA is not easy given the intense competition in the sector and the fact that you will be up against established and search engine optimized players. The software you use for online booking distribution is different from what you will use for Big Data analysis. You should go for a SaaS (software-as-a-service)-based travel software program as this saves you money and it substantially shortens the marketing period.
You will be dealing directly with customers and you, therefore, need real-time connectivity to different travel supplies and resources. Handling the different technical requirements is not easy and you should, therefore, insist that your online reservation system allows for aggregation of all resources in one hub and the XML integration of different suppliers.The online reservation system should be scalable. Ensure that the travel software supports different business logic options such as contracts, mark-ups, financial transactions, and orders.
Other than the money you make from bookings, setting up an online travel agency or OTA is also advantageous in that you could also make money with an affiliate program. Having an online reservation system gives you clout and brings you out as a professional in the industry, allowing you to attract hotel wholesalers, suppliers, and other businesses.