086: Beginners Guide to OTA’s

086: Beginners Guide to OTA’s

Holiday Rental Websites, OTA’s, Booking Sites or Listing Sites? Let’s start by looking at what the heck an OTA is anyway, Online Travel Agent apparently – yes I was as confused as you with the term initially too – but I’m going to talk you through my understanding then see how we can best fit them into our businesses!

In this episode I’m going to share my understanding of an OTA, or listing site, what that really means to us as Short Stay Accommodation providers and my experience of the differences between the sites I regularly use

I may earn an affiliate commission if you click on any of links for the listing sites below, it won’t cost you anything more, but keeps the lights on here. Everything I recommend I thoroughly test before suggesting you try it… Click To Tweet

Or the good, the bad & the ugly of advertising your Short Stay Accommodation on 3rd party platforms such as Homeaway, Booking.com, Airbnb or the myriad of others available to us in 2019.

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

I talk through my experience with the top 3rd party listing platforms, from the experience with the site itself, their customer service and the different types of people that come from each platform

I’ll also talk a little about to go about managing your visibility on these platforms and the day to say management of guests.

  • I’ll go through the main platforms I advertise on, giving an overview of my experience. I’m also going to give a score out of 10 on each of the following areas.
    • Effectiveness – from a bookings received perspective
    • Commission Rates
    • Customer Service – if I need assistance as an owner
    • Ease of pricing and ease of control over your own listing
    • Dashboard ease of use
    • Connectivity with Channel Managers
    • What type of People Use This booking site?

I also give an overview of the type of people that use these platforms, in my experience.Beginners Guide to OTA’s – what is an OTA anyway? #holidaylet #vacationrental @homeaway @airbnbCLICK TO TWEET


Airbnb are an absolute giant, their mission statement is :
Airbnb’s mission is to create a world where anyone can belong anywhere

It is the fastest growing global guest community website for holiday rentals, with nearly 500 million guest arrivals.

Airbnb – Follow this link to get started


Mission Statement

“With a mission to empower people to experience the world, Booking.com invests in digital technology that helps take the friction out of travel. … Via our customer experience team, customers can reach Booking.com 24/7 for assistance and support in over 40 languages, any time of the day or night”

Booking.com – Follow this link to get started


Homeaway are a true giant in the Industry and one of the originals –

Mission Statement

Through HomeAway, owners and property managers offer an extensive selection of vacation homes that provide travelers with memorable experiences and benefits, including more room to relax and added privacy, often for less than the cost of traditional hotel accommodations.

Homeaway – Follow this link to get started

Read about Homeaways changes in this article by top notch VRMIntel right here


The worlds travel platform – they are part of a huge group that includes some of the biggest names in travel booking – Hotels.com, VRBO, Trivago, eBookers, Travelocity and Homeaway!!!

Mission Statement

“Our Mission is to Revolutionize Travel Through the Power of Technology.”

Expedia – Follow this link to get started

Trip Advisor

It’s one of those ‘must be on’ platforms

Your listing will automatically appear on TripAdvisors network of 26 (at the time of writing) holiday rental sites across the world: FlipKey, Holiday Lettings, HouseTrip, Niumba & Vacation Home Rentals to name a few you may have heard of

Mission Statement

“TripAdvisor was founded on a core set of principles – to give travellers a voice to share their experiences, promote consumer choice and encourage a level playing field for everyone in the industry– all within a free forum for sharing open and honest opinions. This remains our mission”

Trip Advisor – Click Here to Get Started

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