Originally created to sell excess inventory during slow seasons, OTAs have become one of the top driver of hotel bookings around the world. Their customers range from both business and leisure travel and their bookings are expected to continue growing. They have moved from offering simply hotel bookings to providing everything from language support to personalized experience suggestions.
With this growth, there has been enormous advancement in automation and online servicing but ironically, the industry is seeing a trend to bring back the human element. The new generation of travelers seek more curated, bespoke experiences and desire on-demand personal travel services. In order to keep up with consumer needs, previously online-only services like Reservations.com have made significant investments to provide immediate phone assistance by a trained team of customer success agents who can help suggest and find hotel deals based on specific preferences.
In addition to providing a full-circle customer service experience, many OTAs are going a step further and offering the opportunity to book a full-circle travel experience.