Marketing for Travel Agencies: Understanding and Surviving in the Online Travel Industry

Understanding the travel agency market

  1. Leading players holding the market. Booking Holdings with its 41 percent share and Expedia with about 32 percent are dominating the online travel agencies market. And their shares keep growing. So, for travel agencies, it’s difficult to stay afloat without a specific niche.
  2. Distrust. People tend to be skeptical and even suspicious in arranging their trips. They would rather follow word of mouth, go to their old, time-tested local travel agent, or stick to larger players, even if they are not totally satisfied. So, new travel agencies have to work hard to break through the wall of mistrust.
  3. Invisibility. Unless a travel provider puts a lot of effort and resources into promotion, it risks staying unnoticed. Here, the choice of distribution channel plays a decisive role.
This ad, published in National Geographic by Econo-Travel hotels, dates back to 1978
It will take days for a regular traveler to create such a complex itinerary, Eightydays cuts this to minutes

Investigate and define your market and target audience

Skift, Experiential Traveler Survey, 2019

Analyze your competitors

Establish your partnerships with service providers

Define your pricing strategy

  • You can manually check prices and manually change markups.
  • You can use automated dashboards to track your performance and then manually change markups.
  • The most advanced scenario is to create an automated commission engine that will keep all your markup rules and will be adjusting your margin on the go, reacting to competitor results.
Prestigia, a small OTA with about 200 thousand monthly visitors, wins on Kayak with this hotel deal as it targets boutique accommodation

Search engine

Orbitz has dedicated landing pages for hundreds of their deals and packs them with all useful information that a traveler may need: a booking widget, selected fares, basic information, and even short copy describing the trip
  • Internal activities to meet technical standards of search engines. These usually include installing tools like Google Console and Google Analytics, working with meta tags, reviewing a website for the right page redirection, code errors, and others.
  • External activities usually include working with keywords, texts in general, and acquiring backlinks from other websites.

Email marketing

One of the great examples of submitting discounts was Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants. The discounts promoted the unpopular post-Christmas holiday season
As you can see, there are both wallet-friendly and luxurious destinations and tour packages

Web adverts

Final recommendations



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