The 6 Best Online Travel Agencies

Online travel agencies don’t just make life easier for travelers. The best online travel agencies also offer a variety of benefits to business owners. From accessing niche markets to benefiting from the billboard effect, listing your hospitality business on popular travel sites has many perks.

These sites can help you cover low-season lulls or ensure you maximize your bookings year round. Discover how online travel agencies can help you capture your share of the $521 billion online travel market. In this article, we’ll cover the best online travel agencies for hoteliers and other accommodation providers, detail the benefits they offer, and discuss how you can easily manage multiple channels.

The 6 Online Travel Agencies with the Highest Revenue

Before you take the time and effort to list your business on a new channel, you’ll want to make sure that it will actually help you gain new guests. Below are the 6 best online travel agencies worldwide by annual revenue, as reported by Statista.

  2. Expedia
  3. Airbnb
  4. Trivago
  5. Despegar

A Closer Look at the Best Online Travel Agencies

All online travel agencies are not created equal. In fact, many channels cater best to specific businesses. Though listing your property on the highest earning online travel agencies is a great strategy, it is even better to understand the markets that each OTA serves. Below, we will take a closer look at the best online travel agencies.

1. is a global powerhouse in the online travel agency sector. Its expansive platform includes a diverse array of property types, ranging from hotels and resorts to apartments and hostels. So it is a great OTA option for a variety of business models. Renowned for its user-friendly interface and extensive property listings, attracts travelers from around the world.

Hotels can seamlessly integrate with this booking engine, streamlining their reservations and room management. On average, charges businesses a 15% commission on every booking, though this rate can vary from region to region.

2. Expedia

Expedia is a leading online travel agency known for its global reach and comprehensive travel offerings. This one-stop shop caters to travelers searching for accommodations, flights, car rentals, and vacation packages across the globe.

Business owners benefit from Expedia’s tools like the Partner Central platform, which aids in managing bookings, optimizing rates, and enhancing visibility. Expedia’s loyalty program, Expedia Rewards, encourages repeat bookings which is why it is one of the best online travel agencies for hoteliers. However, depending on the region your business is in, Expedia charges 10% to 30% commission.

3. Airbnb

Airbnb is a unique online travel agency that connects travelers with a wide range of accommodations, from cozy private rooms to entire homes. While it initially gained fame for its home-sharing platform, it has expanded to include boutique hotels and traditional accommodations. As such, it ranks toward the top of our list of the best online travel agencies.

Accommodation providers can tap into Airbnb’s extensive network, reaching guests from around the world. While there are a few different options, most hosts on Airbnb are charged a 3% commission. Meanwhile, Airbnb charges a 14% service fee to guests on top of the nightly rate you set.

4. Trivago

Trivago is one of the best online travel agencies, but getting your property on the site isn’t as straightforward as the other options on this list. Trivago is a metasearch engine that scours the Internet to find the best hotel deals for travelers. It collects hotel listings and prices from various online travel agencies, hotel chains, and booking sites.

Owners can leverage Trivago by ensuring their listings are well-optimized on other OTAs. Since it doesn’t handle bookings directly, Trivago doesn’t charge business owners any commission and instead gets its revenue from other sites that advertise there.

5. Despegar

Despegar is one of the best online travel agencies, primarily serving the Latin American market. It offers a wide range of travel-related services, including hotel bookings, flights, and car rentals. With a strong presence in Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries, Despegar provides travelers with a convenient platform to plan and book their trips.

Business owners looking to tap into the Latin American market can benefit from listing their properties on Despegar. It allows them to access a diverse and growing customer base while also providing travelers with options tailored to their preferences and language. Hoteliers can expect to pay 10% to 15% in commission on bookings from this site.

6. Trip. com

As one of the largest online travel agencies globally, offers a variety of services to travelers. Formerly known as Ctrip, it has a strong presence in the Asian market but has expanded its reach to cater to a diverse international audience. Travelers can use to book hotels, flights, trains, car rentals, and other travel-related services.

Accommodation providers aiming to attract travelers from Asia and beyond can benefit from partnering with As one of the best online travel agencies, it provides access to a vast customer base seeking a variety of accommodation options. By listing on, you can expect to pay anywhere between 10% to 25% in commission.

What Are the Benefits of Using an Online Travel Agency?

Online travel agencies have revolutionized the way the hospitality industry operates. They offer a wide array of benefits that cater to both travelers and accommodation providers. In this section, we’ll explore the key advantages of collaborating with some of the best online travel agencies.

  • Higher Booking Volume.
    Of course, the main goal of listing your property on an online travel agency is getting more bookings. These sites have large audiences, which can lead to a substantial increase in bookings.
  • Market insights.
    The best online travel agencies provide valuable data and market insights that can help you understand traveler preferences, booking patterns, and trends. In turn, this can inform your pricing, marketing, and property management strategies.
  • Build an Online Reputation.
    Many OTAs offer a review system that allows previous guests to share their experiences. Positive reviews and ratings can build trust and credibility, encouraging potential guests to choose your property.
  • Easier international reach.
    If you have international guests in mind, the top online travel agencies can help you reach travelers worldwide. They also often support various languages and currencies, making it easier for international guests to book.
  • Billboard effect.
    The Billboard Effect describes the phenomenon in which accommodation providers gain more direct bookings on their own websites after listing their property on OTAs. It illustrates that these platforms serve as powerful marketing and distribution channels.

How to Find the Best Online Travel Agencies for Your Business

While listing your business on all of the best online travel agencies is a smart move, you can go a step further with OTAs. If you want to find the absolute best online travel agencies for your business, you’ll need to identify sites that fit your niche.

Many OTAs cater to specific audiences, such as Thermal for surf trips and for trekking adventures. There are also great online travel agencies for other niches, including luxury accommodations, yoga retreats, family hotels, and more.

How Can I Manage Multiple OTAs?

While having a presence on multiple OTAs can offer big rewards, having to log into and manage several different platforms is extremely time consuming. Not to mention, you risk double-books and other errors. Thankfully, you can use a channel manager to help streamline your bookings across multiple online travel agencies.

Channels allows business owners to integrate with up to 35 different platforms while conveniently managing everything from one simple dashboard.

Want to Learn More About How Bookinglayer Helps Business Owners?

Bookinglayer is an all-in-one software suite designed specifically for adventure travel businesses that have complex booking scenarios. If you want to offer accommodation and activities, Bookinglayer is the most comprehensive platform on the market.

Whether is optimizing your booking flow, automating your payment processing, or streamlining your daily reports, we can help you save time, reduce errors, and increase conversions. You can sign up for a free demo to discover if you are the right fit for our software suite.

Best Online Travel Agencies FAQ

What is an online travel agency?

An online travel agency is a web-based platform that allows users to research and book a range of travel-related services. Also known as OTAs, these marketplaces display services from various providers. They often include accommodation, flights, rental cars, tours and activities, and more.

How do online travel agencies work?

Online travel agencies are third-party services that offer users a convenient and easy way to plan and book travel experiences. They aggregate travel services, facilitate bookings, collect payments, and publish reviews. In return, they oftentimes earn a commission from the bookings they sell.

How do OTAs make money?

OTAs typically make money by charging business owners a commission on the bookings they sell. These commission rates can range from 10% to 30%, depending on the platform you choose and the region you operate in. In addition, some OTAs may also charge customers a service fee to help cover the costs of running the platform.

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