Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

API Connectivity 201: Expert Advice on Getting Connected with OTAs

Last updated on September 24, 2021
4 minute read
Key Takeaways

  • Identify the right OTA partners for you
  • Utilize your network to grow your business

Skill Level

All Skill Levels

The world of travel looks vastly different than it did five years or even one year ago. With the number of ways to promote your tours only growing, it’s worth putting some thought into your distribution channels.

Are you getting your tours in front of the right people to convert them into customers? These days, three out of four travelers make reservations through OTAs. Read on to find the right OTAs for you, learn more about API connections, and start expanding your network.

What OTAs should I partner with?

Gather Information

You can pursue partnerships with any OTAs you’d like, but to get the most out of your partnerships, think about your business and consider your audience. Make sure the OTAs you choose are relevant to your business and have the right reach to put your tours and activities in front of paying customers.

These are the kinds of questions you should be thinking about:

  • How much exposure does your business need?
    • Does your tour typically have open space that potential customers could fill? Or do your tours usually sell out? Is one tour selling out but the others could use some help?
  • What kind of customer is your tour tailored to?
    • Last-minute bookers, travelers who plan ahead, customers looking for water activities, customers looking for tickets to attractions?
  • What OTA will allow you to target the right audience?
    • Do your research and follow the advice below to start thinking about potential partners. Most OTAs also have a wealth of useful information on their own websites.
  • How much commission are you willing to pay?
    • Commission agreements are made between you and your potential partner. Some partners charge commission and some do not, so it’s worth having those conversations with potential partners to determine who you’re willing to work with.

Once you have these questions answered, you’ll have a better idea of your unique business objectives and will be better equipped to find OTAs that can support your needs. Still looking to learn more about API basics and benefits before getting started? Head over to API 101: Breakdown & Benefits of API Connectivity.

Don’t Put All of Your Eggs in One Basket

Try to think strategically about the resellers that could benefit your business. For example, if you’re in a popular tourist destination and want to attract a wide audience, look for OTAs with a global reach such as Tripadvisor, Expedia, or GetYourGuide. Want to reach people looking for water excursions? Get set up with GetMyBoat, an OTA tailored to customers searching for water sports activities and rentals. Do you offer a culinary experience? Cozymeal is one option for expanding your reach to foodies looking for cooking classes and food tours. Want to access the largest global network of travelers? Get started with

Help Customers Find Your Business

The search function utilized by an OTA can help you tailor your partnerships to your business. For example, Google’s Things to do was designed with last-minute, in-destination bookings in mind. This means that Google is great for businesses that are located close to major attractions where a customer might be searching last-minute for other things to do in the area. Other OTAs, such as Musement, might be a better fit for businesses located in popular tourist destinations where customers are more likely to plan vacation activities ahead of time.

Consider Fresh Ideas

Want to take the work out of it? Consider joining the FareHarbor Distribution Network as an affiliate and gain easy, direct access to resale from our network of thousands of bookable activities. We’ll handle the setup, contracting, and payments for you.

Thinking about the needs of your business and your target market will help you get the most out of your partnerships. But how will you keep track of it all? Check out our API 101 guide and learn more about how our team at FareHarbor can make your life easier with API Connectivity.

Related Guides