Customer experience moves up on the OTA agenda

OTAs and booking engines looking to deliver more targeted content and intuitive user experience

Online travel providers, often associated with inventory size rather than service, are increasingly fine-tuning the customer experience through methods ranging from tech-focused ones to partnerships with more traditional players.

Agoda has opened six offices around the world to allow it to put customer care more upfront. “We have a lot of exercises going on at the moment to allow (more effective) information exchange (between customers and hotels) using property management systems,” Timothy Hughes, vice president, Business Development of Agoda, said.

OTAs and booking engines looking to deliver more targeted content and intuitive user experience

“Customers want good products and efficiency. They do not want to hang around and search (for products and information) anymore,” he added.

Meanwhile, is focusing on individual preferences in corporate travel in its development of a new B2B corporate travel product for SMEs. John Traas, regional director Southeast Asia of, explained that the booking engine started working with TMCs to find out what individual customers use. It then looks at which company these individual customers are from, then create product banners for particular SMEs. intends to bring its efforts in the B2B corporate travel space to Asia-Pacific in the next 12-18 months, according to Traas.

While corporate travel is still a small segment for compared to the leisure market, Traas was confident it would grow.

Meanwhile, with huge choices available on its site, Trivago sees the opportunity to provide individual services according to customers’ profiles.

Robin Harries, head of global brand marketing of Trivago, said: “We look at concepts. When searching for a hotel, one customer (looks at facilities) like spa or gym, the other wants something else.

“We want to know the customers’ individual preferences when choosing a hotel and provide them with choices that meet their profile. So we are investing a lot on AI, focusing on profiling.”

This may change how content is presented on the website, said Harries.

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