I want to scream out to all those online travel bargain hunters “We are the same as Expedia, Costco, etc!”
But we aren’t and so I don’t.
Because I’m human.
I’m not a computer program set up to game you.
I’m not an OTA, I’m a Real Live Travel Agent/Advisor.
What is an OTA?
OTA stands for online travel agencies, such as Expedia, Costco, Travelocity, Priceline, Kayak, Booking, etc.
Some OTAs show you recommended packages, better known as deeply discounted non-refundable hotel rooms and flights, and to upsell you on marked up rental cars, tours, etc.
OTAs sell thousands of these cookie-cutter packages for 15-20% commission on every purchase. Yes, those OTAs make money off of you! I thought you knew…
Travel Advisors also make a commission on most sales.
But, I don’t sell thousands of these packages or non-refundable rooms, my commission percentage is lower than those OTAs, and therefore my profits are meager.
I’m not an order taker or an online booking agent. However, I’m human and I do provide excellent customer service.
You can talk to me about specifics and I can advise you if the hotel or resort or a particular room is exactly what you’re looking for or is simply not up to your standards. Or the name, cellphone number, and color of shirt the driver of your airport transfer will be wearing. Or if a tour goes to this place but you really want to go to another place.
Those OTAs can’t tell you that! They don’t know you and there’s no one to talk to. I’ll get to know you, your dreams and wishes, and design that perfect adventure for you. Even if it’s a quick weekend getaway.
Read my blog post: Did Your Travel Refund Get Coronavirus Screwed? Some of those OTAs still refuse to refund money owed or charged exorbitant fees to change travel plans. Yup, just another OTA game.
What is an OTA Game?
OTAs are setup with basic information and pretty pictures of the property and the rooms available but I can make a few phone calls that will reveal the real story. Plus, I have access to resources far beyond the standard consumer review sites.
And besides, we now know that TripAdvisor was gaming you in the past and ranking travel suppliers higher according to some nefarious schemes that included the amount of advertising money paid to TripAdvisor and even deleting some reviews while in the pending stage. And since they are also now selling travel, you’ll get even more game from them.
Oh, and did I mention that TripAdvisor now owns Viator? You cannot post a tour review on Viator since the buyout. That’s one more independent consumer review website gone. You didn’t hear about all that? Hmmm, I thought you knew…
So, who can you trust? Me. The Human. The Real Live Travel Agent.
What else can I do for you?
Because of my special relationship with some travel suppliers, I can get you extra amenities (such as an upgraded room or a room with a better view) and exclusive perks (such as daily breakfast or onboard, spa or golf credits).
I can also save you time, sanity, and money.
As a Travel Advisor, I take care of YOU, first and foremost.
So… Use Me Until You Use Me Up.
Check out our Travel Services page to see what we can do for you.