There is so much more to an online travel agency (OTA) than the user-facing website. Behind the online storefront of hotels and their amenities is a sophisticated technological platform. Hotel mapping for OTAs is part of that technological platform, and it’s extremely important.
What is Hotel Mapping?
Behind the website shopping cart is a hotel aggregator, which is a powerful piece of technology. Among many other things, it connects to several hotel suppliers, like wholesalers and global distribution systems (GDSs), and pulls in their inventory. The problem is that different suppliers can have inventory at the same hotels. Without intervention, the user-facing shopping cart would list a single hotel multiple times at the different rates at which suppliers offer it.
The hotel aggregator has to identify those duplicate hotel listings and decide what to do with them. Does it show one and suppress the others? Does it pull pictures and a description from one supplier and room-level inventory from another supplier? Hotel mapping is the process by which the hotel aggregator identifies a single hotel from different suppliers and makes that decision.
Why is it important to OTAs?
In order to compete in the marketplace, online travel agencies need to have quality inventory and good rates. OTAs achieve this by sourcing inventory from multiple suppliers to take advantage of each supplier’s best deals. However, working with more than one supplier almost guarantees inventory overlap. Hotel mapping is a very important function that provides a quality user experience and reduces confusion.
Ensure Quality Hotel Mapping from the Start
The best way to ensure quality hotel mapping for OTAs is to bake it in from the beginning. When building or assembling an OTA’s hotel aggregator, choose a developer or product that takes hotel mapping seriously.
Alliance’s hotel aggregator technology includes excellent hotel mapping functionality. This functionality has been matured over 20 years to ensure that our clients are taking advantage of all their supplier inventory efficiently.
Alliance hotel booking technology is incredibly robust in many other ways. Learn more about how Alliance is an ideal partner in building a private online travel agency, or fill out the form below to get started with Alliance.