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Hospitality Insights

Are OTAs a Thing of the Past? Google Trends Suggest So…

21 February 2014


We recently conducted a survey to assess your views on whether or not online travel agencies (OTAs) were a necessary evil, or well … just evil!

Unfortunately for the likes of OTAs such as and Expedia, the resounding answer (87% of respondents) was that they are making it harder for the independent hotel to compete. The OFT has been on their backs for years, but unfortunately a breakthrough is yet to made. We are also concerned that these trends also apply to restaurants with the discount sites like Groupon and Wowcher making it harder to compete.

Are online travel agencies always going to dominate if the OFT remains unsuccessful in restoring balance to the industry? We were most relieved to find that answer to be No!

Research by our analysts show that Google search trends are moving away from the area of cheap package holidays and towards the more independent personal experiences. Great news! Could this be a long term balance returning to the industry?


It is time for small hotels, hostels and guest houses to ride the back of this trend and make sure their online presence is engaging and as ready as possible to take bookings (especially from mobile).

Here at Umi we strive to empower the underdog and help them develop an engaging, cohesive online presence so that they can increase revenue through their own website, rather than the OTAs. Our beautiful, hospitality-specific websites start from just £500 (£50pm/12months) and will enable you to take bookings straight from mobile phones and showcase your accommodation in the way that it deserves.


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