What are OTAs anyway and why should it matter to travelers as long as they are booked where they want to stay?
The acronym OTA stands for Outside Travel Agency. For travelers booking their trip online, it is sometimes taken for granted or thought to be a necessity to book through another source besides directly with a venue. Not true. In fact, it is an extra step in the process. They are actually a middle man that is not needed and an extra expense that can be avoided both by the traveler and the property. Many times when travelers are searching for a place to stay, OTAs might show a venue as not having any availability. Many times…this is not true. The only way to find out for sure if your desired location actually does have a room is to go directly through their website or give them a call. Sometimes you might even earn a discount by doing so and save money.
At the Apple Bin Inn if you book directly from our website you will be offered a “Direct Booking” Discount when you make your reservation yourself. We are listed on some OTAs such as Bed & Breakfast.com (and their affiliates) and AirBnB. We use this as a means of marketing. However, the rates are higher to cover the extra expense of commissions, sometimes in excess of 15%. Other OTAs that we do not market with like Trip Advisor, will show you our reviews and our venue, but will list us as not having availability in order for travelers to book with another one of their members.
It is in the best interest of the traveler to go directly to a venue’s website (and be sure you are direct). You can achieve this by typing in the website address yourself on the URL (address line) and not using a link from the OTAs website. Ours is www.applebininn.com or Give us a call at 717-464-5881. We would love to hear from you and hope to meet you soon.