Having your bookable products available across many websites significantly increases your reach. The channel management capability of your booking software will allow your inventory to be distributed to other online marketplaces, such as online travel agents, visitor information centres and destination marketing websites. Your distribution channels are powerful marketing tools.

Destination marketing websites and local distribution
  • Destination NSW: Get Connected is Destination NSW’s website membership program, showcasing tourism products on Destination NSW consumer websites sydney.com and visitnsw.com, as well as australia.com and over 70 local and national travel websites. Get Connected is powered by the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW-Online) platform and is free of charge for NSW businesses tourism and event operators. Register here. Connect your website booking page to your listing and a ‘book now’ button will be available to tap into a large amount potential direct bookings.
  • Visitor Information Centres: Your local Accredited Visitor Information Centre (AVIC) is a trusted trip planning resource. Connect your tourism product with your local AVIC to increase bookings.
  • Local Tourism Organisations: Keep your Local Government Agencies and tourism associations up to date with your business and reach out to see how you can connect to their website.
Online travel agents

An Online Travel Agent (OTA) is a travel website that specialises in the sale of travel products to consumers. Some OTAs may just sell accommodation such as booking.com, some like Expedia sell a variety of products including flights, hotels, car rentals, while others may specialise in tours, attractions and activities such as Viator, Big Red Group, Klook and GetYourGuide.

Destination NSW partners with OTAs in Australia and many of our international target markets to run campaigns promoting NSW places and products. For a tourism business, working with an OTA is like having a virtual sales team, providing you with access to their large customer base both in Australia and around the world. OTAs invest in recognised brands and global online platforms, content translation, in-travel apps, sales and marketing teams and campaigns, and search marketing to give listed products and destinations more visibility online. Connecting your booking software to your OTA partners means that customers can easily find your products with live availability and get the instant booking confirmation they have come to expect.

You will need to set up a distribution agreement with OTAs and provide availability through your booking software so they can resell your products at an agreed nett rate. 

Find out which OTAs will work for your business and ensure they target your ideal market. Like your other listings, it’s important your business listing with an OTA is continually updated and accurate, including descriptions, imagery and videos.

OTAs and experience websites you can list your tourism products include:

OTAs & experience websitesWhat products can you load?Apply to list your product
Adrenaline (Big Red Group)Tours, activities, attractionsList your experience
AgodaAccommodationList your property
AirBnBAccommodationList your property
AirBnB ExperiencesTours, activitiesList your experience
Booking.comAccommodationList your property
BookitDoitTours, activities, attractions, accommodationClaim your listing
ClassBentoClasses, activities, and experience giftsList your experience
ExpediaAccommodationList your property
Experience Oz (Big Red Group)Tours, activities and attractionsList your experience
GetYourGuideTours, activities and attractionsList your experience
KKDayTours, activities and attractionsList your experience
KlookTours, activities and attractionsList your experience
Pelago by Singapore AirlinesTours, activities and attractionsList your experience
Qantas HotelsAccommodationList your property
RedBalloon (Big Red Group)Tours, attractions, activities, accommodation packagesList your experience
RiparideAccommodation (small, unique)List your property
Stayz (Vrbo)AccommodationList your property
Trip.com (Ctrip)Tours, activities, attractions, accommodationList your experience
Viator (TripAdvisor)Tours, activities and attractionsList your experience
Welcome to CountryAboriginal products, experiences and immersionsList your experience

Note: This list is a sample of OTAs and experience websites that sell Australian tourism products but is not exhaustive of all OTAs in Australia. This list is not an endorsement by Destination NSW and future agreements are between your business and the OTA. Not all of these OTAs will be a match for your business and vice versa your product will need to be considered by the OTA.

Commission: Online distribution costs

Distribution refers to all the ways a product is sold to a customer. You may choose several distribution channels, such as your local visitor centre, tourism organisation, OTAs and inbound tour operators. Many of these partners will require you to pay a distribution cost or commission in exchange for selling your product – a percentage cost which is built into your retail rate.

Commission is a cost that you only pay when the distribution partner sells your product. Partnering with new distributors opens up your business to a wider range of customers and provides you with significant marketing support. This translates to more revenue, so it’s a highly effective marketing tool with a favourable return.

Building a successful distribution strategy means finding the right balance between all the channels you use. Therefore, it’s important to have a mix of direct business and bookings made by distribution partners, so you’re not paying commission on every booking.

How much commission will I pay?

Commission levels vary between channels. Here is a general example of working with commissions with OTAs.

PartnerAccommodationTours, Attractions and Activities
Online Travel Agents10-20%20-30%
Visitor Information Centres0-15%0-20%

Note: These are indicative commission levels and may vary.

Where does the commission go?

The commission provided to OTAs goes towards their income, operation costs and is reinvested into marketing.

Some of the aspects include:

  • Mobile apps for bookings before and during travel
  • Content translated into multiple languages
  • Consumer marketing campaigns
  • Partner distribution platforms
  • Technology upgrades to continue meeting customer expectations
  • Research and insights for tourism businesses

In some countries, like New Zealand, OTAs also act as a wholesaler, selling products to travel agents, so you can reach an even wider audience. 

Some OTA brands run multiple travel websites, making your domestic and global reach even larger. For example, having a listing with Expedia could mean your product is available for customers to book on websites such as hotels.com, Wotif, Travelocity and more.

OTAs typically employ local teams in Australia and work hard to drive travel bookings across NSW, which helps to grow the visitor economy.

TIP: Building commission into your prices

It’s important to build in commission when you set the prices of your bookable products. If you find that your margin is too thin to include commission, you might like to create some slightly higher-priced experiences with extra value added in, such as lunch, transfers, or a bottle of wine, allowing you to afford the commission.

Selling your bookable products online and building commission into your pricing provides you with the opportunity to work with many distribution partners, ensuring your bookable products are available widely.

To learn more about working with distribution partners, including Inbound Tour Operators, commissions and becoming export ready, take a look at the Inbound Tourism Guide.

We wish you every success with your tourism business.

Sell Your Bookable Products Online is the fourth in the series of the NSW First Guides. To find out more about Developing your business, Promoting your business and Selling to international visitors, go to destinationnsw.com.au/nswfirst

For more information about partnering with Destination NSW and to find all our resources available to your business, go to destinationnsw.com.au