Online Travel Agents (OTA’s) operate as a vital marketing and distribution channel within the hospitality framework. Providing travellers with the opportunity to plan their own journey, whilst properties gain the ability to market their product on an international stage with no initial capital outlay.
Latest statistics show that 50% of all travellers currently use OTA’s as part of their decision-making process. Making sites such as Booking.com and Expedia a key part of any hospitality marketing and revenue strategy.
Proactive Hospitality Solutions provides its clients with the strategies and implementation to maximize this vital channel. Leading our team of highly skilled OTA consultants as Head of Department is Candice Loots.
Candice started her hospitality journey by completing a 2-year Diploma in Hotel Management which included all front and back house duties. During this time, she also waitressed at a local restaurant and interned at a Flagship Protea Hotel in the Eastern Cape.
After completing her Diploma, she spent time managing a local restaurant before embarking on a personal growth journey by travelling and working in the United Kingdom. During her time in the UK, she held positions in Scotland, Wales and England with her last being a restaurant supervisor position in the small town of Surrey.
Returning home, she worked at a Safari Lodge in Limpopo and later moved back to East London. “I kept within the hospitality industry, managing a Guest House, Boutique Hotel and later a Resort in Morgan Bay.”
Her last journey saw Candice travel from the Eastern Cape to Cape Town, where in June 2016 she was employed by Proactive Hospitality Solutions – the garage days.
“I thought to myself, wow, this is my dream job – being in hospitality, marketing and being on the other side of all the action… this was very different, as for years I have always been guest-facing.”
Within 2 hours of being part of the reservations team, she was whisked off to the OTA Department and has never left.
Utilising her years of hospitality knowledge and on-property experience, Candice has continued to evolve the art of OTA marketing, seeing her being promoted to Manager, then later to Head of Department with 5 consultants in the team.
“True to our saying that – YOUR SUCCESS IS OUR SUCCESS, as there is no better feeling when you can see that the properties that you are managing have increased their revenue or are being featured in articles and newsletters.”
With the correct structures and procedures, online travel agencies can be very effective. We do believe that there does need to be a balance in bookings from all platforms and to achieve this, you need to have the right online distribution strategy in place.
This year July marks Candice’s 6th year of service at Proactive Hospitality Solutions.
She continues to push the boundaries of what is possible within the OTA sphere and understands the very specific tweaks that are required to make an individual property stand out from its competition in the highly competitive OTA space.
“It has been a very rewarding journey thus far. The reason why I am here is that I love what I do – OTA’s are challenging and ever-changing. Proactive has a great culture of giving the best to the client with overall work satisfaction… it is a pleasure to be part of this amazing team.”