Best Travel Niche OTAs in 2020
In a previous article, we spoke about the abundance of competition there is among online travel agencies and how creating a travel niche OTA can help you acquire customers without competing with the industry behemoths.
In this article, we want to highlight the best travel niche OTAs in 2020 and why there value proposition is unique for their specific audience.
The LGBT tourism industry represents an estimated annual US$65 billion on gay travel in the USA alone. In Europe, the gay tourism market has been estimated at €50 billion per year by the Gay European Tourism Association. Needless to say, this is not a small niche. Gayhotels has positioned themselves as one of the best travel niche OTAs for the LGBT industry. GayHotels curates hotels in the most popular destinations with the LGBT community. These hotels are handpicked based on location, amenities and LGBT policies of the business.
Bernard Lynch, Co-Founder of Gayhotels says that each hotel that works with Gayhotels is awarded their QuRated (Quality and Queer LGBT friendly Accreditation).
Lynch also added that they will be charging all hotels zero commission till 31.12.2020 on condition they provide a 3 night free stay to a healthcare worker in 2021.
Travaxy is a startup from Israel, led by their charismatic CEO, Lioz Amar. Lioz, a Paralympic swimmer, started Travaxy after noticing how difficult it was for him to plan his travels based on his specific needs. Travaxy is a travel and booking platform that is specifically tailored to the population that has general mobility issues along with the elderly population. Travaxy focuses on the needs of various disabilities, such as the blind, deaf, people in wheelchairs and more.
One of the unique features of Travaxy´s booking platform is that “not all disabilities are created equal”. While other bookings sites might put the well-recognized wheelchair logo as an indicator that the room tailors to disabled, Travaxy goes the extra mile to distinguish between the different disability amenities, such as a roll-in shower versus a bath tub.
Booking with Travaxy assures you that the airline´s ground crew will assist you upon arrival. In addition, if you rent a car, you will receive a vehicle adapted for mobility difficulties.
While some people use vacation as an excuse to stop working out, others go out of their way to book a wellness-oriented vacation. Wellness travel is also not a small niche, as Wellness tourism was a $639 billion market in 2017, projected to reach $919 billion by 2022.
Health and Fitness Travel is one of the best travel niche OTAs in the wellness category due to the robust options and simple booking flow they offer. Book a wellness retreat or health oriented vacation in Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, Americas, Middle East, Australia and Africa. Some of the unique offerings include boot camps, post-cancer recovery trips, emotional healing vacations and pre-wedding health retreats.
Stayforlong is tailored towards travelers who tend to stay more than 3 nights at the same hotel. The philosophy behind Stayforlong is that it doesn´t make sense to pay the same price per night when staying for a weekend as you do when you stay for a whole week. It’s only fair that if you stay longer, you pay a little less.
Stayforlong negotiated better rates with hotels in exchange for booking customers for longer periods of time. Their booking flow is very esthetic and they offer a fantastic loyalty program for repeat customers.
While it seems that this travel niche does not have any global companies yet, i have a feeling that We Ski will be the first to achieve that. Currently, they offer ski travel packages only from UK airports to ski sites in France, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Russia, Bulgaria and Andorra. Nonetheless, their booking experience is very intuitive and overall superb.
You can choose flights leaving from any of UK´s 23 airports. You have 15,000 resorts to choose from. What I liked best is their flexible booking options. If you are not sure where you would like to travel to, just put “Any Resort”. If you are flexible with your dates choose, for example, 7 nights in December.
You can choose to either build the trip itinerary yourself, or get assistance from one of their travel experts. Receive a price quote that includes flight, accommodation, private transfer and a ski pass.
We Ski is definitely on their way to not only being one of the best niche travel OTAs, but also a global player in the ski and snowboard travel niche.
Unique Travel Experiences - Tripaneer If anyone understands niche travel, it´s Tripaneer. They curate travel experiences such as yoga retreats, surf camps, motorcycle tours and many more unique offerings.
Their intuitive booking platform offers experiences around the globe. Opt for broad searches such as “Any Destination”, “Any Category” and “Any Duration” within a given month. At the moment their packages do not include flights, but at the pace they are going, I
wouldn´t be surprised if they become a one stop shop for unique travel experiences.
In 2018, in the UK alone, an estimated £227 million was spent by UK dog owners who wanted to bring their dog along with them on vacation. Imagine the numbers when including US and all of Europe! One of the best travel niche OTAs in the pet friendly sector is Bringfido.
Bringfido allows you to book over 250,000 hotels, restaurants, activities, events and services that have all been verified as pet friendly. Their website and app are much more than a booking platform, but rather an entire pet-friendly experience. Our favorite feature was their “review dog bones” for all of their hotels and experiences in their site.
Halal tourism is a subcategory of tourism which is geared towards Muslim families who abide by rules of Islam. Due to the increase in demand, many international hotels serve halal food that in accordance with the teachings of Islam.
Halal tourism is expected to reach $220 billion in spending worldwide. Halaltravels.com have positioned themselves as the leading OTA for Halal tourism with a vast global offering. There is no universally agreed upon consensus as to what Halal Travel or Muslim-Friendly Travel actually means. Muslim travelers have some unique needs which separate them from the mainstream travelers. They’re looking for a flawless experience, while they don’t want to compromise their faith-based values.
Therefore, Halaltravels always double check with their providers to ensure that they are all Muslim-Friendly. Many of the accommodation and activities offered on their site are 100% Halal, which means that no alcohol is served and all food is halal. When booking on their site, you can filter your searches based on unique halal-friendly options including halal food availability, no-alcohol procedures, ladies privacy, and family friendliness.
Retreats and Getaways - Vacayou Vacayou has put together a vast list of wellness oriented trips and retreats that travelers desire. When you go on their site, you will find options varying from culinary retreats, scuba diving trips, cycling trips, weight loss retreats, rejuvenating vacations and much more. Vacayou makes it easy for you to discover and book handpicked, carefully curated luxury wellness retreats, spa vacations and active travel experiences around the world.
Part of the Tripaneer group, Book Martial Arts is basically an OTA catering to a niche within a niche. They offer an impressive list of martial arts camps such as Muay Thai, Capoeira, Kung Fu, Brazilian Ju-Jitsu and much more.
Their booking experience is quite unique, as you can choose your vacation based on scenery type (mountains, beach, city or countryside), specific martial arts, type of camp and more.
Some of the destinations they offer are Africa, Asia, Europe, Galapagos, Latin America, Middle East, North America, South Pacific and the Polar Regions.
Whether you are a travel company seeking a niche to specialize in, or a traveler with unique desires, these companies are the best travel niche OTAs in 2020 that can fulfill your most exotic travel dreams.