The role of an online travel agency (OTA) is becoming increasingly important in the accommodation industry.

The Middle East traveler has been going digital across all touch points of the travel journey, fueling a surge in the online travel market that is projected to reach $15 billion by 2023 across the region, marking an increase of 140 percent from current levels, according to research company Mena Research Partners.

This article will discuss the similarities and differences between Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia, and mr.alfred.travel

Let’s tackle the features of:

A feature that makes Airbnb unique is its built-in guest rating system. After a visitor ends their stay at the unit, the host can leave them a review and give them accordingly a star rating. These ratings get tallied into an overall rating that is visible on the guest profile – which is a great way for new hosts to learn a little bit more about their new guest.

Airbnb currently has 6 cancellation policies that vacation rental owners can choose to use: Flexible, moderate, strict, super strict, and long-term. Each policy has its own set of rules depending on terms and payout. However, most of the time, you would lose all of your booking money. Even if your Airbnb host decides to return your booking money, you will lose the 14% service fee that Airbnb deducted already.

One of the great things about staying in a private room in an Airbnb is that you will often get access to common facilities such as their kitchen and laundry.

Booking.com has always been the go to website for hotels, resorts, and lodges, not private vacation rentals or individual rooms. Although it has changed during recent years, and the platform is attracting more and more vacation rental properties, guests might still come across as more demanding.

Many properties do not require any payment in advance. However, you can set your hand to great deals if you book in advance.

One of the nice things about booking a hotel through Booking.com is that once the booking is done, there’s little you need to do before arriving.

It is important to mention that Booking.com might offer listings that are slighty more expensive than other OTAs.

Expedia has frequent sales, last-minute travel deals and bundle discounts..

If you don’t want to pay for your whole trip at the time of booking, Expedia allows you to make smaller payments through Affirm, which is a service that offers short-term loans for online purchases. If approved by Affirm, you’ll be able to pay for your trip in monthly installments.

Two of the most fun pages to bookmark and periodically check are Expedia’s Deals page and Expedia’s Last-Minute Deals page. Both tend to offer an eclectic mix of travel deals, ranging from cheap motels in tiny towns to lavish resorts in major touristic destinations.

Once you book a vacation home through this short-term rental booking platform, you can rest knowing that your vacation cannot go wrong.

A support team will be ready to assist you during your stay, as well as before check-in, shall you need any assistance, guidance to the area you’re visiting, or even changes in your bookings or property chosen.

Guests can browse endless listings through mr.alfred.travel and will surely find their dream vacation home, as per their budget and expectations.

Payments need to be made in full prior to check in. Security deposits and cancellation policies vary according to the unit location and rules.

No wonder there are hundreds – say thousands – of listings across different OTAs. Guests are usually prone to book properties that have better reviews and more visibility.