How Travellers Book Their Stays in the Digital Age

The travel industry has undergone a significant transformation in recent years. Gone are the days of flipping through bulky travel brochures or relying solely on travel agents. Today's tech-savvy travellers have a plethora of online platforms at their fingertips, making the process of booking accommodation a breeze. This blog explores how travellers utilise Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) like MakeMyTrip and, peer-to-peer rental services like Airbnb and even direct hotel websites to secure their dream stay.

The Rise of the OTAs

OTAs like MakeMyTrip and have become the go-to platforms for many travellers. These one-stop shops offer numerous accommodation options, from budget-friendly guesthouses to luxurious five-star hotels. Here's a breakdown of how travellers typically use OTAs.
  • Search and Filter: Travelers can easily search for hotels based on their desired location, travel dates, budget and amenities. Advanced filters allow them to narrow down their options based on specific preferences like room type, guest rating and proximity to landmarks.
  • Comparison Shopping: One of the biggest advantages of OTAs is the ability to compare prices and amenities across different hotels at a glance. This empowers travellers to make informed decisions and find the best value for their money.

a statue with signage on a building with a brick exterior
a large swimming pool next to a big townhouse with blue sky in the background


  • Promotions and Deals: OTAs often offer exclusive deals, discounts and loyalty programs that can significantly reduce accommodation costs. Travellers keep an eye out for flash sales, seasonal promotions and loyalty points redemption options.
  • User Reviews and Ratings: Many OTAs feature user reviews and ratings, providing valuable insights from previous guests. These reviews can help travellers get a sense of the hotel's atmosphere, amenities, cleanliness and overall guest experience.
  • Secure Booking Process: OTAs offer a secure booking process, allowing travellers to confirm their reservations and pay online using trusted payment gateways.

Exploring Peer-to-Peer Rentals

Airbnb has revolutionised the hospitality industry by offering a unique accommodation experience. This platform connects travellers with local hosts who rent their homes, apartments or even unique spaces like treehouses or boats. Here's how Airbnb bookings typically work.
  • Unique Stays: Airbnb caters to those seeking a more authentic and immersive travel experience. Staying in a local home or apartment allows travellers to connect with the local culture and get a feel for the neighbourhood.
  • Variety of Options: From budget-friendly shared apartments to luxurious vacation rentals, Airbnb offers a diverse range of accommodation options to suit all tastes and budgets.

a board with the word reserved written on it kept on a table
a person holding a credit card while using a laptop to make a payment for an online transaction


  • Direct Interaction with Hosts: Airbnb facilitates direct communication between travellers and hosts. This allows travellers to ask questions about the property, the neighbourhood and recommendations for local experiences.
  • Focus on Experiences: Many Airbnb hosts offer additional experiences beyond just accommodation. These might include cooking classes, guided tours or cultural immersion activities.

Booking Directly Through Hotel Websites

While OTAs and Airbnb offer convenience and choice, some travellers prefer to book directly through a hotel's website. Here are some potential benefits of this approach.
  • Exclusive Offers and Packages: Hotels often offer exclusive deals and packages on their websites, including discounts on spa treatments, meals or room upgrades, which might not be available on other platforms.
  • Guaranteed Availability: Booking directly with the hotel ensures that the room you see online is available for your chosen dates. With OTAs, there might be a slight delay in updating inventory.

a board with the word reserved written on it kept on a table
a person holding a credit card while using a laptop to make a payment for an online transaction


  • Loyalty Programmes: Many hotel chains have loyalty programmes that offer benefits like points accumulation, room upgrades and exclusive amenities. Booking directly allows you to earn and redeem these points.
  • Direct Communication with the Hotel: Booking directly allows you to communicate any special requests or preferences directly to the hotel, potentially leading to a more personalised experience.

Booking a Hotel Stay

Let's use the example of booking a stay in Mumbai to illustrate the different approaches:
  • Using an OTA: You can search for hotels in Mumbai on MakeMyTrip or Filter your search based on your location (Colaba, Juhu Beach, etc.), travel dates, budget and desired amenities (pool, spa, etc.). Compare prices and read reviews before making a final decision.
  • Using Airbnb: Search for listings in Mumbai on Airbnb. You will find many options, from apartments in bustling areas like Bandra to beachside villas in Juhu. Interact with hosts to learn more about the property and the neighbourhood.
  • Boutique Booking Sites: Several websites specialise in specific types of accommodations, such as luxury hotels, eco-friendly stays or homestays. These platforms offer a curated selection of properties based on your preferences.

interior of a bedroom at theory9

Ultimately, the best way to book your hotel stay depends on your individual needs and priorities. Do you prioritise convenience and user-friendly search options? Are you looking for the best possible rate or exclusive hotel offers? By understanding the advantages and considerations of each booking method, you can make an informed decision and find the perfect hotel for your dream vacation.

We suggest booking your stay at Theory9 premium serviced apartments when you want a serviced apartment to stay in Mumbai. Currently, they have apartments in Khar and Bandra and both these stays can be booked directly on the website. The Bandra apartment has a kitchenette, meeting rooms, a restaurant and many types of accommodations. The Khar apartment has living and dining spaces, 24/7 staff and commodious apartments.