The Tripologist, veteran travel writer Michael Gebicki has some important advice for travellers – booking direct could get you a better price and a better room.
Many guests don’t realise that the service fees for a booking processed through an online agent such as Expedia, Hotels.com or Booking.com can be as much as 15 to 25 per cent.
The hotel or property manager can see that the booking originated from an online travel agent (‘OTA’), which is the reason those who book through an OTA are more likely to be assigned to a lesser room than those who book direct with the hotel, Gebicki writes.
Whilst there seem to be so many options for online booking and comparison websites, the reality is that Expedia, which owns well-known sites Hotels.com, Wotif and trivago, and Priceline, which owns Booking.com, KAYAK and agoda.com dominate the market and enforce standard contractual arrangements to prevent hotels or owners from offering lower rates on their own website. This arrangement, known as parity pricing, is essential for the success of the OTA’s business model according to Gebicki.
But Australian law has recently changed – in September, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission ruled that hotels can offer a lower price than that on the OTA website, but only to guests who call the hotel directly.
Give us a call today at Rejuvenate Stays to find the best deal we can offer you for your next trip!
Read Michael Gebicki’s full artice “How to bed down a great rate”, published in The Age Travel Guide on 7 January 2017.