While there are lots of original, reliable booking sites there are plenty of others that are dodgy and which, unfortunately, manage to keep people away from using such a service. Many times, the travel agencies are bringing in front their necessity of making money, so as a result they don’t really have any regard when it comes to the rates set for a specific hotel. There are numerous concerns right now in the online booking world, so let’s find out more about the frequent ones.
Booking rates are crucial, but some bookers seem to not be playing fair. It seems that even Expedia has actually reduced some of its margins in order to lower rates all so that they could create loyalty programs. This is obviously hurting the booking world, especially when there’s an agreement in place and a commission as well. Unfortunately, many important bookers are actually doing such a practice and unfortunately that’s not good for the entire booking world. Since most hoteliers already pay a ton of money for ads in the first place, online booking should be a trustworthy place, not a rate game.
Recently, the American Hotel & Lodging Association has announced that most of the independent hoteliers will actually face a multitude of bad things, including a risk of having double digit commission increases. Unfortunately, the rates are going high exponentially, especially in the case of OTAs for example, something that makes the entire business fall out in the end. It’s not ok to have 32% or more as a commission when there’s not that much business to work with, especially off-season. This is especially true if you take into account the fact that many OTAs are hijacking customers that already want to book with the desired hotel in the first place.
Working with Expedia is no longer a choice
While many online travel agencies are trying to work without Expedia, most of them are still dependent to it, and if the company does increase commissions, independent hotels aren’t left with any choice other than agree with them. Not providing inventory to Expedia might be an answer here, but unfortunately it’s hard to do such a thing, and this can lead to plenty of problems at the end of the day,
Frauds and metasearch issues
Many fraudulent sites are trying to pose and branded sites, which diminishes the trust in OTAs and online booking as a whole. Most of the time these are affiliate websites that want to make a quick buck by mimicking the original, but they do bring in bad results for the industry as a whole. Then there are tons of metasearch issues with many such sites that try to deceive customers towards specific hotels, something that also makes the entire experience unfair and unprofessional, something that is truly unfortunate to say the least!
In conclusion, this is the current state with the online booking world. Sure, there are many sites, especially the larger ones that are unfair to customers, but at the end of the day users have to expect such issues. It’s the exquisite and fun experience that makes online booking so impressive, so the industry will definitely grow, it all comes down to the way the larger and smaller sites unite in order to get a better revenue that will most probably change the current business environment for this industry!