When shopping for hotels, travellers value convenience over cost
In spite of “best price” marketing and falsely urgent messaging tactics (Only 1 room left at this price! Hurry, 8 people are looking at this right now!) — travellers keep returning back to the big names in the industry to book their hotels for one reason: options. A large amount of results helps to compare options and make what feels like an informed decision, and the convenience that comes along with that feels priceless.
But, convenience doesn’t come for free. When you’re looking at a public platform, you can guarantee the rate you’re being offered isn’t the lowest possible deal you can get.
Both travellers and hotels pay the price for convenience
In order to be featured on popular booking sites such as Expedia or booking.com, hotels sign an agreement promising they won’t provide lower pricing on any other publicly available platform. There’s even a name for that: it’s known as a rate parity clause.
To add to that, booking platforms charge hotels hefty commissions on the bookings they bring in. This way, they maintain control over the hotel booking industry, while leaving hotels with only a portion of the revenue. So, you end up paying for the middle man, and hotels also end up paying for the middle man.
These platforms work by creating a system where hotels lose out the most, travellers get an illusion of marginally lower prices, and in reality, the ones who win are the big booking companies.
There’s a way for frequent travellers to get better deals. How?
Try joining registration-based platforms, like online travel clubs that are only open to registered users. Subscription services have revolutionised the way we consume media, and now they’re becoming the next best way to ‘shop’ for travel.
Customise any booking with added benefits
Travel clubs maintain more direct, personable relationships with hotels and travel related partners, since the platforms are private. That means they can guarantee better deals on your whole experience — a welcome drink for you on arrival, a discount on a spa treatment or meal in the hotel restaurant. They can also offer you discounts on travel amenities, services and experiences like car rental discounts, free city guides, and wine tastings.
Try Bidroom, a club for travel lovers
Bidroom negotiates directly with hotels, and because they don’t charge commission, hotels are inspired to provide better rates and additional hotel extras for members — from complimentary welcome drinks, to free breakfasts, discounts on hotel spa and restaurant services, and free room upgrades.
They even coordinate deals with partners within the travel industry on anything from car rental to shopping, health to travel itineraries, events and attractions. Enjoy some perks and discounts from the comfort of your home, like online shopping, wine delivery and even Lonely Planet TV.
On top of that, the travel club offers hotel deals up to 25% lower than other booking sites — as well as even more deals from partners to use on trips, all in one place.