There’s a movement in our industry to educate guests on why it’s best for them to BOOK DIRECT for their stay at independent inns and B&Bs.
Sometimes I assume that people know they will get the best rate by booking directly on our website or by calling us. But it’s become the norm to search for lodging through an OTA (Online Travel Agent). The biggies are Expedia, Booking.com, Airbnb and even Trip Advisor.
OTAs can be deceptive
Recent press points out the deceptive tricks used by OTAs to persuade people to book through them. OTAs promise many things. But they are not always honest or playing fair. An international survey by our B&B association found that 70% of people are confused by some aspect of the promises made by the OTAs.
For example, did you know that you pay a 12% “service fee” just for using Airbnb’s platform? No service fee when you book directly with us!
Do you think that when you see the button “book a room” on an OTA site that you are booking directly with us? Many guests have told me they were sure they were on our website when they actually booked through an OTA. OTAs have the budget to buy our names on Google, so though it may appear to be us, it isn’t. Guests are hijacked to the OTAs website. Though unethical and deceptive, it’s legal.
Do you believe that you get the “best rate” as promised by the OTA site? You don’t. It may be the best rate across the comparison sites, but likely is higher than booking direct. Most lodging places pass the commission fee they pay the OTAs – and we do this – on to the guests, so that they are paying MORE when booking through them. I would much rather put that extra commission in the pockets of our guests rather than paying the OTAs.
What to do?
When looking for a place to stay during your next break, by all means use the 3rd party to find a place. Instead of staying on the site, google the place of lodging and go to their website. It will give you a much better idea of what is offered. Choose a room and book directly on the website for the best rate.
Or if that is intimidating, and you’re booking with us, give us a call. We’ll be happy to help you reserve a room as well as answer any questions you might have about planning a splendid and personalized stay.
Also, if you book through an OTA you will not have access to the special offers and deals that we offer through our email list or on our website.
So, save yourself some money and #book direct!
https://www.dieheimat.com/ Click here for the best rates!