Online Reservations

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  • Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Booking.Yeah?  Whatever.  Here’s What You Didn’t Know.

Most people don’t know that when you book with the big travel sites you see on television, that a good portion of your travel dollars are going to support multibillion dollar international corporations – in the form of commissions that lodging properties must pay to these sites.    That’s right, 15 – 20% of your travel dollars spent on lodging helps these big companies.   To make up this huge expense, hotels raise their rates – to everyone.   So why do hotels participate on these sites?   It’s good advertising – but at a high cost.   The hope is guests will learn about the hotel from those sites but book directly with them through their own web site.  Unfortunately, often that does not happen.   So hotel rates continue to rise, and those big multibillion dollar corporations continue to extract even more of your travel dollars away from you and your hotel.

Did you know that Trivago is owned by Expedia?  Expedia also owns Hotels.com, Hotwire.com, Venere.com, Travelocity, Orbitz and HomeAway.com.   Kayak, Booking.com, and Agoda are owned by The Priceline Group.   By 2020, Expedia and The Priceline Group will control an estimated 94% of the online booking market.      Suddenly, there’s not quite so much choice anymore.   Who do you think pays for all that television advertising anyway?  You and your hotel does.

None of these sites actually controls pricing - each lodging property sets their own rates.   What some sites do, however is only allow you to book your room for 2 guests, never mind that you put in 4 guests when you searched for your room.   Read the fine print, you may have only booked for 2 guests anyway and may incur extra charges.   That's one way they make the room rates seem less.

Everyone agrees that buying local is a good thing – but that doesn’t just mean arts & crafts or the produce your restaurant buys from the local farmer.    It includes how you reserve your hotel rooms too – keeping those travel dollars local to support the small business person, who then uses those dollars locally to enhance your future visits.   It’s a win-win situation for both the guest and the innkeeper!   Plus, here at the North Shire Lodge we often have specials that you can only find right here on our web site.   How cool is that?