Online Booking website are playing a critical role in the travel industry and in online travel in general. “The Checkout”, a popular TV show in Australia, outline the situation of the market and gives useful tips to travelers.
In each episode the shows reviews companies of various industrial sectors exposing the pros and the cons of that particular market trying to protect the interest of the consumers. This time they decided to have a look at the travel industry.
In the episode of the Travel Agents that I reviewed, folks from Checkouts point the fact that “do it by yourself” can be a cheaper solution and in this episode they suggests to consider calling the hotels or vacation property directly in order to see if a better discount is available.
Interesting take out includes:
- Online booking started as a way to sell unused inventory but now has a major role in the travel industry,
- There is practically an infinite number of websites where you can book your perfect vacation place,
- However Expedia and Booking.com practically have more than 80% of the market share
- Thanks to their dominant position they have been able to increase the commission that they charge to hotels.
The report does not take into account short term rental properties and focus more on hotels. However, similar considerations could be made for the short term rental industry as well with the exception of AirBnB ( welcome coupon here for new accounts ) that is taking a large enough part of the market share.
The service is relatively hold and do not take into consideration the fact that Expedia has bought Home Away and that Booking.com is making large investments in the short term rental segment of the tourism market as well. Still the industry appear dominated by 3 giants: Expedia, Booking.com and AirBnB.
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Learn something more:
- Look at the TV show “the Checkout” in Wikipedia and in IMDB in case you want to know more about them.
- Check in Booking.com and/or in AirBnB prices for comparing the offers and see if you can contact directly the hotel or the property owner and get a better price.
- Understand the costs that Hotels and property owners have when they list their properties in AirBnB and/or list their properties in Booking.com
- Consider a direct contact!
In my case I list my property directly online but still I do a massive use of listing websites like Booking or AirBnB. However, let me know if you had a different experience, what you think about contacting directly the owners or using travel agents, I will be happy to update this article with your direct feedback!