* Two online travel giants (Booking Holidays Group and Expedia) dominate the marketplace with an estimated combined market share of 95%. Hoteliers cannot compete with their advertising scale and are locked into costly distribution agreements, with a commission on bookings sometimes reaching 25% (or even higher).
* Further to this, price parity agreements imposed by OTAs restrict hotels from providing their guests with the best online price. Despite this, OTAs frequently undercut direct rates, costing the hotel industry millions of dollars every year in lost bookings.
* Most importantly, the guest is likelier to have a better experience if they book direct. Not only should the best price be guaranteed, but guests are also expected to find the best offers, the most flexibility, and the most simple pre- and post-stay communication if they book directly with the hotel.
1. BOOK DIRECT TO SAVE MONEY
Big sites such as Airbnb, HomeAway, VRBO and TripAdvisor add a high percentage of booking fees to the reservation total. Booking directly with the owner or manager cuts out any middle-man or commissions.
2. BOOK DIRECT FOR DIRECT CONTACT WITH THE MANAGER OR OWNER
Only when booking directly are you guaranteed direct contact with the person responsible for the property. This means you can get in touch – without obligation – to inquire about services and amenities before committing.
3. THE BEST PRICE ISN’T ON THE OTAS
Contrary to popular belief, OTAs and aggregator sites (such as Airbnb, Booking.com, Expedia etc.) don’t actually provide the best price for travellers. You can save hundreds on commissions by booking direct and booking locally.
4. LOTS OF THE BEST VACATION RENTALS AREN’T LISTED ON THE MAJOR SITES
Due to the high costs associated with using big sites, some of the best homes with the highest demand aren’t even listed. Guests shouldn’t limit their search to OTAs and aggregators, or they could be missing out on the best properties.
5. MANAGERS AND OWNERS HAVE IN-DEPTH KNOWLEDGE OF THE DESTINATION
When booking direct, managers and owners can become a kind of free destination guide. They know the best activities, restaurants and service, providers. They may even have local partnerships or discount deals which can save travellers more money.
6. IF YOU HAVE SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS, A MANAGER OR OWNER CAN HELP
Whether your family needs an accessible vacation rental or a pet-friendly option, a manager or owner will work with you directly to meet all your needs before you commit to a booking.
7. OWNERS AND MANAGERS WILL HAVE MORE SPECIAL OFFERS DURING NON-PEAK TRAVEL TIMES
When you communicate directly with the owner or manager, you will be the first to find out about special offers, discounts or exclusive deals.