Recently I have discovered a new On Line Booking Agency (OTA), that I hope will take off and do well. This site was created by an accommodation owner that was tired of handing over a percentage of their income to the big OTA’s, they have 20 years in the hospitality business and from what I have seen so far of the site, they have a good idea of what is needed, and it is better than the current OTA’s.
The biggest downside to almost all of the big OTA’s is the cost, sites like Booking.com, Airbnb, Expedia, Trivago, and orbits all like to say they can offer the best rates available, but the truth is that the price any one has listed, is likely to be the same as most anywhere else. From my experience in listing GringoWasi on some of these site I have learned that they all have parody clauses, these basically state that no property may list a lower price on any other OTA or even their own website. This means that if you find a property on Booking.com for $20 a night, you should not be able to find it anywhere for less, most likely it would be exactly the same price.
Now there are a few ways in which this parody clause can be circumvented, in the case of Airbnb, they charge the guest a booking fee, so if you find a property on their site, it would likely cost you less if you can find it on another site that does not charge this fee. This fee does though come with a little security as one of the things that makes Airbnb different from most of the others, is that they take the entire amount for the booking up front and hold it until after the guest checks, thus if there is a problem, Airbnb can act as the mediator to determine if a refund is due and how much.
Another way is to contact the accommodation directly, face it the OTA’s have to make their profit, I have mentioned this in a previous blog, but by contacting an accommodation directly you are saving them any of the fees that they would likely be paying to the OTA’s. As such a property may be willing to offer you a slight discount if you book direct, but you will have to ask for it.
This new OTA is offering its services for free, yes I said free bookings, no cost to the guest to book and no cost to the property to list or receive bookings, as they are in the business of renting rooms, so this OTA does not have to be profitable, and if it’s popularity increases enough the added business it brings in may offset the cost of running the site. Because of this properties may be able to start listing here and actually lower their prices to be more competitive with the bigger properties. This of course will only work if enough people start to use it, so I am inviting all of my readers to at least check out this site and bookmark it so that you can check it out the next time you are planning a trip. Keep in mind that this is a new site and as such there are not many properties listed, but I believe that as time goes by the number of properties will increase and with any luck it will eventually out shadow the “Big Boys”.
Oh yah, I am sure you would appreciate the link wouldn’t you, well here it is http://touristroom.com/