You’ve probably been hearing a lot about Online Travel Agents (OTA). What is an Online Travel Agent? Well, perhaps you’ve heard of tripadvisor.com, expedia.com, booking.com, priceline.com, kayak.com. The list goes on and it seems to be getting bigger all the time. As a consumer, I am a fan of OTA’s. I almost always book my airline through expedia.com. If I am in need of a hotel, I will peruse several of the sites mentioned above. It helps me to see what is out there and to roughly compare pricing. Of course, there are the reviews. Sometimes they are helpful. Sometimes they are not. But, I always go to the lodging’s web site and check pricing there before making any decision. Here’s why…
As an Innkeeper working behind the scenes, I have a better understanding of pricing. I did not really understand this until I started listing the 1795 Acorn Inn on booking.com, airbnb and bedandbreakfast.com in August of 2017. Online Travel Agents charge an establishment commission to list their rates. Most of the time it’s about 15%. The hope is that lodging will keep their rates the same as what they are charging on their site. Well, sadly, that does not always happen. Some lodgings will raise their prices to cover the cost of commission on an OTA. Who wants to lose 15%? So why list? Well, as a small Bed and Breakfast, we simple can’t compete with the big OTA’s and we must list our site. I resisted but finally succumb. And I hate it.
So, I want the listing on these sites, but that’s about it. I don’t put all my rooms on booking.com so you don’t see my complete availability. You also won’t see my special value packages.
The simple truth is that much of the time you will get the best price on the actual lodging’s site. And, you have a direct line to the Innkeeper if needed. That’s me.
To check out our best pricing, visit our Packages page.
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