Big Hotel Chains Are Striking Back Against Web Sites

from the fight-the-power-of-web-middlemen dept

Last month we had a story about how hotels were struggling with how to deal with online travel sites. When they first launched, folks in the hotel world paid little attention, thinking that the sites were only useful in getting rid of a few extra rooms at the last minute. What they didn’t realize was that everybody was going to start using the web and demanding the cheap prices they saw online. So, now, the various big hotel companies are

fighting back against third party hotel booking sites. They’re copying the airlines by creating their own booking site (like Orbitz) called TravelWeb, but they face an uphill battle. Unlike the airline industry, most hotels are franchises, and the owner of the actual hotel gets to set the prices and figure out how to promote the deals. Thus, the hotel companies are going around holding seminars trying to convince hotel owners on the “evils” of third party online booking companies like Expedia. The problem, of course, is that more and more people go to those sites – and if you don’t have your cheapest price up there, then you’re not going to get the customers. This is yet another industry that doesn’t seem to understand that the internet makes it possible for customers to know more about your business and demand a fair price. Ignoring that doesn’t do anything other than guarantee that customers will go elsewhere.

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Comments on “Big Hotel Chains Are Striking Back Against Web Sites”

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dorpus says:

Won't affect luxury hotels

Desirable hotels have no trouble getting booked a year in advance, at any price. As long as the masses believe in the delusion that travelling “expands one’s horizons” and elevates their social status, the travel industry will rake in all the money it wants.

As for the so-called economy hotels, they can advertise low overnight rates on these sites, then gouge customers, e.g. a $15 “phone usage fee”, a $10 “TV usage fee”, a $10 “shower usage fee”, a $25 “room cleaning fee”, …..

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