Over the past few years there has been a dramatic rise in the the number of so called Online Travel Agents all claiming to offer the best and cheapest deals. Sites like Booking.com and Tripadvisor seem to dominate the search engines and are everywhere you look.
But wait a minute if all these sites and the properties own website all claim the cheapest price how can they all be different? Shouldn't this result in just one price where ever you look?
How is it that many owners will promise you a better deal if you book direct with them?
The problem arises because none of it comes for free, the booking sites want a share of the booking price.
Typically these sites charge the accommodation a commission of around 15-20% of the total cost of the booking. Or in real money on a £70/night room around £10.50 for every night booked.
For some of the larger properties it works quite well and they will use this method to sell some of their less requested rooms like the ones that overlook the kitchens or car park. They will try to upsell their bar, restaurant and other facilities to recoup the cost.
Initially the smaller businesses, like us, will be able to absorb the cost of a few bookings made that way but ultimately the viability of the business would be affected. We would have to look at what we offer and the price we charge.
Currently we offer discounts for stays of 2 nights or more. This would no longer be the case if we sold rooms through Booking.com. We would have to quote a single night rate which typically would add around £7-8 per night to a multiple night booking.
Like many B&B owners our mission is to provide value for money quality accommodation and constantly strive to find ways to make our guests stay more comfortable. We do not want to be forced into looking at what we offer with a view to cutting costs or to start charging for "extras" like WiFi and parking.
We believe that our guests should expect the level and quality of service that they are paying for and we are committed to providing quality and value for money. We believe in offering a tariff that reflects this.
Rather than paying out commissions we would rather reinvest back into our business to further improve the service and comfort we offer to our guests.
For the convenience of our guests we do offer a secure on-line booking with instant confirmation on our website which does not incur booking fees or commission.
You are of course also welcome to telephone or email to discuss your requirements with us.
For more information on Harbour Lodge in Paignton click Here