Booking hotels online is always cheaper in the long run because hotels pay commissions to online booking sites. In the past, booking hotels in person would have got you a better rate. But now, in the age of online hotels and booking hotels online and the constant competition between hotels, booking hotels online will definitely get you the best rate on the market.
Something very interesting that I noticed is that when I booked a hotel online I would always get one of the best rooms in the hotel, while other guests who just walked in were paying a bit more for an inferior room. When I examined this fact and had conversations with hotel owners, it all started to make sense. Thus, I have decided to explain here how online hotel bookings work.
Why Do Hotels Offer Their Lowest Rates Online
You might think that hotels would give better rates to those people who just walk in and pay cash. But the reality is that online hotel reviews and people’s comment have a lot of weight in causing others to book or not book at a certain hotel. When people hear comments such as “I paid US$85 online and someone walked in behind me and paid $70 in cash” the hotel knows that such comments would hurt their early bookings in a great way.
Most businesses will offer great discounts to customers who pre-book or buy early because that guarantees an income and puts them in control of their inventory. Hotels want to fill up their rooms as early as possible and most of the times they’d have empty rooms if they leave it to customers who just walk in. So they are very happy to offer discounts and be fully booked.
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The Consumer Has Always The Upper Hand At Online Hotels Booking Sites
Hotels these days have to compete by price and quality to keep their rooms full because the consumers have all the information on price, quality and reviews.
In today’s world we can compare the majority of hotels in each city on any of the major OTAs, and sort them by price, location, and/or review scores. This means that consumers have almost all the information they need at their fingertips, so hotels have to compete by price and quality in order to stay full. If two neighboring and similar hotels with similar review scores are competing online, the one that charges less will get booked up long before the other one.
Now that the majority of hotel reservations are booked online, the properties have great incentives to undercut their competitors in price so they show up higher in the listings. In other words, the online hotel business has turned into sort of a reverse auction where each lowers its price far enough to fill up.
Online reviews are important for most hotels
A lot of hotel customers will read online reviews and complaints left by hotel guests, and find that these reviews are very reliable. Good hotels know that guests will avoid any places with no reviews or bad reviews.
Therefor, when a hotel gets positive reviews which result in getting more guests in and more bookings, they will protect their good reputation by making sure the guests are happy by staying in their establishment.
Advice for People Who Want to book hotels online
Try not to book a hotel more than 3 months in advance. Most hotels keep prices higher until about 3 months before date of booking. They wait to offer deals until they know that they have too many available rooms.
Always Check The Official Site Of Chain Hotels
Online hotel sites always give the best deals on small and independent hotels, but the major chains save their best rates for their own sites. Hotels try to save the commissions they pay the online travel sites and fill up their rooms through direct bookings.
However, chain hotels are more expensive than the independent hotels and you will still get a better deal on those hotels by using the online booking sites. Unless you want to stay at a certain chain, you are better off to book your hotel through a travel site.
Booking online gets you the best deals and treatment
You might still think that you’re going to get a better deal by just walking into a hotel on the same day, but you’re not. You are much better off by booking online even if you’re booking the hotel from a sidewalk outside the hotel. There are a lot of smart phone applications that specialise in instant last minute bookings and they almost always offer the best deals if you’ve waited that long