CONTACT THE OWNER....
When it comes to booking holidays, the traditional accommodation catalogue has gradually given way to a small number of large, online, global accommodation brokerages; the Online Travel Agencies.
As indirect 'middlemen', these businesses bring the customer and the accommodation provider together. In just a few clicks, travellers can now source accommodation anywhere on the planet, check its availability, discover the set price and then book it..........
.....provided you are happy to pay the OTA's fee, which can be as much as 21% on top of the cost of the accommodation.
However, for many customers and a growing number of accommodation providers, the fees and operational restrictions set by indirect middlemen have brought about a renewed appreciation that the old direct booking method actually had some merit.
The days of the printed accommodation catalogue are surely over.
Yet, most owners positively welcome direct contact from holidaymakers, and there are many benefits both for the owners and for their guests.
BOOK WITH CONFIDENCE
To know more about the owners, the property location and travelling times, learn about local amenities, plan a surprise event or confirm details such as parking, disability access and security, then why not ask the owner!
There is also the question of availability & access. Owners know exactly when guests are leaving and arriving. They can be far more flexible when it comes to check-in times, access arrangements and making the availability calendar work for the guest in ways which most online booking systems were never designed to handle.
And then there is price.........
Few of us remain unaffected by recent economic and social turmoil across the globe. We all deserve a holiday, a vacation, some time-out to re-charge the batteries.
The global OTAs offer us choice and simplicity, but their fees have gone beyond the pocket of many. The indirect booking model has served the market well, and will continue to do so.
However, the market is increasingly demanding a credible alternative channel.
Contact the owner - Direct!