We are and always will be cheaper than Booking.com. We can say that confidently because we are not listed on this site or any other online travel agencies (OTAs). As an Inverness guest house welcoming tourists and business travellers from all over the world we like to talk direct with you. Whilst OTAs can be useful for researching an area we recommend making a booking direct with your chosen venue.
There’s several reasons for that.
- Price – Although many will promise the best deal, big reductions and no fees, of course they have to make their money somehow. They do this by charging the venues listed a commission fee for each booking made through their site. This is usually a minimum of 15% but can be as much as 25 to 30%. When you book direct you know that the price you pay is for your stay and not for hidden charges.
- Accurate venue information – OTA websites includes all kinds of properties. Hotels, guest houses, self-catering are all lumped together and generic language is used. You’re a ‘hotel guest’ whether you’ve booked a hotel or not. By visiting your chosen property’s own website you get a much better feel for the type of place it is. Is it a bustling busy environment or is it small, homely and personal?
- Mis-selling – have you ever been looking for a hotel room and felt under pressure to make a quick decision? OTAs use several techniques to persuade you to book now. ’20 people are also looking at this room’ or ‘80% of Inverness is sold out on your dates’ are often used. Plus free cancellation is offered so there’s no risk. But if 50% of bookings are then cancelled and rebooked there isn’t really the demand implied. There are also ‘guaranteed reductions’ which you would also receive booking direct.
- Misleading ranking – the hotels listed first are often rated as the ‘most popular’. Sometimes they are actually the hotels that pay the most commission. Online travel agents push these hotels first because they make most money from them.
Competition and Markets Authority Investigation
Six of the largest online travel agents have been investigated by the Competition and Markets Authority. You can read more about their findings here. The OTAs have been given until 1st September 2019 to stop giving misleading information.
Make life easier for yourself and book direct. We would be delighted to welcome here for your next stay in Inverness.