International #BookDirect Guest Education Day is 3rd February 2021. Hospitality owners from around the world are coming together to promote the #BookDirect message and explain to potential guests the advantages of booking directly with the owner, rather than through one of the huge Online Travel Agents (OTAs) such as Booking.com, Expedia, Airbnb or Tripadvisor.
What’s the problem with big Online Travel Agents?
OTAs provide a quick, convenient search and booking service. They can become familiar and therefore habitual to use.
However, did you realise that they charge property owners up to 20% for every booking? On top of this, some add a substantial service fee for the guest to pay. Current examples – policies do change – are Airbnb, Homeaway and VRBO.
In total this could be 25% more in commissions and fees via an OTA rather than booking directly with the property.
Another concern is that some OTAs have recently been found to be misleading potential guests.
They’ve been exposed for giving inferior ranking in search results if the property has a cheaper price quoted elsewhere of if the owners aren’t paying extra fees to rank highly.
The UK Competition and Markets Authority says it has been investigating since 2018 after it became concerned that OTAs were using pressure tactics and reported that “giving a false impression of a property’s popularity or not displaying the full cost of a property upfront could mislead people, stop them finding the best deal and potentially break consumer protection law”.
So why does Istanbul Place Apartments use Online Travel Agents?
- OTAs have enormous advertising budgets and can therefore reach far more widely than we can on our own
- Some of our guests feel reassured by booking through a large company
- Some travellers prefer to book all their accommodation through one site for convenience
Why should I Book Direct?
- Direct contact with us means you can ask any questions you may have before you book. We’ll tell you more about the apartment and its neighbourhood to be sure that this is the right property for your needs. We can discuss seasonal variations and local happenings.
- We may be able to offer certain extras to make your stay even more special eg early/late check-ins, pre-arranged supplies for your arrival
- You won’t find a lower price anywhere else
- OTAs don’t protect you any more than booking directly with us. In fact you’ll get a better customer service experience by booking direct as we’ll go above and beyond to make sure your stay is as wonderful as possible
- You’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you’re supporting an independent business
What can I do?
- Book direct for any accommodation you trust, whenever you can
- Encourage others to do likewise
- When you get a great experience by booking directly, tell the world!
- Share the message using the #BookDirect hashtag on social media
From time to time we publish offers that are only valid for those who #BookDirect on our website.
To receive these, you can:
If you’d like to directly book your stay at Istanbul Place Apartments now, click here!