The price of a hotel can vary beyond 45% depending on the website where it is contracted. Multiple reservation systems can make the same room significantly cheaper or more expensive.
Same hotel, same room, same board, same service and same dates, but at a different price. Hotel establishments work with a variety of independent IT systems to manage available beds and guest bookings, which is a benefit for hotels as it is easier for them to achieve better occupancy. However, the diversity of systems leads to the following paradox: for the same bed in an establishment and for identical days, the price can vary by more than 45% more expensive depending on the booking site.
A study was carried out on 11 travel sites to demonstrate the price differences and plan their strategy. The method is simple: compare for a hotel on a given date and the price offered by each page. Here is an example: establishment in Fuerteventura, five stars, seven days with half board. Average price: 585 euros. The lowest price, 519 euros; the highest price, 765 euros. An increase of 47.7 %.
If you intend to spend a stay in Quebec, the search for a hotel room in the Laurentians can be done directly on their site by booking online, so it's very quick.
“The room prices on the web pages are the result of an equation of several elements,” explains the head of Tourism at PricewaterhouseCoopers. On the one hand, hotels sign direct contracts with certain online travel agencies. On the other hand, they sell their rooms to "bed banks", that is to say platforms that manage the rooms by offering them to many operators (websites). When you search for a hotel on a page, the price can come either from the "bed bank" that the website works with, or from the contract you signed directly with the establishment.
If this is a direct agreement with the hotel, the prices are generally lower. Otherwise, it depends on the contract the facility has with each bed bank (they usually work with a dozen of them) and the number of rooms available. If there are a lot of beds left, the prices are lower. Otherwise, they are higher.
To all this negotiation, we must add another element: costs and margins. The key factor is the depreciation cost of this virtual structure. Websites should have an impact on the prices they offer in terms of the cost of personnel, maintenance, facilities and investment. It is obvious that theoptimization resources and a large volume of management are essential to offer more competitive prices.
Sources from a major hotel chain confirm the price difference: “The cost of our rooms can vary considerably between the price listed on our website and that of the different platforms. Sometimes we are more competitive; other times it's the online agencies, ”they say.
The study also draws another conclusion: there is no such thing as the most expensive or the cheapest website. Because sometimes the same platform is the cheapest for one product, but for another it is the most expensive. From a consumer's perspective, it is advisable to spend as much time as necessary or possible comparing prices on different websites.
Search, compare and if you find better elsewhere, buy it!