This will be the shortest analysis post I have written out of many thousands. Many people wonder how come all the fuss over OTAs, commissions, and saving a buck where hotel bookings are concerned. The following little bits of info play into the “why” of online booking analysis.
I was including a fascinating online travel startup called rome2rio earlier today when something inspired me to take the little Australia startup for a spin. On the face of rome2rio narrowing down choices for getting from point A to point B are a very, very good experience. You might even say “cutting edge” when showing off routes and connections go.
Then you come to your hotel choices. Without substantial filtering options, the user is left looking at the wonderful Ciragan Palace Kempinski Istanbul, and here is the rub for almost all OTAs. No traveler can adequately choose a hotel based on anything truly meaningful. Reviews, yes, but pictures and other rich media to show a “feel” for the place? No. The image below shows what you see, first from rome2rio, and then by copy pasting the hotel name into Google.
A fuzzy image and the profession of a zillion guest reviews just does not do it for me. And, it should not for any traveler, especially those headed to Istanbul, Turkey for the first time. Any travel company has an obligation to “help” the traveler. So, unless I just know this hotel, or trust in brands without reservations… How come I am at rome2rio or Expedia in the first place?
Booking via rome2rio meta search and Splendia.com €1,101 Booking via Kempinski €1,020.00. Any questions?