Cashback for hotel bookings

By | Category: Travel news
money back for booking accommodation. Do we travellers ultimately benefit?

money back for booking accommodation. Do we travellers ultimately benefit?

It is widely known that if you book on a hotel comparison website like hotels.com, Expedia, Trivago, lastminute.com and TripAdvisor the hotel owners pay a hefty commission to the site. Book directly and you could save a chunk of that.

But now there is a new site, EarnAway which says that it will pass a “chunk” a chunk of its commission back to customers as cashback in a bid to combat “sneaky price parity agreements.” It’s a bit like those credit card offers that say you will get cash bac when you use the card.

EarnAway claims to be the first firm of its kind in the UK. For each booking made on its site EarnAway is paid a commission for the referral, but rather than keeping the money the firm passes the majority on to its customers. The company’s site features a broad range of hotels and allows customers to compare the prices of different online travel agents including LateRooms, Agoda and Lowcostholidays.

Co-founder, Rob Berrisford, said: “We saw an opportunity to engender a sense of competition in an industry that has benefitted from a cosy relationship between hotels and online travel agents, at the expense of holidaymakers.

Under this system, we, the customer, win. Or do we? The commission is still paid by the hotelier and I assume it is at a similar rate to that paid to existing comparison websites. But the hotelier, the guest house owner and the B&B provider still loses up to about a quarter of their income. Wouldn’t that encourage them to increase the rate of their rooms so they still get as close as possible to the advertised rate? And if that is happening, don’t we still lose because of having to pay those higher prices?

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