Why Direct is Best
When Big Isn’t Always Beautiful
Have you ever noticed how the large, dominating online travel agencies (OTAs) like Booking.com and TripAdvisor always seem to be top of the Google searches for holiday accommodation, whatever area of the UK you choose? Have you ever stopped to think how this may be affecting individual accommodation owners and the local economy as well as your own pocket?
Susan, a self catering holiday cottage owner in West Bay, wrote recently about this on her West Bay Cottage Website Blog and says:
“Increasingly, online listing sites such as AirBnB, TripAdvisor and Owners Direct (a misnomer if ever there was one) and holiday letting agencies are charging owners sizeable commission and guests heavy booking fees. It’s a win-win situation for them and a lose-lose one for guests and owners.”
She goes on to say that “they are also making it more and more difficult for the potential guests to communicate with owners. This ensures they can’t be bypassed before they grab your money. But what a shame. Who knows the accommodation and local area best? The owner. The obvious person to ask questions to make sure it’s the right accommodation and the right destination for you.”
There is a Local Alternative
Local directory websites sites like westbay.co.uk are a great way of browsing a whole range of self catering properties in the local area but they are sadly in decline because they can’t compete with the OTAs to offer the key missing element – real time cottage availability. Here at Bridport Cottages, we can do that by sharing a unique ‘ical’ feed that synchronises availability with the owner’s own booking system or calendar.
No Booking Fees or Commission so Win-Win
You’ll soon realise that this functionality is no different from what the large OTA websites are doing – but hopefully a more informed website experience because we know our local area and have actually done the very things that you are likely to want to do when you stay. The added bonus is that there are no booking fees for you and the holiday home owner has no commission to pay. Everybody wins … except the OTA’s!!
We Compete with the Big Guys
So why do cottage owners list their properties with the OTA’s in the first place? They think they have no choice …. because it goes back to what we said at the beginning – the ‘big brands’ are always at the top of Google search pages (because they pay big bucks to advertise) and push all the owner websites down onto page 2 or even 3. Many owners feel that if they do not list themselves with ‘the big guys’ that they will have empty properties. It is Bridport Cottages’ aim to change this mindset and not just here in West Dorset but across the UK.
Think Local Not Global
In this world of convenience, please spare a thought for local businesses and think ‘local’ and not ‘global’. Browsing this website is your first step in making a conscious decision to help local business owners but please remember to seek out other, similar websites whenever you are looking for breaks away. Discover the group websites where owners ‘stick together’ and also individual cottage websites …. even if it does mean clicking on page 2 of Google. You never know, you may just get the perfect cottage that no-one else found because you took the time to look at little further. You may even get a reduced rate if you email or pick up the phone.