Hotel Booking For Businesses - Why You Shouldn't Book Online
We know from experience that many companies think that booking their business hotel accommodation online through online travel agents (OTAs) is a good way to go as it saves them time and money. After all, online hotel booking agents and travel management services operators have vast databases of hotels, their websites appear easy to use and their prices look great. All good reasons to book your hotel online from the convenience of your office, yes?
No, unfortunately this isn't always the case - and when it comes to booking a hotel room for your business stay using an OTA may mean you're taking a risk! Find out why below:
A problem some businesses encounter is the double booking of rooms. There have been a number of cases recently where hotels have given preference to direct hotel bookings over online discounted hotel bookings.
When this happens, on arriving at the hotel, you may find that the hotel offers you a room at another hotel/location (which is hopefully of the same/similar value or rating). This may not bother you too much but if you're attending a conference which is taking place in the hotel you've booked this could lead to inconvenience. Or if you've booked multiple rooms for business colleagues you may find you or they are in separate hotels making it difficult to network or socialise with them during your stay.
It's Your Time
The amount of time it can take to properly research the right hotel and to make sure it meets with your requirements can be high. We often don't value our own time the same way we do money but if you are running a business, is your time best spent in hotel searching or in running your business?
If you actually quantify the number of hours you spend on finding the right hotel you may find that using an online booking agent isn't quite as price competitive as you thought.
A hotel booking agent like Booking Partners will be able to do the legwork for you and will most likely already have preferred hotels in mind that will exactly meet your needs, speeding up the process and ensuring your hotel stay is the best it can be.
Do You Need Something Out Of The Ordinary?
If you are looking for something out of the ordinary then booking online isn't the best way to go. You won't get expert guidance online - the decision is yours entirely so if you need advice or have specific requirements it's best to go to someone who will talk through your requirements and customise your booking to your specific needs.
You may also need to make last minute changes if your plans need to be fluid. If that's the case then the types of standardised product you'll find online won't be able to provide the flexibility you'll need. Reserving a hotel room through an online site can essentially lock you into a contract with an inflexible cancellation and modification policy, leaving you little to no flexibility in making any changes you require.
Booking through a professional hotel booking agent will mean your booking can be setup to cater for any last minute changes and they'll be able to consider any specific needs that you may have.
It's Bound To Be Cheaper - I'm Eliminating The Middle Man!
We forget that behind online booking facilities are companies whose business it is to market hotels. These companies act as "middle men" to sell hotel bookings so they may not always be giving you the big saving you'd hope to make. It's much more likely that you'll be making a small saving after the site has added its cut.
Hotels are also known to set aside blocks of rooms for online booking platforms paying less so you may not always be getting the best value for your money if you go down the online booking route.
When Things Go Wrong!
It's a fact of life, sometimes even the best laid travel plans can go awry.
If you've booked through a faceless website and there's an unexpected problem with your booking you may discover that there's no one to help you fix things. Most online booking websites are primarily focused on selling you room nights at low prices and making it easy for you to buy; they are not based around customer service beyond what you can find on their website.
There are many cases of people complaining that when they booked via an online site, reservations were not actually processed by the site. This can result in the site and hotel passing the blame back and forth and potentially mean that when you arrive at your hotel you have no a room at all.
Unfortunately it can then be extremely hard to get any sort of recourse without spending a great deal of time trying to sort out what went wrong. However if you use a hotel booking agent you'll have someone on your side who you can turn to when problems arise.
Taking Away The Stress Element
There is little doubt that online booking websites have made it easier to research hotels, compare prices and book hotel rooms. However, you still need to do a certain amount of work and as outlined above there are times when things can go wrong and you'll need to sort out the issues by yourself. On top of this OTAs don't meet everyone's requirements.
So consider your needs and how much flexibility you require when next deciding how to arrange your hotel room booking.
Hotel Booking Agents
If you are looking for the personal touch and want to ensure your hotel requirements are fully met and are flexible enough to change depending on your needs then contact Booking Partners +44 (0)330 022 8643 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.