IHG turns the screw on agencies with direct-booking swipe
InterContinental Hotels Group is pushing a major new campaign to convince potential guests that they could save money if they book direct with a hotel website, as part of becoming members of its IHG Rewards Club programme.
InterContinental Hotels Group is the latest mega-chain to make a major effort to turn travellers away from the “purse-stretching” online travel agencies.
The group is pushing a major new campaign to convince potential guests that they could save money if they book direct with a hotel website, as part of becoming members of its IHG Rewards Club programme.
Triggering the latest wave was the result of a study commissioned by IHG of British consumers which found that more than three-quarters of travellers booked with an online travel agency because they believe they get a better rate for their room.
Furthermore, the same research saw that only one in 10 consumers will book their accommodation on a hotel website.
Your Rate, the programme being integrated into the IHG Rewards Club, is due to be up and running in the US and Europe in May. Other regions are expected to follow suit during 2016.
This follows similar efforts from rival brands such as Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt to win some direct-booking market share from online travel agencies, primarily the giants in the shape of Booking.com and Expedia.
The company has provided a number of examples where the rates on Booking.com and Expedia are higher than on the hotel’s own website, sometimes with savings up to $100 per night.
It also criticises tactics used by online travel agencies where they label prices for a property as “reduced” or “discounted”.
Chief commercial officer in Europe, Matt Luscombe, says:
“Our research shows there are still misconceptions around how some booking sites work.
“Our guests like choice, but they also want to know that they’re not paying over the odds for their room.”
IHG says it can “guarantee” guests will now get a better rate than by using an OTA.
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