You probably didn’t know this, but with Booking, all of us travelers are paying more for our accommodations.
Let me tell you why.
In just a few years, Booking has become the number one hotel booking site in the world.
I have used it many times in the past and you probably have too.
Normal, given its dominant position in the market: in 2015, Booking actually sold 800,000 hotel nights, compared to 500,000 for Expedia and 100,000 for Airbnb.
Of course, Booking is convenient to book a hotel: a plethora of offers all over the world, reviews on each hotel, geolocation to search, no fees in case of cancellation (in general).
This makes life easier for the traveler! And yet, Booking adds to your budget.
Hoteliers’ Dependence on Booking
As it has developed, Booking has become a must for hotel reservations.
For a hotelier, being on Booking is a big plus for his visibility and therefore for his turnover.
Few hoteliers can do without it right away… Or they will struggle.
Over time, Booking has increased its commission on overnight stays.
This varies according to several criteria but, roughly speaking, it is between 15% and 17% in France, according to Les Echos.fr .
This is huge! And it can be more abroad.
In addition, Booking imposes a single rate on hoteliers: it is impossible for them to sell their rooms for less on their site.
This is illegal in France.
And even before, the hotelier could not use other platforms or sell directly on site.
Furthermore, in France, the hotelier is obliged to charge VAT on the nightly rate, instead of Booking.
And if the hotelier wants to leave Booking, the process can take several months. During this time, his listing is still available on the site.
In France, hotel chains such as ACCOR have decided to file a complaint with the French Competition Authority.
The Impact on the Traveler
You will tell me: “OK but, as a result, hotels increase their turnover and therefore receive more money”. Yes, but it’s more complicated.
The money paid to Booking represents additional costs for the hotel.
And 17% is a lot and it lowers the profitability of a hotel.
As a result, hotels have had to increase their rates – and you are paying more.
Thank you Booking.
The Trick to paying less for your Hotel
If you want to take my advice, skip Booking and save money.
It’s easy: first, you find the hotel(s) you’re interested in on the Booking website; then, you contact the hotel directly (email, phone call) and negotiate a lower rate than the one posted on Booking, taking into account the commission.
If both parties are satisfied, the deal is done.
There is no email on Booking.com: for this, you have to find the hotel’s website or its Facebook page, or even its Instagram.
Example here with this hotel in Panama:
Just type in the name of the hotel on Google to find its website and its email address to go directly to the hotel. It’s easy!
You can easily negotiate a 10% discount from the price displayed on the site.