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Published on Monday, March 20, 2017

Best Western tells customers to bypass agents




Best Western Great Britain will launch a national marketing drive today designed to encourage customers to book direct and bypass agents.

The franchise hotel group said its 'Better Book Direct' campaign aims to highlight that consumers can get the lowest prices in the market by booking directly on its website, via its call centre or directly with hotels.

Director of marketing Sarah Fussey said: "HSBC's recent report on the Anatomy of the Consumer states that 51% of people asked say they think booking through an online travel agent presents them with the best deal.

"What's frustrating is that that we know this is isn't the case and that's a perception that our Better Book Direct campaign is looking to break. We want to reward our most loyal customers with giving them the lowest prices.

"As Great Britain's largest collection of independent hotels, everything we do is focussed on making the product and service right for our customers, and this latest campaign will give customers the confidence to trust that we can offer them the lowest price in the market when they book direct."

Best Western has introduced new 'Rewards Rates' to give direct bookers discounted rates unavailable anywhere else in the market.

But customers wanting to book the Rewards Rates will need to become Rewards members. Members can also earn points for rewards, such as free night stays.

The campaign will feature TV adverts across national networks, alongside digital, social and PR elements.


 

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  • It's the loss of control plus margin

    We live in the rental world that is seeing OTAs attempt to shoehorn the rental inventory (6m+) into the same e-comm models. The issues are legion of course and exacerbated in our industry for many reasons. It has however highlighted the power of OTAs online for us, but also their ability to control what the guest sees and this can be based on so many parameters, out of the suppliers control unless its margin compliant. Its also increases risk of reduced loyalty and who "owns" the guest. We will see a lot more of this and technology that influences guests choices and pushed direct, provided it's frictionless and trusted.

    By Richard Vaughton, Monday, March 20, 2017

  • Why?

    Why would you want to treat travel agents that book your product this way? Is it because you are afraid we recommend other hotels at cheaper prices? Work with us, not against us!

    By , Monday, March 20, 2017

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