In our Travel 2.0 workshop last week in Barcelona we have been looking into online distribution in a bit more detail, which made us come across the following practice by Yellow Pages in Spain and the Netherlands. It seems they are charging hotels twice.
In our Travel 2.0 workshop last week in Barcelona we have been looking into online distribution in a bit more detail, which made us come across the following practice by Yellow Pages in Spain .
The Spanish yellow pages, www.paginasamarillas.es, charges hotels both for their listing and puts in that same list a link to the reservation system of ActiveHotels.com. To better understand I have included some screenshots below.
Of course websites like the Yellow Pages are free to sell any of their space to advertisers, and even include a booking engine in the colum on the left like the have done here. That’s wonderfully smart. But including the reservations mask or booking engine button inside a paid hotel listing goes a bit far we think.
We asked hoteliers for their feedback on this practice and they were truly furious. ‘Having to pay for getting a good listing and then loose the reservations to an online travel agency is like paying double’ one hotelier commented.
Upon investigating some other YellowPages websites in Europe, we ran into the same practice in the Netherlands, where GoudenGids.nl uses Booking.com as their provider, as you can see in the example below.
Of course it is smart if websites of the Yellow Pages try to capitalize on their traffic. And we think they should most certainly do so. But placing a booking button of an OTA inside the hotel listing might not be the way to go. Now not all hotels feature these booking buttons, so we are curious to find out how this works in more detail.
We really liked the solution of GelbeSeiten.de of Germany which features a free click to call button inside the listing. Creative and of this day and age!
Some of Europe’s YellowPages websites might have to look into this a bit further and question these practices. Hotels should probably engage into discussions with them to see if they could implement a widgit allowing consumers to shop rates and book directly with the hotel website.