PUBLISHED: 14:58, Tue, Mar 3, 2020 | UPDATED: 15:18, Tue, Mar 3, 2020
Holidays: Consumer site Which? has said that using booking sites could cost travellers more (Image: Getty Images)
Hotel holidays are often more expensive when booked online rather than directly with the hotel, a Which? investigation has claimed. Online travel agents of the likes of Booking.com or Expedia are popular ways to book holidays for many Britons. Such sites tend to compare the cost of hotel rooms across different websites.
However, consumer site Which? has said that using the sites could cost travellers more.
Which? said they contacted 10 hotels to ask if they could offer a better deal than that offered by an online travel agent (OTA) or on their own website.
The site claimed that eight hotels were able to offer a better price or other incentives such as free breakfasts or upgrades.
Their research suggested that travellers are paying up to 12 per cent more for their rooms than they need to.
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Holidays: Travellers are paying up to 12 per cent more for their rooms than they need to (Image: Getty Images)
Which?’s research found that it is usually more expensive to book a hotel room online than booking directly by phone or email.
This is due to “a combination of commission charged by OTAs like Booking.com and Expedia on every booking made through their websites, and OTAs enforcing ‘rate-parity clauses’ in their contracts with hotels – clauses which prevent hotels from offering lower prices on their own websites than those listed on the OTAs’ websites.”
According to Which?, OTAs charge high levels of commission (typically between 15 and 25 per cent) on every booking.
They said that hotels – especially smaller properties like family-run B&Bs - cannot afford to absorb the cost and often have to pass on it to customers.