In our research, we’ve found that many Australians are taking steps to secure the best deals possible on their domestic and international holidays. For example, four in five use numerous websites to find the best accommodation/hotel deals possible.
The same number believes these websites generally offer accurate reviews for their consideration.
We speak to Channel 7 News about these kinds of websites, and which ones resonate most with Aussie travellers.
Presenter: Now when booking hotels for holidays, most of us head to an online accommodation website to compare the tariffs. There are now hundreds of websites globally, but they do vary enormously. So to help with school holiday planning, here’s Helen Wellings.
Simon Downes (Canstar Blue spokesperson): Accommodation websites are a consumers dream; all the information they need in one place.
Maria Tate (Bowen Terrace owner): So this is you room, go on in – I’ll show you through.
Stephen McIan (Tourist): You can quickly pick and choose where you want to stay and, depending on budget, how fancy you want it to be.
Traveller #2: You can compare on the price, and you can find the best deal.
Helen Wellings (reporter): They’ve made booking accommodation easier, quicker and – with online reviews – surer. Around 7 out of 10 people booking stays use accommodation websites. But if you’ve ever wondered which sites offer the biggest range and the best deals, now you have it. A survey just released rates eight top hotel booking websites, and gives customer verdicts.
Consumer #3: It kind of compares the prices for you so it kind of lists them from cheapest to most expensive.
Consumer #3: It’s pretty easy if you can use a computer.
Downes: So this is a survey of 1,300 consumers. We asked them to rate their accommodation website of choice.
Wellings: Simon Downes of consumer research company Canstar Blue says with hundreds of accommodation websites throughout the world, it’s a fiercely competitive market.
Downes: The power is really in the consumer’s hands. If a website isn’t working particularly well for them, a couple of clicks takes their business elsewhere to another website.
Wellings: One out of three customers in the survey say of prime importance are ease of navigation and booking. Top marks for that? Booking.com: five out of five. Expedia, Hotel, Wotif, Agoda, Lastminute, and Webjet scored four. Hotels.com: three. Service? Helping with problems and changes.Booking.com: five. Lastminute: three. Value for money and overall satisfaction. Booking.com: five out of five again. Hotels and Webjet score three.
Downes: We know that the ability to click your mouse twice to move on to another website obviously makes first impressions. To come out on top of this survey for the third year in a row, obviously says a lot about what Booking.com is doing and what it’s doing right.
Tate: Interest each year is tenfold coming through the booking channels. People have got a greater range to see us, because we’re on all different sites, as opposed to our one website.
Tate (to traveller): Welcome to Bowen Terrace, come up to your room.
Wellings: Maria Tate, owner of Bowen Terrace backpackers hotel in Brisbane, says about 70% of her guests come through online booking sites.
Tate: We’ve had to keep our websites up to date with high quality photos.
Wellings: Stephen McIan, visiting from Ireland, always books travel through accommodation websites.
McIan: Feedback would be a big influence for what I would select. To see what they would say regarding plus points or negative points regarding bookings.
Tate: This feature is quite good for the industry because people can go on and compare us against each other, which means we’ve had to lift our standards a lot higher.