This post was inspired by a blog post from the travel blogger site below:
Nomadic Matt’s Travel Site
Nomadic Matt is all about finding the best travel deals. The bane of travel agent’s lives – people booking direct! But as you can read in the blog post – there are many sites out there that do a good job at convincing the public that they are the cheapest.
Interestingly, Matt’s conclusion was to avoid MetaSearch sites and always to check with Tingo* ( a Trip Advisor company that guarantees refunds if the hotel room you book ends up cheaper elsewhere. We have installed a metasearch engine on many travel agent sites successfully (this enables the agent to sell online or offline using their TAAP Expedia Account and still earn commission).
I carried out a search between Tingo and our Metasearch site and found:
1. Tingo quoted prices excluding Tax ( not allowed in the UK) and so the price at checkout was always closer or the same as the Metasearch site
2. Tingo availability stopped when they could not compete on price that easily ( I found availability for a hotel using Metasearch more times than the availability showing on Tingo)
What can a Travel Agent Learn from all this?
1. The consumer is being ‘duped’ quite a lot of the time that the best price is online
2. It is becoming easier and easier to find a hotel and check prices online
3. That a user should check multiple site before choosing who to book with
4. That Expedia were the cheapest on many occasions
5. That agents should incorporate a metasearch hotel engine on their site to enable them to be seen as ‘least expensive’ by their users/clients. This will encourage the clients to keep coming back to the agent site and to use it on mobile effectively while also being able to be able to sell the hotel offline (via Expedia TAAP account and still pick up commission)
I founded Net Effect to provide digital marketing tools and websites to Independent Travel Businesses who sometimes find it hard to compete online with the larger Online Travel Agents.
I started off my career in Zimbabwe with British American Tobacco having developed his love of travel from spending part of my childhood in Malaysia. I quickly realised that growing tobacco wasn’t the thing he wanted to devote his life to and so returned to the UK, trained as a Chartered Accountant and joined the travel industry as Finance Director of Simply Travel and then MD, later selling the business to TUI and after a brief spell with the travel giant, realised my passion was with small businesses.
Fast forward to 2011 and a number of different businesses I saw a niche to provide marketing tools and expertise to Independent Travel Businesses whom otherwise would be unable to find the right tools to help grow their business and Net Effect was founded
Net Effect now provide CRM and Quote software, email marketing, specialist holiday search and cruise search and marketing tools to over 200 clients.