Impact of Hotel Aggregators

Until the early 2000. the main problem in traveling to an unknown destination was booking a good hotel at an affordable price. Everything else was readily available. If it was within India, you can easily go and book a train ticket yourself, after a glance at the time table. Else, there’s always the option of a flight to go anywhere in the world. You just had to walk into the airline office or a ticketing travel agent who used to suggest, which was the lowest and you booked it instantly

However hotels wasn’t the same case as a train/flight. There were too many hotels in  the destination, and you didn’t know which is better , cheaper and closer to the main areas.If you choose a beautiful resort it may probably be expensive or outside the city, several kms away.You didn’t have any first hand reviews of an unknown hotel nor any confidence to take a risk, to book it for a family vacation

So you were left with three options to book a hotel. Go to a travel agent and ask him to book a hotel along with a city tour,despite knowing it won’t be in a good standard. If in India, second option was to go to a state tourism office, and book the government sponsored tourism hotel. Third was to go there and book directly at the hotel. If its a peak season, there was absolutely no chance of getting a room
This is where Hotel aggregators had a major impact. The late 2007-2010 saw the rise of many hotel e-commerce websites. These hotel aggregators went and tied up with every other hotel and listed it in their website. No matter which country or state you go, you always found 100+ options in every category of rooms available. You had the option to pre-book or even pay during the stay.

Some of these sites included booking.com, makemytrip.com,goibibo.com,yatra.com and so forth

The major impact was actually felt by the small hotels. Their presence and visibility increased by several times. Their usual occupancy rate of 45-40% now doubled to 70-80%, even during off-season.Rather than staying in the same hotel every time, travellers now had a huge list of choices to choose from. The best part about it was that, they got loyalty discounts and cash backs for every booking they made. This was something totally new in the hotel industry. Despite going to the same hotel any number of times, you would never have gotten a rupee of discount

Staying in Chennai, one could easily book a hotel suite in Dubai or Singapore, in the specified area, with a specified facility in the given date for 1/5th of the usual hotel price
Another impact was on hotel reviews. Thousands of travellers every single day posted honest reviews about the hotel facility, location, food, service etc. This helped in making an intelligent decision in choosing the right hotel

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can  apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

You can check out a similar aggregator called Home Canvas, a curated home decor collections website.

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