At the start of 2018, a new movement in the holiday industry started to organise holiday rental agencies and managers came together in the first #Bookdirect event to discuss the advantages of bypassing the usual third-party booking platforms and encourage guests to book direct.
Third party sites such as Airbnb, are important to our industry as they provide a secure and trustworthy platform for bookings, which inspires guest’s confidence in their choice of holiday. They also provide excellent support for guests and hosts alike. However, sometimes it’s worth shopping around!
Here at Wight Holiday Lettings, we market our properties across a wide variety of OTA’s (online travel agents), but we also take direct bookings through our website, over the phone or by email.
A large percentage of guests book their travel through third party sites and are unaware that they can book the same property directly with the local agent or property manager.
There are many advantages to direct bookings for guests, including a considerable saving on your holiday booking.
Many of the large sites charge considerable fees for listing holiday properties, which drives up the price you see on their websites as agents and owners are forced to cover their costs of listing the property. By booking directly, you avoid this ‘uplift’ in rates.
When you book direct, you are dealing with the property manager or owner of the property that knows that property well and is usually local to the area, so can give advice on property, the local area, facilities and even assist with travel arrangements. Here are Wight Holiday Lettings, we can arrange for discounted ferry travel to the Isle of Wight as part of your holiday booking.
Sometimes, you may need to make special arrangements or need very specific assistance with your booking or accommodation. Having direct contact with someone local, will ensure you are given the most accurate advice and help.
Not all properties are listed on 3rd party sites
You may find that there are hidden gems available to book direct that are not currently listed on the larger sites. If you can’t find what you’re looking for online, its worth giving a local agent a call as they may have new properties coming on board or pending cancellations that are not yet updated online.
Booking direct can have drawbacks with less then reputable sites popping up and providing no guarantees to guests, so it is always best to do your research and check a company out before parting with any payment. Check cancellation policies and ensure secure payment systems are used.