Breaking Travel News

No More Haggling Over Hotel Rates

Orbitz , the site that makes it easy to
find great travel deals, today announced the results of a national survey
of travelers with internet access that reveals the majority (91%) want to
comparison shop multiple hotel brands when booking a hotel. According to
the Orbitz Hotel Survey, conducted online by Harris Interactive(R), nearly
half of consumers (49%) believe web sites like Orbitz offer the lowest
hotel rates more than calling hotels directly (25%) or using hotel
websites (22%) do. Amid industry discussion on where consumers find the best hotel deals,
with online agencies or through hotels directly, the survey found that
over the next 12 months, more online travelers (43%) anticipate using
third-party sites like Orbitz most frequently for hotel reservations than
calling a hotel directly (40%) or using hotel websites (35%).

“More than half of all hotels booked online are booked by a third-party
agency such as Orbitz,” according to a 2004 study by PhoCusWright. The
study also confirmed, “Third-party sites offer compelling deals and
shopping options and will continue to represent the greater share of hotel
Internet bookings.”

Low prices aren’t the only reason consumers turn to sites like Orbitz when
booking hotel rooms. Besides price, the majority (65%) of travelers look
for the ability to search for hotels near a specific address, and another
33 percent value the ability to search for hotels by specific amenities
such as a pool or fitness center—features that are both available on

“This study confirms that the vast majority of travelers want to shop
multiple hotel brands when booking a hotel,” said Kurt Weinsheimer, vice
president of Hotels at Orbitz. “At Orbitz, travelers get a one-stop shop
for hotels, and our unique Matrix display makes it easy to compare
different brands and properties by location, price and quality. Plus, our
OrbitzSaver rate guarantee means travelers have access to the lowest
prices available online.”

The Harris Interactive(R) survey also validates that many consumers do not
want to call hotels directly to haggle over rates. Among those who look at
hotel rates online, 27 percent said they wouldn’t call because there was
no guarantee the rate would be lower; 21 percent indicated that they would
avoid calling to request a lower rate because they were uncomfortable
negotiating by phone; another 17 percent said they didn’t have the time to
make such a call; and 8 percent said they didn’t want to spend the money
on the call.