Interbed.com, a new global hotel information portal, offers hotels a new tool for increasing online bookings and improved yield management, whilst offering travelers easy comparison-shopping along with reliable “angel” and “devil” testimonials, and no-intermediary bookings directly with hotels.
When travelers select a destination, they see an easy-to-scan comparison chart showing hotel details such as number of rooms, room rates, which hotels have a restaurant, meeting rooms, Internet connection, air-conditioning, wheelchair access, swimming pool, allow pets, offer baby-sitting, and so on, testimonials where available, and contact information or direct links to the hotel. Fax or email messages are already pre-filled, and travelers simply click through, where enabled, without ever having to know the hotels’ email or web site addresses.
“Travelers prefer to shop around, find and compare the best-value-for-money hotels at their destination, and want to deal with hotels directly,” states Herman Thuy, founder of Interbed.com, citing a recent PhoCusWright survey finding that “more than twice as many online travelers (36%) believe that the supplier-direct channel provides the best customer service, compared to 15% who choose the online travel agency channel.”
Thuy points out that the Interbed.com setup especially appeals to experienced travelers who know that booking and even prepaying a hotel room via a travel agent does not guarantee a reservation. “Too many travelers have arrived at their destination, booking reference in hand, only to find no room available for them. Well-hidden fine print lets most agents off the hook for this,” he says.
Hotels worldwide can register with interbed.com in greatest detail, for free. Interbed.com does not charge any commissions or booking fees ever. but does charge a flat annual fee to enable permanent hotlinks to the hotel’s sales desk, email, web site or central reservation system. Free registration provides guaranteed global online visibility and promotion for any size hotels including those without a web site.
Adds Thuy: “With online bookings having grown to USD53 billion in the United States and EUR19.2 billion in Europe in 2004, a presence on Interbed.com is perfect for hoteliers who have long dreamed of taking back control of distribution from travel agents, and a sure-fire way to win the attention of skeptical travelers eager to find the best value for their money.”