How to find cheap hotel rooms? Survey compares popular website rates

Many vacationers attempt to get monetary savings by looking the web for cheaper hotel rates.

But a brand new research suggests it might not be definitely worth the time — at the very least in some locations.

The journey insurance coverage comparability website InsureMyTrip in contrast rates for 950 lodges in 19 international cities on three popular reserving web sites in addition to every hotel’s website.

According to the outcomes printed final week, Hotels.com had the most effective general rates — however simply barely.

Hotels.com had the most effective rates in 620 cases, which was barely larger than Expedia, which had the most affordable rates in 579 cases.

Booking immediately with a hotel was costlier, however by solely about $6 extra on common, in accordance to the research.

“There have been conflicting views on hotel rates, and people … believe that booking through online travel platforms ensured a better rate than the hotel website,” mentioned Shalabh Arora, director of selling at India’s Four Seasons Hotel Bengaluru. “However, it’s not so at Four Seasons where rate parity is taken very seriously.”

He mentioned the lodges’ website has a pop-up operate which compares rates supplied by the hotel with these on different reserving platforms.

Finally, the website Booking.com had the most affordable rates in 72 cases — or about 7% of the time — in accordance to the research.  

“Not only was [Booking.com] rarely the most affordable, but it was also the most expensive option the majority of the time,” in accordance to the printed outcomes.

The firm’s Managing Director for Asia Pacific Laura Houldsworth responded to the research by electronic mail, stating that the corporate goals “to always be transparent with our customers” and that “our property partners are free to set their own prices on Booking.com.”

She added that “our promise to price match also means that if a customer should ever find a lower price on another website, Booking.com will refund the difference.”

Different reserving manufacturers, similar mother or father firm

The report discovered common hotel rates on Hotels.com and Expedia had been the identical in seven of 19 cities, with general averages various by simply 27 cents.

“Expedia and Hotels.com often had the same price, especially with the international hotels,” mentioned Sarah Webber, director of selling for InsureMyTrip.

Both manufacturers are owned by Expedia Group, which additionally operates different journey reserving web sites, together with Travelocity, Hotwire, Orbitz and CheapTickets.

“Hotels working with Expedia Group distribute their rates across all of our brands,” mentioned Anna Brown, an organization public relations supervisor. “The rate is similar across brands, however various offers … approved by our hotel partners, sometimes create rate differences.”

Brown mentioned rates also can differ by way of manufacturers’ app-only pricing, whereas Hotwire’s “Hot Rates” masks lodges’ names prior to buy in alternate for deep reductions on last-minute bookings.

Booking.com is a part of Booking Holdings, which operates Priceline, Agoda and Kayak. Booking Holdings had the best income amongst all on-line journey companies from 2019 to 2021, in accordance to the analysis firm Statista.

Hotel rates by metropolis

The InsureMyTrip report confirmed vital price variations in sure cities. For occasion, vacationers may save as a lot as $88 per night time in Honolulu, in the event that they discovered the bottom worth.

In New York, the report discovered common hotel rates various from $293 on Hotels.com to $367 on Booking.com.

The research additionally discovered:  

  • Hotels.com had the most affordable rates in New York City 62% of the time.
  • Expedia had the most affordable rates in Honolulu 62% of the time and Boston 66% of the time.
  • Direct hotel bookings had been most cost-effective in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington D.C.

But price fluctuations had been much less pronounced outdoors of the United States.

Posted rates various lower than $10 per night time on common in Hong Kong, Bangkok, Macau, Kuala Lumpur and Istanbul, in accordance to the analysis.

InsureMyTrip’s research represents a snapshot in time, with the analysis analyzing rates for a double room for 2 folks booked for the night time of Aug. 27, 2022, the agency mentioned.

All searches had been performed on the identical day to keep away from worth fluctuations, since “prices can change quickly and without warning,” mentioned Webber.

Not all lodges or reserving websites embody the identical extras within the last worth.

Sarah Webber

InsureMyTrip director

However, the research didn’t think about whether or not rates had been refundable or included taxes, mentioned Webber.

“To keep the study as simple as possible, we took the price seen on the sites as the final cost,” she mentioned. “So, it’s definitely something to consider as not all hotels or booking sites include the same extras in the final price.”

Other components, equivalent to prepayment necessities and breakfast inclusions, can have an effect on rates too, which additional complicates the hotel worth comparability course of — for researchers and vacationers alike.  

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