Google is Confusing Travelers!

Acorn Internet Services, AIHP (Association of Independent Hospitality Professionals), and PAII (Professional Association of Innkeepers International) sponsored a Google Survey that went out to 1000 travelers. They asked: Are you booking Direct when you click on the blue BOOK A ROOM button in Google?

70% of guests thought that they WERE booking direct when they click the blue button. Many were amazed to know that they were booking with an online travel agent and not with the property. Let’s explain…

Google Domination of the Travel Industry

Google has been dominating the search engine industry since its conception and in the past few years, that domination has extended to the travel industry. The biggest hit came in 2016 when Google began ranking listings based on Online Travel Agency availability. That means, if a small independently-owned inn doesn’t have a listing on one of these online agencies, like Expedia or Booking.com, they won’t be seen by someone searching on Google, or worse when a guest searches for them, the link is not directed to the property website but rather sent to a travel agent like booking.com or Expedia.

How To Know If You Are Booking Direct

When you search on Google, chances are you’ve seen an ad like this and you have clicked on the blue Book a Room button, thinking you were #BookingDirect.

Google Ad with Blue Button

When you click that button it will take you to a page with offers from Hotels.com, Expedia.com, Booking.com, and other online travel agents. When you book through one of those platforms you are limiting your options and probably not getting the best in services or rates.

bnbfinder.com is different, as a bed and breakfast directory, not an online travel agent, when you click on any of the Book links on a listing on our site, you are taken directly to the bed and breakfast’s website booking engine and will be #BookingDirect.

Why is it important to #BookDirect?

What does this mean for travelers? When you don’t book direct it can mean booking fees, impersonal service, and headaches when you need to cancel a booking. For the innkeepers, it means a huge commission that can range anywhere from 18%-30% and limited information about you, their guest.

When you commit to #BookingDirect you often get access to exclusive perks like:

  • Discounted rates, and access to offers and promotions
  • Special gifts for booking direct
  • A more flexible cancellation policy
  • And, direct contact with the innkeeper should you need assistance with special diets, restaurant reservations, late arrival details or any other concierge services.

When you search for your next getaway on bnbfinder.com, click the “Book” button under the photos on the page. This will help you #BookDirect for your next escape.  And, remember to tell the innkeeper that you found them through bnbfinder.

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