Published on : Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Travellers could save more than £20 million* a year on hotel stays across Europe, simply by changing the way they book, reveals IHG Rewards Club, the loyalty programme of InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG).
According to a recent survey, a staggering three quarters (76%) of Brits choose to book through price comparison sites because they believe they can guarantee the best rates. Findings revealed that only 1 in 10 (12%) savvy Brits always book direct, which means the vast majority could be stretching their purse strings more than they need to.
87% of Brits believe that price comparison sites show all available rates, which is not always the case, yet a further three quarters admit they wouldn’t use online comparison sites if they knew they could overpay. IHG Rewards Club, the world’s first and largest loyalty programme, has estimated that British travellers could save up to 10% when they book their stays directly through a hotel company. Nearly half (45%) of Brits would never knowingly want to overpay for anything.
The survey also uncovered some interesting findings about the booking habits of travellers across the UK based on where they live. Under 10% of Londoners book direct, meaning those in the capital are most likely to miss out on bagging the best rates, coming in just above those in Wales (7%). The savviest shoppers are in the South West with nearly 2 in 10 (18%) claiming to always book directly through a hotel company.
It’s an easy switch, but travel-hungry Brits are still booking through comparison sites, with only half (51%) claiming to know how they work. The research marks the launch of IHG’s Lowest Price Promise – a guarantee that guests will get the lowest rates when they book directly with IHG. Lowest Price Promise is a part of IHG’s global rollout of Your Rate by IHG Rewards Club, an exclusive rate for over 92 million members worldwide.
The findings come at a time when regulatory changes are taking place, which mean that hotel groups are starting to have more flexibility when it comes to guaranteeing their guests the lowest prices. For the 35% of Brits who claim they no longer know who to trust when it comes to getting the lowest rate, this will mean the process is more transparent.
Consumer champion Sarah Willingham comments, “So many of us assume that booking with a price comparison website will mean we get the cheapest price and that we will save money but the reality is that you should always try booking directly as there are often big savings to be had. Recent changes to regulations and practises are great for the consumer and mean that more hotels companies are now able to guarantee their guests the lowest prices available directly”
“Booking direct also has the added benefits of loyalty recognition, such as upgrades and points towards free nights, as well as the added extras like free Wi-Fi and breakfast included.”
Matt Luscombe, Chief Commercial Officer, Europe for IHG adds, “Our research shows there are still misconceptions around how some booking sites work. Our guests like choice, but they also want to know that they’re not paying over the odds for their room.