Travel Industry Secrets Exposed: Why the Lowest Price Guarantee May Not Be So Guaranteed
Travel industry secrets exposed will help consumers understand why the lowest price guarantee they see online may not be so guaranteed.
Like you I have spent many times over the years hunting for the best hotel and travel deal to save ‘some’ amount of money thinking that I had the best possible deal online.
As I scoured the internet searching Hotels.com, Travelocity, Expedia, Booking.com and others I wondered why can’t I really find a good deal.
Many times I closed out the six, seven and sometimes eight windows in disgust thinking I’ll try again tomorrow … who knows maybe they will see I was looking and come back with another offer the next day.
Low and behold because of the tracking and data scrapping, the next day I would receive email offers and have offers show up out of the blue while going about my daily business online – all with the same ‘guaranteed lowest rate’. (But no different than what I saw the night before).
“Ready to plan your next vacation – check out our low prices”. How many of us have seen that line before?
Travel industry secrets exposed – the real reason why all the rates look just about the same, and yet, are not the best rates ‘guaranteed’.
It’s because of something called ‘Rate Parity’. The travel industries secret they don’t want you and I to know about.
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Rate parity in the travel industry refers to the practice of maintaining consistent pricing across various distribution channels for travel products and services. This means that the rates for a particular hotel room, airline ticket, or rental car should not vary significantly from one platform to another. The purpose behind rate parity is to ensure fairness and consistency among different distribution channels, preventing undue advantages for certain channels and protecting both service providers and consumers.
Rate parity has a complex history and has gone through several stages of evolution. In the early days of the travel industry, service providers mainly relied on offline travel agents to distribute their products.
However, with the advent of the internet, various online channels emerged, creating new opportunities for service providers to reach consumers directly. This meant that traditional travel agents had to compete with online companies such as Booking.com, Expedia, and TripAdvisor, among others.
Initially, service providers had the freedom to offer their products at different prices on different channels. However, this led to price wars among different providers, and consumers began to shift their loyalty towards the cheapest providers. As a result, the practice of rate parity emerged as a way to level the playing field and prevent price discrimination.
Over the years, rate parity has become widely adopted across the travel industry. However, it has also faced regulatory challenges in various jurisdictions. Some countries have laws that prohibit rate parity, while others leave it to free-market forces to determine pricing.
The impact of rate parity on consumer prices is a topic of debate among industry experts. On the one hand, rate parity ensures that consumers can access the same prices across different distribution channels, which promotes fairness and transparency (For the Travel Industry). However, some argue that it can also lead to higher prices for consumers since service providers have limited flexibility to offer discounts on specific channels.
One way in which rate parity affects consumer prices is through the practice of “rate undercutting.” This occurs when a service provider offers a lower price on a particular channel to attract consumers away from other channels. However, if the provider is found to be offering a lower price on a channel that is subject to rate parity, they may face contractual and legal repercussions.
In terms of industry examples, the hotel industry is perhaps the most affected by rate parity.
Many hotels have contracts with online travel agencies that require them to offer the same rates on their own websites. Additionally, some hotels have taken measures to encourage direct bookings through loyalty programs and other incentives. However, rate parity remains a contentious issue in the hotel industry, with many hotels lobbying for greater flexibility in pricing.
For consumers looking to save money while still enjoying the benefits of travel services, there are several strategies that can be employed.
Having the knowledge that this is happening right before your eyes is the first step.
Understanding that these open-door booking agents we have used in the past are ALL doing the same thing, and will continue to do so.
Fortunately there are a small percentage of closed door booking agents that really can provide you with the ‘Best Price Guarantee’. Eliminating the need to utilize a travel agent in the process of planning your spring break fling or booking that ultimate Honeymoon to celebrate that magical moment in your life.
One option is iHub Travel. They have partnered with Arrivia to offer travel discounts to their members with guaranteed savings of up to 50% off of online retail prices with a complimentary (free) starter membership.
iHub Travel is available across the globe. Giving those that create their complimentary starter membership
discounted prices guaranteed that are not available to the general public. (iHub Travel offers additional paid plans for the frequent travelers. A standard membership can help save up to 75 percent. The premium gives up to 100 percent of the savings versus other online booking agents. Monthly memberships available)
Not only can the everyday consumer save on their travel, but also earn reward points in the process to use for future travel.
The free membership portal allows consumers to see the best price guarantee first hand and also the ability to compare to the top online travel sites such as Expedia, Travelocity, Hotwire and more. (without being tracked and bombarded with advertisements for weeks to come).
Consumers like taking advantage of loyalty programs, special deals, and promotions to get better rates.
You and I both enjoy the additional perks and bonuses a lot of websites offer. (Sometimes we are even willing to pay a little more just to rack up them bonus points) However with iHub Travel the need to do that is a part of the past.
iHub Travel not only has their best price guarantee – but also gives members the ability to collect points on select locations in the process. One can rest assured, they are getting the very best price, no matter where their travels may take them.
Travel Industry Secrets Exposed shows that rate parity is a complex issue that has evolved over time in response to the changing landscape of the travel industry.
While rate parity has benefits in terms of fairness and transparency for online travel sites, it can also lead to higher prices for consumers in most cases. Consumers should take a strategic approach to ensure that they are getting the best rates possible while still enjoying the benefits of a travel service. More importantly enjoying the peace of mind they are traveling with ‘the best price guaranteed’.
Paying it forward, one person at a time. As always my very best to you for continued success and happiness in life.