cancellation hotel rate commission europe priceline distribution says it isn’t harming hotel owners by putting canceled rooms up for resale has no reservations about its new re-sale practice for canceled rooms.

Since the start of this year, has implemented a function, market by market, that changes what happens when a customer cancels a hotel reservation. Now the online travel agency (OTA) automatically takes the canceled room and returns it to the pool of inventory on its site.

The billion-dollar, Priceline-owned, Amsterdam-based OTA considers this change to be a service, not a power grab. Many smaller properties do not have the capacity (or even the interest) to access’s extranet daily. So they were not immediately responding to room cancelations.

In some cases, the delays in response led to rooms going unfilled. So the change can help reap gains that would have otherwise been lost.

Yet some hotel managers don’t see the company’s grabbing of canceled rooms for re-sale as a service. cancellation hotel rate commission europe priceline distribution

Canceling machine

Some hoteliers dislike losing the opportunity to respond to a cancelation, which could be interpreted as a last-minute market signal that the pricing on the room isn’t right.

A cancelation might prompt a hotelier to rethink its rate for that particular night, given the short notice and local market conditions.

Perhaps a rate of, say, 150 euro a night that seemed appropriate when uploaded into the system two months earlier doesn’t look as appropriate with only a few days left until the date of vacancy.

The hotel may instead be able to hike its rate at the last minute through its own website, e-mail marketing lists,  or social media channels. In such cases, it could benefit doubly: By re-selling the room directly through its own channels, instead of, it could skip the commission and also net a larger total rate.

Alternatively, a room cancelation might mean a rate is now too high, given market conditions. One response might be to re-package the room in a rate structure outside of’s restrictions, such as by tailoring a package offer for the room that includes another perk, such as a free breakfast, and selling the package through the hotel’s own website.

A package price is unlikely to cause to retaliate by threatening to have the hotel’s overall listing demoted in the search results.

There’s one last reason why a hotel owner might want to take control over the re-sell of a canceled room.

Hoteliers might feel a greater personal incentive to put heads in beds at the last minute than does, because the OTA behemoth faces no penalty if it fails to re-sell the room on its own. When keeping occupancy levels high is an important metric for a hotel manager, he or she has a deeper interest in taking control of the sale of that canceled room.

Automatic for the people tells Tnooz that any hotelier who doesn’t appreciate this functionality in the reservation system can have it turned off.

The distributor says it has proactively informed its partners about this change.

But it does seem that some hotel owners have missed any step-by-step instructions on how to turn the functionality on and off, as warranted, and what their advantages and disadvantages might be.

Wrestling over guest data

Hotel trade publications, such as Hospitalitynet, have in recent weeks claimed that is eliminating transmission of customer e-mail addresses to hoteliers.

The OTA denies this, telling Tnooz that e-mail addresses from guest reservations can still be “easily retrieved in the extranet.”

Yet Georges Panayotis, a widely followed industry commentator who runs the Paris-based hospitality consulting firm MKG Group, points out that, like all the major OTAs, have been making changes that “are not in favor of the hotelier.”

In an interview with Tnooz, Panayotis warned that, for any hotelier that relies up to 50%, or even more, of its occupancy through the channel, “it is very hard to be in a bargaining position.”

“This is why we call for a reaction from the hoteliers, to manage more carefully their reservation sources and to be more careful when concentrating their distribution on a limited number of channels.”

The big OTAs appear to be taking more and more power over inventory and customer data from hotel owners. Recently in Germany HRS hiked commission rates and demanded “last room availability” and “best available rate.”

The company would point out that those commission rates are used to attract customers, via paid search, SEO, display advertising, affiliate networks, and print/billboard/broadcast advertising.

Yet despite grumbling, the OTAs continue to add to their inventory, as hotels are tempted by their capacity to fill more rooms and generate more revenue, at less cost, that a small hotel, or hotel chain, could on its own or through many wholesalers and consolidators, who tend to charge higher levels of compensation.

Commission jujitsu

Hotels take a risk when they heavily rely on the OTA’s marketing savvy and inventory to fill rooms, rather than diversify through a portfolio of partnerships and marketing efforts.’s typical 15% base rate of commission has for years been the cheapest rate among comparably-sized OTAs using the agent model in Europe, such as Expedia,, (Priceline-owned) Agoda, HRS, and Trivago.

Yet hoteliers have noticed lately that if they want to gain prominence in the OTA’s listings, they have to become ‘preferred’ hotels and pay 18%. enables properties to buy preferred status on night-by-night.

If used often, the effective commission rate becomes higher than the up-front rate charged by Expedia Inc, which dictates OTAs commission levels and, in general, doesn’t allow the option of alternating commission rates for different service levels.

Reputation management

Some hotel relationships with online travel agencies are so thoroughly dysfunctional that no amount of analysis will figure out precisely where and when everything went wrong. For years, has prided itself on avoiding that type of relationship with its hotel partners.

But there’s trouble in the family. The company has lately been adjusting its practices in ways that have raised concerns with some hotel owners. The booking giant may need to bacon-wrap its messaging if it wants to retain its reputation as the lesser evil among global distribution platforms.

In other words, if it doesn’t watch out, risks becoming the OTA That Pushed Too Hard.

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Sean O'Neill

About the Writer :: Sean O'Neill

Sean O’Neill had roles as a reporter and editor-in-chief at Tnooz between July 2012 and January 2017.



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  1. Michael Powell

    We have a very small business – two rental properties. We have been using Homeaway until now, and not had many problems. At the beginning of the year we decided to try It’s been a complete nightmare and we’re not using them any more – nor would we recommend any other business like ours to do so.
    The problem is that their terms of business imply that they hold our master booking calendar. This has meant that an enquiry we’ve been dealing with for Easter has been bounced out by a booking from them and we have absolutely no say in that.
    It’s in their contract – but is it a reasonable contract term? At the moment we’ve received no money from them – no deposit, nothing – and yet we are responsible for closing this period and turning away business, even though they allow the client to cancel at will.
    I understand that we are victims of our own naivete but I wonder if anyone else can advise about this?

  2. Walter McCrae

    I am wondering if any Hotelier has filed a claim against As a small serviced apartment company (UK), I was recently targeted by online fraudsters (my apartments were to be used for illicit activities). I notified to check the guests that made the reservations, indeed a few of them checked in. After looking at the irregular patterns of guests, I took matters on my own hand and took back the apartments (with full consent of After 5 days, my contract was terminated on account of fraudulent bookings. Naturally frustrated, I contacted hotel team and provided them an extended account as to what has transpired. Back came a two line email “Due to the reason behind the termination of your contract we will not disclose or discuss the matter further.Thanks for your understanding.”

    We use booking for collecting payments (i.e. via credit card). Now I am billed for commission and payments due have not been credited to me (I have tried reaching out to their credit control to discuss the matter but each time, I am promised a call back). So, coupled with termination of contract and all outstanding bookings by, I am further penalised for chasing my receivables.

    I do plan to file a legal case against booking for terminating my contract (on unjust grounds, esp when I clearly warned them of the fraudulent bookings) and secondly for withholding my payments due.

    With regards to the jurisdiction, since booking is a Netherlands company, I will have file the case in Netherlands. I am hoping to elicit if any other hotelier had to go through the same. This has been the most stressful company that I ever had to deal with and in absence of any logic, I am at lost as to how the term ‘Partner’ can be deployed when dealing with small hotelier. I am the victim here and yet I have been punished (by way of contract termination) on grounds that simply don’t stack up. Surely, there is a platform that extends to small hoteliers to seek justice!

  3. William Konietzny

    Been utilizing the past 2 years and while things were fine at first, they have become increasingly imperialistic and controlling, first eliminating email addresses and now faxes. Every change they make is aimed at taking away control from the hotels and making hotels totally dependent on They provide disingenuous reasons for their changes, such as the false claim that faxes are a security risk (totally false) and even when you offer a mutually acceptable suggestion, they refuse to even consider it, even if you’re lucky enough to find a rare support rep. that isn’t afraid to agree with you. It’s’s way or No-Way! Unless you’re a multi-billion dollar lodging chain, your relationship with them is not a Partnership. They call the shots and you take the risks.

  4. Luis Gallo

    I worked for Customer Service Dept in Orlando, FL. USA and this company is horrible to work for..The company only cares about numbers.. it does not matter what you do.. or even if you try to help the guest/hotelier by thinking outside the box. they all have guidelines to follow. and numbers to meet So, I can confirm all the negative comments made here. Do not use them.. There are plenty of reliable OTA nowadays , way better than booking.

  5. NotSaying

    Let’s tell the truth. Hotels are upset about this because they have been double dipping. When a hotel guest cancels the reservation, the hotel almost always still charges them. The customer has to fight tooth and nail to not still be billed for the stay. And then the hotel also gets to turn around and sell the room to somebody else. By putting the canceled room up for resale themselves, the OTA is stopping the hotel from charging the guest who canceled the reservation. Maybe the OTA is themselves charging the original guest instead of the hotel but the hotel themselves is prevented from doing it.

    • William Konietzny

      Absolute nonsense. You have obviously never run a business that accepts credit cards because all a customer has to do is ask the card issuer to reverse the charges and it is reversed. Unless there is a physical signature, on the charge receipt, the hotel loses. And even when there is a signature, the hotel, especially a small one, has the burden of proof. In the case of & Expedia, the customer is contacted to see if they’ve been charged and if they have, the commission stands. If the customer subsequently has the charges reversed, the hotelier has the burden of asking the OTA to refund the commission.

      • Shayw

        not true about reverse charges. You do not know what you are talking about. Before a bank accept to reverse charges, it has to show it’s been either fraudulous or some other forms where you were not aware of your money leaking frm your bank card.

  6. Robert Cooke

    Biggest gripe is they never accept that an issue or error happens at their end. They overbooked my hotel and despite providing evidence from my Channel Manager and PMS logs that their booking never entered either system they made me pay the bookout charges. We even proved that the hotel on the particular date had been full (and showing full in the channel manager) for days prior to the booking they made – so how they even picked up a room is a technical mystery nobody can explain – and they as the billion dollar company are not prepared to take the slightest cost – passed on to me a small private hotelier!! Now depsite a channel manager I still check busy dates in the extranet and block them out as extra backup – shouldn’t have to so just extra work to protect against these situations

    • alistair

      The error is within the ‘Auto-Replenish’ feature. You need to request they turn off auto-replenish; your PMS handles data sync to channels and the master copy of your availability.. where auto-replenishes, it then ignores XML data updates telling it that the room/dates is now filled — that is, IF you get a direct booking among dates made available by a cancellation of a booking, will ignore the ‘nil availability’ update and continue advertising availability… inevitably, sometimes, this goes awry: they get a booking after you already get a direct booking, and you have the log files to prove it.. the error creator is called ‘Auto-Replenish’. No, I cannot see how auto-replenish benefits anyone where there is already a near-real-time xml data sync occurring between channels and PMS availability software/database.

  7. Mike

    i sell my beds using them and find out that they are the worst people to deal with especially north east accounts managers. dosen’t want to understand at all.

    try to sell your beds/room using different source.

  8. elsa

    Their extranet is so horrible to manage and so many errors in the system that I ended up getting charged commision for bookings that I could not validate because: did not provide cvc code for guest credit cards
    guest’s credit card declined yet link to “mark credit card invalid” would not work – resulting in being charged commision
    not accepting the booking by not validating the reservation on the extranet – which is every owner’s right, result: would try to collect guest’s new reservation costs
    Such a frustrating experience that I quit my contract with them 6 months ago, results: they are trying to debit my bank account for charges eventhoug the rental is no longer on their site. Absolute nightmare!

  9. Mark

    Great liars and do not try to help you in any way. Monopoly. That’s what is. Email cancellation? 1 click and no warning of any charges, fees, etc. Not even a double click: Are you sure you want to cancel? Nope confirmation email a minute later with your TOTAL COST. Call them right away and tell them it was a mistake and they put you on hold for 5minutes and say sorry we tried but unfortunately if you still want the room, the hotel said it won’t be able to refund you. No wonder it’s a billion dollar company. Rich getting richer off the poor. Terrible.

  10. MV

    One real problem with’s reservation system in USA is even when they collect 15% commission they do not protect the hoteliers payment from the customers. confirmation sent to hoteliers is non-compliant with credit card companies like Visa, MasterCard. The customer searches the suitable hotel to reserve on’s website, reads the cancellation policy terms and conditions, enter all the necessary information to complete the reservation. This reservation is then sent to the hoteliers. On the date of arrival the customer does NOT SHOW OR CANCELS. The hotel will likely charge the customers credit card as the per policy stated. The customer will not like the charge on their statement and is likely to appeal the charge. Hoteliers then go through the paper work explaining the charge. The decision of Visa and MasterCard is binding and the HOTELIERS LOOSE the appeal. REASON: Customer made the reservation but did not agree to the policy terms and conditions. Visa and MasterCard would like to see the customers acceptance digitally in this case like a checkmark saying that they AGREE TO TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THIS RESERVATION just like we do when downloading any software. I have been talking to to add a line on the confirmation mailed to hoteliers but they refuse to insert this line. The saved room for the customer is empty and the hotelier loose the revenue plus chargeback cost. We all need to get’s attention and resolve this so that hoteliers gain from their system.

  11. james

    I have a small 10 bedroom hotel. In my opinion are oustanding, not only in their customer service (i get to speak to an american service agent within 1 minute who actually knows what they are talking about) and i have a senior account manager in australia who is always on hand to help. are for me, the service leaders not just for their customers, but also for myself as a hotelier. I hope they keep their current 12% commission model. I think it will drag down expedia who want 15%. i already stop-sell peak dates with expedia due to this. I hope will see that keeping their commission lower will increase their market share in the long term. Perhaps then, in 5 years ish, when it is the dominant booking agent, will see fir to rise to 15%. I just hope they dont get too greedy too early…….

    • Jan

      In the EU charges 15% over the price incl VAT. So for 110 € of incl VAT price that is 16.5 € of commission. So if VAT is 10% (on average this is the case) then only 100 € is real income for the hotelier. So in reality the EU hotelier pays 16,5 %. I guess Australia is still a new market for …

      • Martin

        In Estonia lowest possible commission rate is still 12%, however we do have same VAT issue – commission is calculated from room rate that includes VAT (9%). Starting from 2016 VAT rate on hospitality service is increasing to 14%.To keep the same profit hotel owners are forced to raise prices, will only win from that.

  12. Jan Korstanje

    We are a PMS and Channel Management company that connects to We advise all our customers to request disabling the cancellation mechanism (i.e. to not put it up for sale automatically).
    Almost all our customer have difficulties in achieving this. Account Managers of are telling them different things. Some of them say it is not possible to change while others pretend (I hope) not to know anything about the feature.

    Sofar all our efforts to get official clarification has failed. I would appreciate Tnooz to pick this up and ask an official statement on this.


    • alistair

      Yes, it can take a few phone calls to customer service to get ‘Auto-Replenish’ turned off.
      But it is the source of over-bookings, as the programmers at have messed up: IF know that their booking has been cancelled, it does not matter what XML data sync communicates, eg. nil availability for these dates (the hotel has had a direct booking for the cancelled dates), for no logical reason ignores that part of the XML data; their dataset/database acts as though it is the master record for the cancelled dates/room type.. IF a hotel takes a direct booking (or blocks the room for maintenance) after a cancellation, an over-booking may arise.. And staff at do not seem aware of this bug/failure of design in ‘Auto-Replenish’ .. If you use a good PMS/channel manager software, you have no need for auto-replenish, even if it did not have a huge logical error.. datasync takes care of availability via the master database held by the PMS.

  13. Russ

    A truely awful system that is number one in the world in terms of Online Hotel Bookings!? Not quite sure how that works. As with any large company you are bound to get a few people that have a bad experience but 1000’s of other clients will be extremely happy with I would say a lot of hotels actually love booking,com and the business it brings them. Some may not even be around today without large online booking providers such as A genius idea that helps both hotliers and guests a like. Fantastic.

    • alistair

      IF you solely use – ALL your bookings go via – then, in this scenario, you won’t suffer over-bookings, but IF you use a channel manager PMS software, then’s ‘Auto-Replenish’ feature will inevitably, sometimes deliver over-bookings.. At which point, you may lose a lot of time attempting to remedy the situation without further costs or reputational harm.

  14. Rachel

    I completely agree with the comments below. is awful. Customer service is horrendous. They try and charge you commission on rooms where it is a scam booking, when clients do not respond or pay deposits. Truly awful system.

    • dave

      I know something like this is happening with me right now.

      They told me to ask the “fake” guest for a prepayment otherwise they would charge me with relocating the “fake” guest and charge me their commission. I, then and there, decided to stop with
      I believe, but I have no evidence, that they themselves are doing this.

      So now I just wait for a response of the guests. if there is no guest response I will hopefully be able to cancel the reservation because the guest did not pay the requested prepayment.

      It stinks on all sides. First I thought it was an outside scam but now? I believe they organize it themselves. In this way they are blocking rooms to increase the value of theirs. And they block the competitors regardless of the income loss to small entrepreneurs.

  15. Steve is horrible. After using them for our property for over a year, I can tell you that their customer service is awful and people who speak with you on the phone are very rude and inconsiderate of your property. They have only their interests in mind when dealing with both the customer and the property and want to squeeze as much money out of the two as possible. One recent incident, out of a string of many, was that sold one of our rooms at half price. After we told them we would not honor the request for the room since the price was incorrect,’s customer service called multiple times and abruptly threatened us into accommodating the guest at the booked price, “or else”, they would book the guest at a fancy hotel and we would be responsible for the price. When we agreed to comply, the guest didn’t even show up. When we attempted to charge their card it was declined! Then, we contacted and they did nothing. I wouldn’t recommend this booking source to anyone. If you can sell your beds through another source, then do it.

  16. Former Employee

    As a former employee I can say that has a great system that is very effective, however, the training of the hoteliers on the use of the system is unfair. The goals set for acquisitions are high and therefore many hotels are being set up quickly. I had many ideas how to change this issue and actually inform the hotel partners in detail how the system would work best for them. BUT I was let go from the company based on a small bed and breakfast complaint regarding “how I reached out”. Sadly. the company functions are great in the European platform. The US is having a hard time as the laws, ethics and morals differ slightly and government regulations effect us all differently. While I carry a heavy heart regarding my termination I will continue to fight for and support the website. I just feel horrible for the hoteliers who deserve much more training and communication. If they were smart they would want me back.. 😉

    • "Partner"

      “Partner” more like minor nuisance to be ignored! Training, what training! The system is not nearly as intuitive as it could be, and the FAQs frequently do not meet the need when trying to figure out how to do something. More often than not whatever little thing it is that I want from the system to make it more user friendly and result in clear information is simply not an available feature, and frankly I’m sure by the lack of competent responces that is not interested at all in any suggestions from small “Partners”. Yes they would want you back if they were smart, but they aren’t. Hopefully you’re genuine interest in using your skills to best serve the business are benefiting a more worthy employer or your own business now.

  17. Haifa

    Hi Russel , nice detailed article
    I just want to ask if you know as I have Instagram account and I want to put affiliate links but I’m afraid that they may ban me because it’s illegal to affiliate through third party platform, but how do they know I mean can they track the conversion source ?!

  18. Marc Bautil

    More outrageous is how sends totally irrational invoices to the hotelier claiming overbooking or unavailability of room booked when actually the client decides to cancell and change his mind or go direct with the hotel young totally inexperienced employees just waste time and then try to make commission on the cancelled booking and the new booking and charge ludicrous amounts to the first hotelier ..ridiculous and dishonnest , illegal !!

  19. Frances Gangitano

    Yes it is harming business owners by doing this they are causing overbooking and harming the business owner, this is theft by deception.

    • Russell

      It is not harming owners becuase they can OPT out of having the closed rooms re-opened if it is casuing problems for them. So if the hotel has the room closed it wont re-open the invetory when the cancellation is added back on. The hotel has to go in manually and re-open the room if indeed they want to re-sell it. People need to check the facts before writing incorrect information.

      • Harald

        Dear Russel,
        I run a hotel and was told today that they cannot close the “auto replenishment on sold out“.
        Actually I think that this information was given to me from my accountmanager is a lie.
        So it really harms us. In my case we have received a booking for a clearly sold out roomcategory.
        The function “auto replenishment on sold out“ put this room back in sale, whithout giving information to our channelmanager. We had to cancel this booking and wants us to pay the commission.
        The result is a really bad relationship with this company.
        In the next months we will launch a new channelmanager which will allow us to put the commissions of each bookingchannel on top of the hotel price. So we will have best prices on our own website.
        Saying, that guests do not pay commission is just a fake as the commissions are included in the price at every hotel. I hope that many hotels will follow and be able to offer lower prices for the direct booking guests.

  20. Adrian T

    As a small operator (Boutique Guesthouse) we are finding the OTA’s becoming more and more intrusive and demanding more for their clients which doesn’t translate into a win for the operator. An example of this is the Australian firm In recent months they have gone from a monthly invoicing for payment arrangement to the use of Virtual Credit Cards (VCC), The operator processes the payment using the VCC for an amount less their margin of 12%. The operator now bears the added burden of having to gross up their amounts in their accounting software and pay card fees based on a premium card in our case 2.85% this cannot be recouped from the client. Card fees have shot up dramatically. With regard to we don’t list with them owing to steep commissions of 15%, further we enforce a strict no cancellation/refund policy their attitude to this would be to free up the room, however in our situation it may not be sold and we lose revenue. small and large operators cant keep accommodating the demands of the OTA’s for the best deal for their clients at the expense of the hotelier. Our view is that as no money changes hands until the client departs they are in fact until that time the OTA’s client not ours. is the exception.

  21. Brett Patten

    Great information Sean, thank you.
    This is a situation in the hotel industry, that’s getting out-of-control in my opinion.

  22. Tony Bridgens

    Thank you for an interesting article. Somehow we missed’s proactive advice of the change.
    WE have a heck of a time updating prices and availability on Perhaps by their design.

  23. Mark Bradshaw

    Well, is launching 11/12/13 and so finally there will be a channel for hotels to get direct bookings with NO commission. I am surprised no-one came up with this idea before. Could be a game-changer.

  24. Brian

    This practice is not a good idea. Lets keep in mind that rooms can often be cancelled up until 4 or 6pm local hotel time. Cancels as well as bookings are sent via fax. Anyone who has worked a busy Front Desk at a hotel knows how easy it could be to miss a fax and have it in the machine for longer than an hour. This practice is even more dangerous if its covered up by other faxes that have come thru, such as junk faxes. Line ups in areas of high volume for walkins are not rare. It would be quite easy to sell to walkins, fill the property, only to have a reservation come thru. This practice is also done when a hotel closes the property thru the extranet site. A cancelled room can even be sold when the property is closed. If a property has closed their rooms in the extranet site, then it is fairly confident it can sell those rooms and fill..having to watch for a possible cancel just adds to a possible oversell. The only one who will truly suffer then is the guest who arrives to find no room, often in a city that is also full. Ultimately, we are there for the guest…and to make sure they have a safe, clean place to lodge.

  25. kt

    i dont know why is that such a deal now. venere started doing that long time before even before expedia took over…
    its good tool as long as hotelier sells honestly. if hotel s sold out and cancelation comes it doesnot open sale for that day anyway.

    there are bigger serious issues that hotelier has with – such as 7Cs and commision counted from rate VAT incl. etc.


  26. Andrew

    Hi Sean,

    Just wondering if you know on average, how many people it takes once you they have clicked on your affiliate link, to actually make a booking?

    So far I have had 104 people click my affiliate link and not one booking! GRRR!

    Also, had a look but could not find any, do you know any affiliate program like that offers cache? As do not.

    Cheeers 🙂

    • Asif

      I send 120 visitors from bing to 2 customers booked 2 nights each giving me £26 sales commission. Marketing cost me about £12, so doubled my money.

      How’s going for you now?

      I also sent 300 visitors to Expedia’s and got 0 sales!

  27. Ian

    Hi Sean

    Enjoyed reading your article as I have been researching hotel res sites

    Hope you have a chance to answer a reasonably simple question

    I work for a company which has an online presence, and we currently work with Expedia and so far it’s been working fine – however we are looking at various other options such as Laterooms/

    Are you aware of any site which compares the various hotel reservation sites so that we can see which is the best offering.

    Any assistance would be very helpful!

    Thank you for your time



  28. Russell

    Hi Charles,

    Commission varies per country but on average it is around 15% globally for the larger sites. So from a $100 room you would pay $15 commission. This is normally your only fee,

    Kind regards

    • Charles Leahy

      Thanks Russell!

      Think I’m gonna have to try make my hotels section a lot bigger as only making a pound a day from Google Ads lol!

      Thanks Again and keep up the great work!

  29. charles Leahy

    Hi Sean, Just wondering if you know how much commission on average is paid out to the affiliate? E.g. if I booked a $100 room, how much would you recon I would get?

    Have a site in Dubai & Cape Town which am thinking of adding a hotels section to.


  30. Guilain

    Bruno, Booking does not have a model where it buys and resells. has a model where it enables customer to book a specific property through its systems.
    It is false to say that it has a no cancellation reservation system. It’s only up to the hotel to do this or not. If a hotel has implemented several rate plans of which a non refundable one, it is the sole responsability of the hotel to accept/decline reimbursing its customer who has to cancel for force majeur reason.

  31. Bruno van Herpen also has a no cancellation reservation system. Customer pays, for instance for three day stay, and has to cancel for force majeur reason, already was paid, but can rent out room a second time around. Where is the justice in such system ?

    • Dennis Schaal


      There is no justice in the system, though would say it provides tremendous marketing advantages for hotels and consumers.

      Thanks for your comment, Bruno!

  32. Russell

    If a hotel or a even hotel chain didnt go with large third party online booking agent they would have to spend thousands of pounds in PPC advertising to Google. Paying 15% is a mere drop in the ocean to what they would have to pay to get the same amount of bookings!! You are lucky that you dont need too to do so but a time will come when nearly all bookings are made online and consumers will always use comparsion sites or large online booking agents to book thier room, purely for the choice they get.

    • Julian

      Fair enough Russell. It looks that way, but 15% to sit in a “bedroom at the back of the house” running a discount web site is not value for money especially when comparing to the running costs of a High Street Travel Agent who charge 8%.

      The internet is supposed to be “cheap”. I do not make 15% nett profit. If all my bookings came through these sites, I would be out of business.

      It is time these online Booking Agents reduced their commissions so that everyone would use them.

      Also, that VisitBritain uses these discount sites as their main avenue for their part in selling and promoting is pathetic. If they cannot promote British Hotels at non-discount rates …. well, it is a sad day.

      Thank you for your point of view though. Appreciate.

  33. Julian

    I resent paying 15% commission to all these online discount sites – compared to 8% to a High Street, fully manned, fully brochure-stocked, Business Rates paying Travel Agent.

    Frankly, these online discount sites should be charging maybe 2.5% for their comparable services and I am amazed the Hotel Chains do not start a commission rebellion.

    It seems the Hotel Industry now uses these discount sites for their front line selling.

    Much to my shock and horror, so does VisitBritain!!

  34. Ari L

    Great read, very insightful indeed. Would just like to point out an area of concern for smaller hotels with limited rooms in each category when dealing with – As compared with other OTA’s, we face significantly higher cancellations, although a healthy numbers of bookings received, which much be stated. This can be attributed to their lenient booking policies, which allows for room reservation without confirmed payment. Even in the case of ‘non-refundable bookings’, since the customer’s credit card is not verified, it is up to the hotel to verify and update on the extranet accordingly. This is a cause for concern as many customers make non refundable bookings with invalid credit cards, to enjoy the additional discount.

    • Dennis Schaal


      Excellent point — it’s not truly fair to compare apples to bananas — the big OTAs and individual hotel owners face different cost structures.

      Thanks for raising this point!

  35. Leigh

    If a hotelier is smart enough and yielding their business properly, they would be keeping an eye on their rates and inventory on a regular basis.

    Receiving a cancellation shouldn’t suddenly alert them to a massive change in market or shock them in any way. Hoteliers should be forecasting the local market conditions properly in the first place.

    Successful R+Y Managers predetermine rates and adjust when required, not when a random cancellation comes through.
    Just because a cancellation comes through at some point, doesn’t mean they couldn’t have adjusted their rates prior to this, and after this for that matter.

    Also, this article suggests that cancellations could be from rates being too high when in fact there are many other possible factors. Perhaps the potential guest noticed the deposit/cancellation policy was less restrictive at the property across the road.

    Even if the hotelier has the “opportunity to respond” as you put it and subsequently put that cancelled room back onto their own website, who can be sure that another potential guest is going to purposefully seek out that website, most probably not knowing it even exists, and then deciding to book with them. As opposed to one of the world’s largest leading online accommodation websites and is popular and readily available, whereas the hotel website would have less traffic.

    Its better to sell a room than not at all.

    Having said this actually, when a room is a cancelled there is generally notification of some shape or form sent through to the property just as it would have done when originally booked. Why can’t they adjust their rate at this point?


  36. Dorian

    Or, Kyle, or the sensible hotelier could put the cancelled room back into its own system and give all its distributors the chance to resell it.

    It’s patently obvious that is simply trying to keep the rooms for itself and stop its competitors getting access to them.

    • Guilain Denisselle

      I’m amazed by the number of people here who know better than hoteliers what is good to them. It is very easy to forget that the owner of the room is the hotel itself, not the OTAs. However the points mentionned on the clients side are very true: many hoteliers do not sell efficiently on their own website while OTAs do..

      When a hotel is full, it also happens very often that the property is overbooked. If a cancellation occurs, the decision of taking the risk of maintaining the overbooking situation must be taken by the hotelier himself. In such a situation, why would the hotel have to sell it through OTAs rather than selling it direct online of through voice or… ?

      one thing that was not mentionned is the situation that hotels are used to with Booking: Booking sends an email on the Friday saying “this new feature will be available as from Monday. Contact your account to desactivate it and desactivation will take one to two weeks”. Does anyone think this is a fair practice? Should they not email to hotels with at least 2 weeks notice?

      • Sean O'Neill

        Sean O'Neill

        Thanks for providing such a clear example of your argument. Great points!

  37. Russell

    Makes perfect sense Kyle, at last some-one who understands the concept!

    Look at suppliers such as that never really scratched the surface in regards to TTV across the online hotel booking market. So maybe the reason other OTA’s are more successful is because they try new and imaginative ways to help hotels sell their bedroom stock?

    All these previous negative comments but people are forgetting one thing – Hotels have the choice to work with who they want!!!

    Just like we as shppers have the choice of what supermarket we go to. I would always go to a supermarket that has its shelves full and amazing deals on, same with OTA’s. A guest will only book online if the hotel has availability, if it doesn’t then the guest is less likely to return to that said supplier.

    Hence one of the reasons I am guessing for the auto replenishment. If the last tin of bake beans is taken from a shops shelf the employee must replace it in order to get another sale and retain that customer.

    Successful OTA’s will only do things that help the hotel sell stock fast and in great quantities whilst sustaining a healthy ADR.

    Change is never normally accepted well at first but when the Y.O.Y figures show big growth then who’s the bad guy!?

  38. Kyle

    For Hoteliers who can’t manage their Extranet or Bookings as efficiently as they would like, the automatic replenishment of cancelled reservations is a way for the Hotel to maximise their revenue. If the rate for the cancelled date is amended and the date of cancellation is very close, the Hotel has the opportunity to adjust the rate at any time to fit the current market, the rate would be loaded back at the updated price – not as it was when booked. On top of that, if Hotels are unable to judge the market at any given time and have a very short term pricing strategy, they have the option to adjust their polocies so guests are commited to that booking for a longer period of time.

  39. Dorian

    Good for you guys! At last!

  40. Olery

    Ok, this all has led Hospitalty On to initate a petition for hoteliers against OTA practices. War is on?
    You can find it here:

  41. Dorian

    When I worked for a major O.T.A., I was asked to contract Group Minimum 1. That’s to say, I was sent out to convince hoteliers that a group could consist of just 1 pax. Internally, we all knew that it was a complete sham of a proposal, purely created to do away with F.I.T. rates, so we didn’t have high hopes. Remarkably, it worked around 50% of the time.

    Since then, I’ve watched hotels get shafted with all sorts of nonsense conditions. Rate parity, of course, is one of them. I’d say that’s latest demand takes the biscuit. It doesn’t even make sense in theory. What’s next I wonder?

    • Sean O'Neill

      Sean O'Neill

      Dorian, thanks for sharing your views! Fascinating about the group minimum.

  42. Lilya Tveryankina

    Dear Sean!

    Could you, please, give the link to the authorised source, who provided this information: tells Tnooz that any hotelier who doesn’t appreciate this functionality in the reservation system can have it turned off.

    The distributor says it has proactively informed its partners about this change.

    We are not at all happy with the option & would like to turn it off, but our account managers from (Moscow, Russia) say we can’t choose & there’s no possibility to switch it off.
    Thank you in advance!


    • Sean O'Neill

      Sean O'Neill

      Dear Lilya,

      I spoke with Anoeska vanLeeuwen, Director Corporate Communications for the company.

      Perhaps there’s some miscommunication within

      I would ask that you go higher up in the company, above the account managers, to find out how to turn it off. Please keep Tnooz posted on what happens.

      Kind regards,

      • Lilya Tveryankina

        Thank you so much!
        Will keep you updated in case it doesn’t help.


        • Miyco

          Dear Lilya,

          The option can be turn off but manage by instead of via extranet itself. I informed our account managers from (Penang, Malaysia) and they had reply and confirm that the option had switch it off as per requested.

          Hope this information help.

  43. Robert Gilmour

    Quite simply, its not booking.ciom’s call, its the hotelier’s. This is totally a commercial stunt, they hate being robbed of commissions by high commission tariff hotels.

    Every hotel i have spoken to thinks this is a disgraceful practice.

    • Sean O'Neill

      Sean O'Neill

      Much obliged to you for chiming in. Given your authoritative experience with helping developing cutting edge marketing and ecommerce solutions, your opinion has great weight with me.


    • Russell

      Quite simply hotels pay for a service when they sign up to an OTA and its the OTA’s job to sell rooms in an effective manor. is a world leader and this is be because of the new and innovative ways it looks to sell hotel stock.

      Hotels may not always be acceptant to change but above everything figures speak for themselves. If a hotel manages a good ADR, a low cancellation rate and steady annual room sales then everyone is happy.

      All large OTA’s HAVE to listen to hotels views as a very strong partnership must be formed in order to yield maximum results. If this is graded “disgraceful” as you put it, then comprise or adjustments would in time, be made.

      Best wishes.

  44. Russell

    The replenishment feature is actually very Hotel friendly.

    If the room has been cancelled then it should be available and will then be added back to the site for re-sale which is surely a good thing?. The hotel can then alter the rates if need be or even close the room off it it has become full in the intrim period.

    The automated tool just basically does the job of a hotelier leaving then more time to do other work.

    Like any online system, changes have to constantly be made to keep up with changing trends and more demanding consumers.

  45. Sean O'Neill

    Sean O'Neill

    Thanks for your comment, Jason!

  46. Jason Wright

    I think that is a good move by, often rooms are hot commodity especially during peak holiday period. Often rooms are being cancelled due to changes in plans that should not rob others from getting the sought after rooms IMHO.


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