Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Overstated, Inaccurate Motel Listings

I see that our friends at Travel Memo have run a story in their latest newsletter about the inaccuracies of accommodation listings on HotelsCombined.com that aggregates accommodation listings across all major Online Travel Agencies.

Users of HotelsCombined.com are able to compare room availability and prices from all major Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), including Expedia, Hotels.com, Booking.com, Agoda etc all in one set of search results.

While the information presented on major OTAs are directly sourced and are regularly updated by accommodation providers, the directory listing information that appears on the HotelsCombined.com website appears to have been independently sourced and produced. If you look at several accommodation listings you start to recognise common threads of language used. Attributes are often overstated and there is a wooden detachment that would indicate that the information could have been translated from another language?

It almost makes me wonder if the production of the accommodation listings on HotelsCombined.com were outsourced to Indian call centre staff that wrote accommodation descriptions and listed features between telephone calls ;-)

Of major concern to accommodation providers is the inaccuracy of the information presented, in particular overstated facilities or services offered. This can cause a lot of unnecessary angst and customers relying on this information could be left unsatisfied with their accommodation experience. The resulting backlash to an accommodation provider's online reputation can be servere.

The ability of a referral business to source, modify and publish details of an accommodation's business online can cause uncertainty and anger amongst moteliers - especially if incorrect information is presented. A knee-jerk reaction for moteliers is to cry foul and "opt-out". This is a natural reaction, as most businesses wish to maintain control on how they are presented.

Probably a better option for moteliers, is to increase awareness and adopt a glass-half-full attitude to the opportunities the internet can provide.

Travel Memo has helpfully suggested that accommodation providers check their listing on HotelsCombined.com and we further suggest that an audit of ALL online listings is carried out on a regular basis - you'll be surprised what you may find out there... .

Source: Click HERE

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