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Current situation of Rate Parity rules

Recently there a various developments in rate parity conditions of booking sites. The rate parity conditions states that every hotel has to provide the same price on every OTA, like Booking.com and Expedia. In this article we provide recap of the most important developments and what is changed.

A recap of the new commitments, click on every statement to see more information.

Provide various room rates and conditions per OTA
With the new commitments you are allowed to use price differentiation among all OTA’s and you have more freedom to choose you most profitable channel. You don’t have to provide the same prices on Booking.com (where you pay a commission per booking) and hoteliers.com (where you don’t pay any commission).

Provide lower prices on offline channels then online visible
A hotel is allowed to offer a guest a better rate or condition if the guest use an offline channel (for example by phone), as long the hotel doesn’t advertise the rate on online channels.

Room rates that are not transparent
All prices needs to be public viewable. This means that the hotelier is not allowed to advertise a better rate for unpublished rooms. The guest needs an easy and transparent booking environment which it can easily compare various rates/conditions.

Hotels are allowed to bring the accommodation under attention by guests which already stayed at the accommodation, as long the guest gave their permission 
Some booking channels provide an alias email address on the booking confirmation. This means that the hotel doesn´t possess the direct email address of the guest and only contact the guest through the booking channel. This alias email address exists to 10 days after check-out of the guest.

Rates on the own direct channel needs to be equal to other OTAs
With the new commitments hoteliers have more freedom to provide every other OTA with unique rates. The own channel rates (for example the own website) needs to be equal to the rates on Booking.com. You may offer better rates on the marketing platform of hoteliers.com, but the booking engine needs to be equal.

What does it mean for the hotelier
You have full freedom per OTA to use other pricing. Calculate which OTA is the most profitable and provide them with the best rates. Travellers these days don’t use just one website, but compare between three to four booking channels before they make their booking.

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