Nearly three quarters of hotels are not honouring the “best price” rates on their websites, according to a survey by consultants KPMG.
The Global Hotel Distribution Survey 2005 checked 330 hotels in 16 countries, including ten in Europe, and found that while 43% offered best rates, only 27% of those delivered on their promise.
The number of hotels even offering best rate guarantee varied from region to region. The worse performers were UK properties where only 19% offered best price guarantee. The number for the rest of Western Europe was 36% and for Eastern Europe 64%.
For bookers in any part of Europe, the survey found that online agencies were the channel most likely to deliver the cheapest rates.
The results come after hotels have spent a year and millions of pounds persuading guests to book direct on their websites by offering a best price guarantee.
The aim was to attract customers away from the hotel booking agencies which by buying up unsold rooms in bulk could offer lower prices than the hotels themselves.
The survey found the majority of cheapest hotel room rates were still found on the internet with 36 per cent of room rates being cheapest on via online booking agencies.
Nick Pattie, director of KPMG's hotel practice which conducted the research said: “These survey findings are surprising considering the amount of effort being made by hoteliers to direct customers to their own booking channels.
“Hotels want their customers to book direct but in practice, hoteliers aren't delivering consistent prices and customers will continue to use other booking methods which offer more attractive room rates.”
* UK hotels are enjoying record investment and business levels last seen five years ago, PKF's annual Hotel Britain report says. Average daily room yield was up 10.1% for the whole of the UK and 11.8% for London. Occupancy in London at 76.3% was 2.8% higher than in 2003. Robert Barnard, head of hotel consultancy services at PKF, said: “It looks like the worst is over for the UK hotel industry. The short-term outlook is very promising as existing investors continue to pour money into the industry, while new entrants want to take part in what's considered to be the most buoyant hotel market in Europe.”