Spend just a few minutes with a travel agent, and you will hear at least one anecdote of a client who quoted a non-qualified hotel rate during a consultation.
This typically causes the agent to have to research the rate’s details and convey the differences between that rate and the rates the agent has quoted. It’s all too common that an internet rate carries restrictions the client wouldn’t want or that don’t fit their profile.
“Agents are worried that their clients are going to find something better on a B2C site,” said Traci Mercer, Sabre senior vice president, lodging, ground and sea, briefing Travel Market Report at the recently completed Sabre STX annual customer conference. “They tell us, I don’t want to lose face that I cannot validate and confirm the rate they say they found.
“Resoundingly, agents say their preferred method for booking hotel and car is GDS. Eighty-one percent of those agents say, 'I would book more hotel and car if I had it all available in front of me, but with all of the content across hotel chains, specific rates for one channel, B2C, direct connect, there are all of these different price and value points.'”
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