A “fair-minded” hotel booking platform is touting to boost the profitability of the Asia-Pacific hotel sector with its “radically different business model based on zero commissions”.
Bidroom’s no-commission membership-based hotel platform has already attracted leading hotel brands and apartments, as well as Visa from the payments sector.
Launched in 2014 in the Netherlands, Bidroom currently offers 125,000 hotel properties in 128 countries to frequent travellers who benefit from guaranteed lower room rates compared to other OTAs.
Bidroom’s primary mission is to serve as a fair alternative to the online booking market which is currently defined by excessive OTA commissions that hurt hotel bottom lines, said the company in a statement.
For the first five years of operation, Bidroom focused on building its hotel stock in Europe and North America. Now, it is time for hoteliers in Asia-Pacific to benefit from Bidroom’s unique and “fair-minded” approach, said Bidroom’s COO and co-founder Michael Ros.
“Bidroom works as an annual membership model, whereby hotels only pay a contribution after proven success. This substantial saving is shared with the online frequent traveller who will subsequently be paying a guaranteed lowest-available price,” said Ros.
He added: “Bidroom is demonstrably cheaper than all known OTAs. The result is also a significant margin of financial improvement for hoteliers.”
Hotel industry analysts say that smaller hotels can rely on OTAs for up to 90 per cent of their bookings – at punitive commission rates of up to 25 per cent. Heavily-capitalised OTAs control the online hotel room market because they spend heavily on search terms. There is often an illusion of online competition in the online market place. Expedia owns around 12 OTA brands while Priceline Group owns Booking.com, Agoda, Ctrip, and Priceline.com, among others.
Bidroom aims to restore balance, transparency and fair play by attracting hotels in Asia-Pacific, the region with the fastest growth in online travel, said the company.
According to Horwath HTL, there are an estimated four million hotel rooms in Asia-Pacific. The region has 471,000 new rooms under construction, representing a year-on-year increase of 27 per cent, according to the July 2019 STR hotel intelligence report.
Hotel profits are already under pressure in Asia-Pacific destinations, with new openings in arguably oversupplied destinations such as Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Maldives. Reducing OTA commissions is therefore vital to hotel viability, said Ros.
He added: “While online travel will continue its massive expansion, especially in Asia, the honeymoon period with OTAs using manipulative techniques must end. Bidroom stands apart as a more profitable and fair-minded booking solution for hotels in the region.”