Subject: Re: Online Hotel reservations
Hi Ziners,

Further to the discussion about online booking, one of our Sunday Newspapers (Hilary Doling, The Sunday Herald, May 1,page 8 Travel) last Sunday reported on a survey by British company KPMG. KPMG surveyed hotels globally (330 hotels in 16 countries) to find out if the prices quoted by hotels on their own websites and telephone reservation lines, claimed by the hotels to be the best deal, are in fact the best price.

She wrote: "...researchers made inquiries for a midweek stay, booking 2 days in advance. They then compared the results from calling the hotel direct, calling the central reservation office, searching the hotel website, booking with a corporate travel agency and using booking websites.

They found that three-quarters of the hotels failed to deliver on their "best web rate" guarantees.

...not surprisingly, the worldwide survey found that the majority of the cheapest accommodation rates are still found on the internet, with 36 per cent of room rates being cheapest when you book through an online intermediary such as or in Australia displayed the greatest consistency of price across all methods, closely followed by the US. You'd have less luck in some parts of Asia - Singapore was specifically mentioned in the survey - and Canada.

Researchers found that those looking for the cheapest deals need to book late and online through websites such as although this isn't always possible when you are trying to plan a holiday in advance...."

The article also mentioned using a site such as which was noted recently by a Ziner, and also that in countries where there is an emerging tourist industry and lower internet usage rates, hotels tend to offer cheaper rooms through their own booking channels.

This information probably won't help Bettina, who asked the first question, but is interesting nonetheless. Our holidays at the moment are planned and prebooked events to maximise our time and money, but when we retire we hope to become a lot more spontaneous, and just grab a great deal when we see it. When that time comes, I think a site like lastminute will become my best friend!

Happy travels everyone, Sally, from sunny, dry Sydney