Updated: Feb 19, 2020
It might sound strange, or a lost opportunity for revenue, but I am not interested in receiving money from hotels in exchange for business.
How does it work:
Hotels, from the smallest to the biggest chains, offer a healthy commission to travel agents booking with them. The more you book, the more you gain as you get a percentage of all your clients spends.
As you can imagine, this encourages the recommendation of certain hotels above others. When receiving a brief from a client, the temptation might be to just look at the excel sheet with all commission and recommend the highest one.
Not for me
I, of course, negotiate discounts from hotels. Those range from 10% to 20%. But I pass on all the discounts to my clients. It is transparent. Like this, when I recommend a hotel, it is because I truly believe that it is suitable for you and your family.
Interestingly, I have noticed that the accumulated discounts often covered my planning fee. It might not happen every time, depends on the trip. But for me, it's a nice challenge. I like to present the full budget to my client and see them realise I have negotiated enough to cover my fee.
In addition, I (read: you) receive extra services that would traditionally be charged: Early/late check-outs, welcome treats, additional beds free of charge, room upgrade,...
So I do lose some potential extra revenue, but, most importantly, I save time in admin, guarantee my objectivity and save you money. What else?