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Given Priceline's recent purchase of Kayak for $1.8 billion in a cash-and-stock deal, the question is either completely relevant or incredibly irrelevant. But it's a fascinating question, and Hotelmarketing.com was bold enough to ask it.
Their disclaimer was that the question was probably "nonsensical," but their point is that Online Travel Agents (OTA), like the giants mentioned above, are under attack by airlines, hotels and car rental companies who simply don't want to share their booking revenue. The airlines would much rather that you, the consumer, book from their web sites, which enables them to keep all of your money and not have to split it with the OTA's...
Go-Direct to travel and tour websites and get 'outlet/source' prices (net of commission) is fair (or should that be 'fare' enough) or are some of them being greedy and charging the full retail price?
We are a sort of OTA but we do not sell travel or take res....our travel and tour operators offer net of commission prices to our members who will deal directly with them for all of their travel arrangements.
We do not charge them anything for our services but appreciate their direct booking savings for our members.
It makes sense that the tour and travel operators should have more knowledge, experience and expertise about their own products than third-party sellers. When OTA's or bricks 'n' mortar retailers simply offer products from preferred supplier brochures....what do they expect their future to be? Go-Direct to the supplier website and see an electronic brochure...but you should now get the net price!