Membership: History repeats itself thanks to parity rates
Think you're receiving a great deal, the
biggest discount or the best price? Think again.
The Travel Market is going through some
major changes which seem to be going unnoticed by the masses and it's about
time the consumer was informed as to what exactly is going on. Membership clubs
might seem like a thing of the past which is true, they were hugely popular in
the 1970's, but they are also the future and lets us explain quickly as to why
these membership clubs are now taking giant strides in the Travel market.
Unfortunately when most people search online
for a product or service such as a hotel room, they are usually jumping from
one website to another without realising they are in fact, all the same. It
hasn't always been this way as this is a relatively new trend which has
saturated the online travel industry in recent years. Why? Rate parity laws.
Rate Parity is maintaining consistent rates for the same product in all online distribution channels.
The most obvious example of rate parity can
be seen today with online travel companies such as, Expedia inc, who have full
ownership and control of several other recognizable brands such as Orbitz,
Hotels.com or Travelocity. The continued growth of such companies might seem
like a good opportunity for a consumer to find even better deals online but
quite the opposite is taking place.
Due to Rate parity laws, these websites are
no longer in a position to advertise the discounts we have seen in the past.
For example, if an online company was to advertise a product or service for a
lesser price than the supplier, it would effectively result in the company
being blacklisted or outcast from the industry. This is the reason why today,
when you perform an online search for flights, hotels etc the price is usually
the same on each website.
It many ways this is not such a bad thing
for any of these brands, as it means they can advertise the full cost of
a product or service while still knowing that their price will not be beaten
However, when you consider how today's
consumer utilises online services in order to find the best bargains for their
next weekend break or trip abroad, this appears to be major news for anyone
interested in travel. Unfortunately, being it is not in their interests, this
is also information which the travel companies would like to keep from you, the
Simply put, the great deals we are so used
to finding on booking engines or websites, are now a thing of the past. Instead
you will find meagre offers which will accompany your purchase such as “free
cancellation” or “10% off airport transfer” which are quite honestly, a paltry
bonus compared to the discounts these websites once offered.
This might seem like the end of online
discounts for travel or indeed any activity like shopping or eating out but
actually, there is one exception to the laws of Rate Parity and this exception refers to “closed loop programs”.
Closed loop programs are essentially
Membership clubs who negotiate hugely discounted prices directly with the
Supplier. They are not subjected to the same laws as the brands mentioned at
the beginning of this article and so this means, they are in a very unique
position to offer heavily discounted prices to customers without breaking any
laws relating to rate parity.
Sound too good to be true? It is too good,
but it is also true.
Membership clubs in any respect provide
value to some extent but when it comes to travel in particular, it would appear
that a Membership club is now the last and only way to find genuine discounts
for flights, hotels, cruises etc.
With the freedom to provide prices which are
unlikely to be beaten anywhere, Membership clubs are also now in a position to
provide a value which far exceeds any deal which can be found through the usual
As with anything in life, be it investments,
the price of property or fashion trends, everything runs in cycles and it would
appear the travel Membership clubs which were once so popular in the 1970's are
now back on top.
Hotels etc. is the prime example of a
Membership club who passes on these big discounts and opportunities to their
clients. They are transparent when it comes to getting you the best deal and
with a 20 year history, 4 million members and a rating which far exceeds even
the most trustworthy of banks, Hotels etc is a leading light for travellers who
want to take the trip of a lifetime without having to cover the large price tag
The CEO of this vibrant company, Shawn Pigg,
was quoted on the radio recently advising listeners, he would call them
personally if they were unhappy with the service provided. Words which are
surely encouraging to even the most pessimistic of online consumers.
You might be asking yourself, what's the
catch? There is none. Like all membership clubs you contribute a minimal fee,
which is quite honestly a drop in the ocean compared to the discount offers you
receive, and then begin planning your next vacation, day or night out, knowing
Hotels etc has got you covered with the discounts you need to afford it.
Travel membership clubs are not just
promising great deals in the future, they are offering them right now. So if
you want the greatest deals, the biggest discounts or the best prices, forget
jumping around one website after another and get signed up to a club which
offers you true value in order to make your next big trip happen.
On the other hand, if you are still unsure,
think about it: 20 years in business with “A+” ratings should prove otherwise..