Rates on the websites, please

August 28, 2007 | By More

It’s happened again. I’m looking for accommodation for several short breaks and I’m finding again and again websites belonging to hotels and pousadas where rates are nowhere to be found.

I suppose there must be powerful reasons for a hotel not to publish their rates on the internet. But from the customer’s point of view, this non-disclosure policy is a disaster. In a globalized and competitive world where many hotels do publish their rates online, those who don’t are at a disvantage. A single click separates one pousada website from another.

Gone are the times when the travel agent was the middleman between the traveller and the industry. More and more travellers are planning their trips using the information found on the internet. And cost, I’m sure you will all agree, is one of the most valuable pieces of information for anyone about to embark on a trip.

There is a further unforgiveable sin. The vast majority of those who do not publish their rates online, have an email address where the customer can write to obtain information about rates. A significant part of those who provide an email address do not bother to reply to emails coming from potential customers. This is a suicidal attitude. Not only they are losing a client, they are fueling a source of negative feedback.

The list of pousada websites that do not publish their rates is gigantic, and I’m not going to waste my time here naming names. I’d rather illustrate my point with the example of one of my favourite pousadas in the whole of Brazil, the Vila Kalango in Jericoacoara. Their owners understood that it is possibly to present the rates online, no matter how complex they might be.

And you? Does it bother you when you can’t find the room rates for a pousada? Or do you just not care at all?

Category: Reviews: accommodation

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