1. Your recent video is an absolute cracker Dick. I am confronted with this practically daily. One of our core roles in helping motels with their websites, eg. is to try steer people to book direct online with the business, save money and bypass the big booking engines. The OTA’s are like giant marketing and money steamrollers though and as you have pointed out have captured the minds of Australians into thinking they are getting the best deal by pouring money into online and offline ads. Good on you for saying so and getting the conversation firing. It would be fantastic to build a competitor to the big OTA’s with suitable funding and a strong team of developers, designers and marketers and spokes people it would certainly be possible.

  2. Dick – great exposure of the OTA situation, but there is an Australian start-up company created by hotel owners that provides the perfect answer. Real-time vacancies and prices with bookings made direct to hotels. No Commissions! Why not support the initiative by giving this fantastic intiative by clever and hardworking hotel operators a bit of publicity. Their booking platform is fantastic – they just need exposure and publicity – something you can provide in spades. Come on Dick – get behind it and support a great Australian initiative!

  3. Yes, some of what Dick says is correct. But the reason that I have used these sites is because I have rung the hotel, got a price compared it with the online option and taken the cheaper..Usually the online option. I have even quoted the online option to the hotel and still been given a more expensive the hotel. I have seen a friend be given a price by the receptionist, my friend has then asked for a price equivalent to an online site. this was refused at the desk. My friend then went online at the hotels computer desk and booked nights on line. went up to the desk and was checked in at the online price. I recently (June) wanted to extend my stay at a hotel and was told at the desk ” It is cheaper to book online “. Could Dick or the hotels explain the reasoning behind these actions ??,

  4. Another sad sign of the times. When our govts have cut us all loose, it gives the greedy a signal to ramp up the rip offs without shame. It amazes me too that many of our politicians claim to be Christians and yet nothing differs under their watch than when we have politicians who don’t make a noise about their faith.

    When the pie no longer grows, this is the way new wealth is largely made, through predatory trade practices. If population growth is taken away, much of our espoused economic growth would be barely measurable as much of the headline growth is due to there being more consumers, not that consumers are themselves spending much extra.

    This will be a test of whether the ACCC are willing and able to stop this, or are they just a toothless tiger going through the motions for appearances sake.

  5. Dear Dick,
    My name is Brian Lord and we had a holiday house in Echuca, VIC since 2010 until last year when due to a change in both our employments we decided to rent it as normal. We were initially listed with several Victorian based travel sites such as TravelVictoria, Stayz (at that stage small), Weekend, etc. Then the big companies came in and bought up a lot of the smaller ones – no more TravelVictoria or Weekend and Stayz is now owned by HomeAway etc. The only one still owned by a Victorian man fighting to beat the big guys is – and he’s doing better all the time. Yes he’s still an agent. Anyway, my point being that in the 6th year of being with them and now with new owners Stayz forced us out of their listings as I would not comply with their time wasting, ridiculous rules designed to be able to track every little thing you do. We were all about having people call us, gathering their info from them by asking if they wanted a discount for booking direct next time; really just by good old fashioned sales talk. We had many return customers and were doing quite well. We had a clean and tidy and comfortable cottage – Paringa Cottage. Anyway as a web developer myself and online guerrilla marketer (I follow Ed Dale and Frank Kern and Dan Kennedy) amongst many others – a passion of mine. I could see the writing on the wall 2-3 years before it was happening with Stayz so I developed a very simple website with simple SEO techniques that were abiding of Googles rules (as they now have 80% of the search market). I focussed on regularly going back to the website when time permitted early on but then got too busy to change anything except the booking calendar on the site regularly. In the end more than 80% of our bookings were coming from our website using the right target keywords (not paying for Google Ads) and at least a third of them from repeat bookings. Bye Bye Stayz (I mean Home Away) I definitely did not succumb to their threats. My point is it’s EASY to make a website for a business and they do not need a u-beaut flat website. The plainer and simpler it is the better!!!! Also get a FB page an Instagram Page and Twitter account and post to them every now and then – more regularly is better. This helps organic rankings – i.e. free listings. Yes it’s a hard industry to get not page 1 but when we started renting it out in 2017 we had 5 or 6 places still on the front page for Pet Friendly Accommodation Echuca as an example and others. So it can be done. 1) Get / make your own simple website. 2) Get SEO does on the website or learn how to do it yourself. There can be a bit to it but better to start now as the sooner a biz dos the sooner they catch up to the big leeches (good description of them btw). Great to hear from you Dick. Can’t keep a good man down. I’d love to meet you if you ever get to Echuca, VIC in the future. You’r most welcome to stay with us and I’ll fire up the BBQ.
    Cheers Mr. Smith
    Brian Lord

  6. Hi Dick, I have just watched your video about hotels in Australia who have to use Multi-national booking companies. I then went to see if I can find an Australian website where all Aussie hotel/motels are under one umbrella. So far no success. There is the AHA, which is for pubs not for accommodation. Then it struck me, most people think a hotel is a pub, and a place to stay is a motel. The word hotel is different overseas. it concerns accommodation. The only association I could find for motels is the which seems to be available for solving issues. There has to be a way to make booking easier for family run hotel/motels without using the big 2 multi-nationals. Lets face it, people are too used to doing everything on their smartphones. Also if it’s not on the first pageof google, it’s just not going to happen. I honestly think the solution is in the word Motel, just a thought. Also a simple facebook page where all the country motels where listed and contactable would really help. By the way, thank you for your ongoing concern regarding our wonderful country.

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