Expedia and its Hotels.com site are now displaying hotels that add resort fees lower in search results than those properties which do not. This is win-win for Expedia and customers.
- They want hotels to display full prices, because that makes it easier for them to take commission on the full price.
- At the same time it means transparency, customers can compare prices of hotels up front without having to select a property and dig through details to learn whether or not the price displayed is the full price.
And this strategy also protects Expedia’s business – so far hotel sites have been reluctant to display full cost including resort fees because it makes them look like the more expensive place to book a given property. Sites displaying price without resort fees included look cheaper, even though they aren’t.
Punishing hotels in their search order means hotels adding resort fees are less likely to be booked, though customers searching for hotels on other metasearch engines will still see Expedia’s pricing as competitive with prices at other hotel sites.
Expedia is Slam Dancing on Hotels That Charge Resort Fees Flickr: Juggernautco
Including a resort fee won’t necessarily mean a low listing every time, however, because Expedia (like Priceline) also charges hotels extra to be displayed higher in results. So some hotels with fees may also be paying for better placement. Search results on Expedia aren’t actually about what’s best for the customer, although Expedia is careful not to take this too far because they don’t want to give useless results that causes a customer to book elsewhere.
Expedia is about the last travel company to do anything pro-consumer and yet with its muscle it could come late into the game and make a real difference.