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Are we on the verge of a parity nightmare?

Booking.com appears to have rolled out its Booking.basic feature to European hotel listings, six months after it was first spotted on listings for hotels in Asia.

Booking.basic is an accommodation tier that periodically appears on Booking.com’s hotel listings when the rate provided to Booking.com is not the cheapest available online.

When Booking.basic was first noticed back in July, Booking.com confirmed that it was one of many tests running on their site. It looks like the accommodation tier has made the initial move from ‘test’ to semi-permanent feature, or at the very least the test has been widened to multiple geographies.

Does the spread of Booking.basic herald a fundamental shift in how hotels work with Booking.com? And should it be a wake-up call to those hotels still not taking control of their downstream distribution?

One thing is for certain, its impact could be huge. Across Triptease’s client base of thousands of hotels, we currently observe Booking.com undercutting the direct price 11.7 percent of the time. When Booking.com undercuts the direct price, session conversion rate decreases by 14.3 percent (data gathered from 19 million sessions, Oct-Dec 2018).

If Booking.basic continues to grow, hoteliers could have a serious parity – and therefore conversion – problem on their hands.

View the download link here courtesy of TripTease

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Lily McIlwain

Lily McIlwain is content director at direct booking platform Triptease

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