ONLINE travel booking and expense management company Serko has released a new Online Booking Tool (OBT) designed to tackle the issue of hotel leakage by using integrated content feeds from Expedia, Wotif and Booking.com.
It was uncovered that almost 50 per cent of hotel bookings “leak” (i.e. users book their flight but not a hotel) at the time of booking, causing a problem for companies who have to deal with unmanaged travel and duty of care compliance issues. Research from Expedia has shown that 37 per cent of travellers leave an OBT because they think they can procure cheaper accommodation rates from other sites, while 45 per cent of travellers have accommodation preferences that are not available through the GDS’ inventory.
Darrin Grafton, CEO of Serko shares “Our solution is to bring the content that users are booking elsewhere into the OBT so it can be searched and booked through the managed channel, which is a win for the user, corporation and the travel management companies.”
The new OBT prompts users that require a hotel to provide a detailed reason if they do not book one. It also invites users trying to complete a booking without a hotel to return to the workflow and search the inventory provided by the feeds from the three online travel booking sites.
Grafton believes that with this new tool, Serko can significantly reduce hotel leakage. This will help to reduce compliance burden for corporates, improve travel policy compliance and ultimately drive further savings through their managed travel programme.