No more high OTA costs. Introducing $7 booking fees in USA

April 25, 2017

A new approach and a guaranteed fixed Booking Fee of just $7. No tricks and no rising costs, just a fairer way to do business.


Los Angeles, CA (USA)  April 12, 2017. HOTEL.COM Founder Inder Sharma has created what he considers a paradigm shift for the hospitality industry with hotels in Agra, a service that features a flat online booking fee of $7 for hotels. HotelBids launched in India last September, now with more than 3,500 hotels in 100 cities and growing. The official U.S. launch is scheduled for July 2017, although HotelBids has started registering hotels in the U.S. This market will be the first country outside India in which HotelBids will have operations and presence.

Sharma, a serial entrepreneur and diehard environmentalist, has been associated with the hospitality industry for more than 25 years through his close ties with AAHOA. AAHOA members contribute billions of dollars to the U.S. economy and pay more than $5 billion to online travel agencies (OTAs) in booking fees. According to Sharma, HotelBids will save AAHOA members more than 50 percent in booking fees. In addition, it is expected that AAHOA members will regain control over their room inventory as well as customer databases, which will help them market their properties and packages directly to their customers, he says. Sharma acknowledges that it will be an uphill task fighting well-established OTAs that have millions of dollars in their marketing budget and millions of loyal customers in their databases. But he believes it is doable.

The HotelBids app solves three problems in the industry.

  • First, it allows customers to book last-minute rooms at their own price while hoteliers fill empty rooms without parity issues, as prices remain private between the customer and hotel.
  • Second, all hotels receive these ‘virtual walk-in leads’ rather than third parties making the decision for hotels.
  • Third, hotels pay only a flat booking fee of $7 per night rather than 15 to 30 percent. Hotels also will have better control over their own inventory, he says. Customers can use the app or website to book rooms.

Sharma’s long-standing ties with AAHOA have brought him immense knowledge about the hospitality industry and especially the problems members face. After year of planning, HotelBids was founded with a simple mission: To reduce booking fees and fill empty rooms while connecting hotels to their customers directly. HotelBids is funded by many AAHOA members, including elite founding member Mike Leven, who has blessed the venture. HotelBids is a founding member of AAHOA and will be attending the AAHOA convention in San Antonio, Texas, in April 2017.

hotels in Agra plans to launch in the U.S. with 7,000 to 10,000 hotels and ultimately have all 24,000 hotels on the system. In the coming years, this initiative is expected to save AAHOA members hundreds of millions annually in booking fees. 

hotels in Agra

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