Posted on August 16, 2016 by staff

Hotel Bonanza is an online travel agent with a difference


An online travel agent with a difference is seeking to give a fairer deal to property owners.

Running a hotel and growing tired of the high commission charged by other websites, Suzie Barber and Bhavin Swaly were motivated to set up Hotel Bonanza.

Based in Exeter, the content-led site – which showcases events and festivals around the world and signposts customers to potential hotels nearby – was unveiled to the public this summer.

Barber says the aim is to create an online community where ideas can be shared.

A membership scheme, costing £10 a year and offering a five per cent discount on all bookings, allows customers to build a profile of their likes and dislikes, which will then tailor the information that appears when they log in and that is marketed to them.

“I totally understand there’s something to be said about going into a travel agents’ but there is a limit to the information they have at their fingertips, whereas with the internet there’s no limit to what you can find,” Barber says of the traditional booking method.

“The flipside of that is that people don’t want to be bombarded, so if you’re interested in lying on a beach you don’t want to be told about hiking in the Alps.

“Our homepage will ask what you want to search for and where you want to go so it isn’t throwing too much information at people at once.”

easyJet is using artificial intelligence to benefit customers – and has grand plans for the cutting-edge tech .

Travel bloggers will be brought in to provide extra content and users will also be encourage to leave reviews that will be linked to when a search brings up a particular property.

“We want to make it accessible, friendly and inclusive as a high street travel agent would be, with users leaving tips of bars and restaurants they visited when they stayed at certain hotels,” Barber says.

“We’ve not seen it done like this anywhere else before and hopefully the fact that we’re charging eight per cent commission rather than the usual 15-plus per cent will make it a fairer deal for the hotels.”

We reported last week how Skyscanner stays light on its feet and relevant by quickly adapting to emerging trends.