Bidroom enters Asia OTA market

AMSTERDAM, 18 September 2019: A hotel booking platform with a business model based on zero commissions plans to make inroads in the lucrative Asia-Pacific hotel booking market.

Bidroom announced Monday its intention to extend its booking model to the Asia Pacific region with a campaign to recruit hotels with a promise of no commissions on bookings.

Bidroom’s chief operating officer and co-founder Michael Ros, will target new hotel partners in the linking them to a fast-growing and multiple award-winning online travel community.

Bidroom’s no-commission membership-based hotel platform has already attracted leading hotel brands and apartments, as well as Visa from the payments sector.

Launched in 2014 in the Netherlands, Bidroom currently offers 125,000 hotel properties in 128 countries to frequent travellers who benefit from guaranteed lower room rates compared to other OTAs.

The company claims it’s an alternative in the online booking market, which is currently dominated by systems that demand excessive OTA commissions, which often exceed 30% for high-up page placement of rates.

During its initial five years, Bidroom focused on building its hotel stock in Europe and North America. “Now it is time for hoteliers in the Asia Pacific to benefit from Bidroom’s unique and fair-minded approach,” said Ros.

Bidroom works as an annual membership model today although initially it business model as its name suggests recruited consumers as members who could then bid for hotel rooms to gain the lowest bargain on accommodation. That business model gave way to hotels paying a service fee rather than paying hefty commissions on each room booked.

COO Ros claims “Bidroom is demonstrably cheaper than all known OTAs. The result is also a significant margin of financial improvement for hoteliers.”

Hotel industry analysts say that smaller hotels can rely on OTAs for up to 90% of their bookings – at punitive commission rates of up to 25%.

Massively capitalised OTAs control the online hotel room market because they spend heavily on search terms. There is often an illusion of online competition in the online market place. Expedia owns around 12 OTA brands, while Priceline Group owns, Agoda, Ctrip, and, among others.

According to Horwath HTL there are an estimated four million hotel rooms in the Asia Pacific region.

The region has 471,000 new rooms under construction, according to a July 2019 STR hotel intelligence report – a year on year increase of 27%.

“Hotel profits are already under pressure in Asia and Pacific destinations with new openings in arguably oversupplied destinations such as Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Maldives. Reducing OTA commissions is therefore vital to hotel viability,” says Ros.