Vietnam Hotel Wars
Travel arrangement is always the importance and fun part for travelers. Internet is an useful source for nowadays adventurers. Number of travel forums with real traveler’s discussions bring you more confident on your bookings, however, it is not always!
Hotels in Vietnam is an example. Most of people choose hotel based on recommendation or reviews on internet. If you had a friend stayed there before, then you will have a good ‘picture’ of it. Otherwise you may have find your confidence through the public forums. It can be confused sometimes, plenty of hotels having both bad and good reviews and let me tell you, there are lot of reviews of hotels in Vietnam are fake. I also run my own hotel in Hanoi and got quite a few of emails to proposal an fake review on Trip Advisor Forum with list of pricing. I am sure many hotel owners used this service. Most of them are 3 star hotels that seemed to be the hottest demanding from travelers. This is also the most common Vietnamese ways of business (short term minded)
Price is another confusion. The same hotel has uncounted price ranges from providers. Tax, breakfast and service charges are hidden to show an attractive price on the web pages. Consumers fall on the booking and just realize that the total cost is way more different than they see from the first page.
No doubt to say that many active hotel booking online website now providing many good rates that you will be hard to get from hotel directly. But not all the hotels they can get those good rates. Consumers may have to do more works to choose the better price in different sites.
Stick with local companies is always better especially with 3 star hotel bookings. Local companies normally have lower mark up to their hotel bookings than oversea companies. It could be a cheaper option for lower 3 star hotels if you go directly to hotelier and make your own negotiation to cut off middle man. Besides, for 4 or 5 star hotel, booking through agency seem to be better rates.
Local agencies also have better local knowledge, A friend of mine just had a ‘mistake’ to book through a Thailand hotel agency for his accommodation in Quang Binh. When he and his family arrived and found out that the hotel was just finished their ground breaking ceremony!!! He complained to the hotel management and had a response that this hotel has no connection with agency he booked with!
Finding a reliable local agency to handle your hotel bookings is a great way to save of time and peace of mind. There will be few dollars lower or higher but you will be sure one thing: He knows what he sells!