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An investigation of consistent rates across Swiss hotels' direct channels

Murphy, J., Schegg, R. and Qiu, M. (2006) An investigation of consistent rates across Swiss hotels' direct channels. Information Technology and Tourism, 8 (2). pp. 105-119.

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    Abstract

    This study investigates a growing issue for hotels and consumers: pricing across distribution channels. Research suggests that hotels should drive consumers towards direct channels with lower operating costs and away from intermediaries, yet few studies have investigated pricing practices across the direct communication channels that hotels control. The results of two surveys of over 100 Swiss hotels illustrate pricing inconsistencies in low- and high-season periods across four communication media under the properties' direct control: telephone, email, static website price lists, and reservation request forms on the website. About one out of two hotels offered different rates across these media, despite the requests being on the same date, for the same type room for the same period. Prices via email responses were the lowest in the low-season survey and website prices were lowest in the high-season survey. Across both surveys, prices were lower via online media - email, static website price lists, and reservation request forms - than via the telephone. Hotel category and number of stars showed a positive relationship with consistent pricing in the low season, and a negative relationship in the high season. Finally, price variations of over 200% - for the same room at the same date - across a hotel's direct online and offline channels serve as a wake-up call for hoteliers to review their pricing and procedures for communicating this pricing.

    Publication Type: Journal Article
    Publisher: Cognizant Communication Corporation
    Copyright: Cognizant Communication Corporation
    URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/4303
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