Hotel commission… a real mission?

I hear from all types of travel agents, large and small, business and leisure, that collecting commissions owed by hotels is always really difficult, lengthy and costly process.  I know there are companies out there who claim to help, but do they really?  What are your experiences?

The main problem seems to come from GDS bookings.  There seems to be such a long process.  Sometimes the hotel will pay the travel agents directly, off their own back.  Other times it means the travel agent chasing manually for the commission before it’s paid.  And then of course, the worst scenario of all.  No payment, relentless chasing from the travel agent and still no payment.  And what happens?  The travel agent gives up – it’s become tiresome, costly and they do not have the time.  Just imagine this process if your making a large volume of hotel bookings through a huge range of properties, not just large chains.  Added to this are the payment provider guys in the middle – Pegasus, Perot and WPS.  Another stage of complexity.

One company I know a lot about, and who genuinely manage to collect commissions, and stick to their claim of increasing payments by over 40%, are Net Trans.  Check out their website: http://www.ntrans.com.  These guys really seem to know what they are doing and not only that, they work with all hotels, worldwide.  It’s also a simple process – no extra input needed from the travel agent when they are working with certain GDS providers.

Of course, there is another way.  Only book hotels that pay upfront commission.  Impossible?  Not at all.  Bedbanks can really help this issue.  So many pay “upfront” commission, simply meaning that the amount of commission owed is automatically taken off of the booking value at time of payment.

It would be great to hear your thoughts and experiences – from both sides.  Are you a travel company struggling with commission payments or of course succeeding?  Are you a hotelier, with ideas how to simplify the process.  Let me know your views.

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