As of earlier this year, the only way to obtain discounts on hotels and other travel amenities is through what is known as a “Closed Loop Programs” also known as membership clubs. History repeats itself once again and travel clubs are now back because of the change of laws.
Loganville, Georgia – October 5, 2016……courtesy of Hotelsetc.
Due to recent legislation, the playing field has been leveled between all of the big name online travel agencies (OTAs). The ability of one OTA to undercut the hotel rates of another has been crippled by a series of rulings that affect international rate parity laws. As these laws are being enforced across the travel industry, the only discounts on hotels and other travel amenities that can be legally sold are through “closed loop” membership clubs like Hotels Etc.
As of summer 2015, all rates offered by OTAs are the same from one company to another in accordance with a recently passed Economic Reform Law. There are no longer “deals” available known as “rack rates” and “bar rates” — meaning, literally, if you’ve looked at one OTA website — you’ve looked at them all. That is why OTAs are hustling to purchase other OTAs before it becomes publicly known.
Economic Paradigm Shift
The tide has turned in favor of private brokers like Hotels Etc, as alleged price fixing between powerful OTAs became apparent as more and more class action lawsuits were leveled in the United States and Europe. These powerhouse brokers can no longer set rates as they see fit according to market demand, placing the power back into the hands of hoteliers and the few private membership clubs they choose to work with such as Hotels Etc.
An Industry Leader Set on Quality and Innovation
Hotels Etc CEO Shawn Pigg is a travel industry insider with 11 years at the helm of his company. Mr.Pigg and his team work relentlessly to develop and maintain relationships with businesses in nearly every sector of the travel industry. The “closed loop” system provided by Hotels Etc. allows members to take advantage of tight alliances between the company and providers of overnight accommodations, car rentals, ski packages, group travel, and vacation deals — to the tune of up to 80% in savings.
Hotels Etc. was started in 1996 with the mission of helping families save on travel and enjoy more of what life has to offer. Mr. Pigg was appointed CEO of Hotels Etc. in 2005, and then bought out the entire company and molded it into what it is today — a top tier service provider with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Shawn explains that his objective is to deliver discounts to his members that are not available to the general public through strategic alliances he maintains with his industry partners.
Essentially, Hotels Etc. suppliers pre-purchase inventory on hotel accommodations and other amenities by negotiating wholesale net rates. They then pass those discounts on to their members who simply pay a one-time yearly fee of $99.00. In addition to hotels, participants in this closed loop system enjoy discounts of up to 80% at theme parks, restaurants, golf courses, concerts, movie theaters, fishing destinations, sporting events, and regional tourist attractions.
An Evolving Marketplace
Before the internet, travel clubs were considered cutting edge way to get the inside scoop on huge discounts. They fell out of favor as travel agencies took over then exploded with the Internet as OTAs. The constant demand for better deals, however, has frozen the leverage of OTAs and shifted favor back to the travel club business model with the added bonus of online convenience.
Power in Numbers
Hotels Etc boasts a worldwide customer base of millions of members. In order maintain an A+ BBB rating with a membership of this size the company is dedicated to providing superior customer service to match their product. CEO Shawn Pigg is known to personally handle customer concerns to assure that every last member is 100% satisfied.
Members of TheTopTravelClub.com have access to thousands of deals at Hotelsetc all included in their family membership. Plus….they can Go-Direct & Save at over over 1400 global independent travel operators, WorldPrivilege and TravelzCard.
Happy Trails, Traveller or Traveler