When looking for hotels, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the options. With each site claiming to have the lowest price, how does one know they’re actually getting the best deal? Even if you’re a veteran trip planner, you could still be missing out and not even know it.
Fortunately, for the travel savvy, a new service exists which is looking to make life a lot simpler when it comes to booking your trip. RewardExpert got the chance to chat with the CEO of GoSeek, Clem Bason, the man behind this new option. Unlike other sites which directly sell hotel bookings, GoSeek is an aggregator, looking for the best deals from each site and comparing them side by side.
“You know how on the other sites, they all show a scratched out price? Those prices are usually fake or made up to just make you think you are saving,” Bason says, “the only way to know the other prices are to actually go out and compare them. To this end, we work with our partner TripAdvisor to compare the lowest rates on the market for you.”
GoSeek makes its profits off of referrals and not the actual bookings. This means that there is no competition between them and the bookings sites, which allows them to focus on finding the best deals, even “secret deals” one can normally only find by making an account and logging into these sites. Bason was familiar with the concept, having originally started out working for the travel booking service Hotwire. He says that his experience at Hotwire was how he ended up with the idea for GoSeek.
“We used to have something called a ‘pitch deal.’ You wouldn’t know the name of the hotel or the ratings or anything, but we’d be able to get you around half off or so. Hotwire and Priceline used to be big because of these pitch deals, but eventually new promotions like coupons started popping up. We didn’t have things like that five years ago. Because there were so many new and different ways to find discounts on bookings, I decided to start a company to find a way to put all of them in one place.”
According to Bason, with the wide range of promotions, coupons, and deals out there, it is almost always possible to get at least a 15% discount on a hotel bookings if one knows where to look. GoSeek even allows customers to get deals by making bookings through SMS or Facebook Messenger by working with a partner of theirs called Snap Travel.
These new mobile based booking options first took Bason by surprise when he learned of them. “I didn’t know if people would want to make bookings like that, but they offer plenty of discounts and they’re doing very well.”
While the eight-man team that keeps GoSeek running day to day certainly has room to grow, Bason credited much of their success to the agility afforded to them by their team size. “There’s much about the process of aggregating deals which can’t be automated and requires the human touch. For instance, when someone tries to get a deal on GoSeek, we ask them if they were able to get that deal. We actually listen to these responses and actively work to ensure that everything we have listed on our site is up to date and valid.”