The convenience of trip planning with vacation reservation Web sites is on the rise, with up to 80% use according to travel industry statistics. The Internet makes finding and booking lodging easy, but quick reservations are not the only aspect of a successful vacation. Travelers also want value from their vacation dollars through great customer service and ample amenities. Local resort reservation services or concierge companies offer an improved vacation experience with superior property choices, better knowledge of the area, personalized customer service, and often lower prices. In comparison to the larger national sites and discounters, there are no benefits except price, and you may not even get the quality of room you booked.
The main differences between local and national reservation sources are: property prices, quality assurance, personal attention and value add services. You may pay a little less, but in the end it is likely to cost you more or have ruined your vacation.
Jefferson Lanz of City Concierge puts it this way: “When you use a locally-based all-encompassing full-service vacation rental Web site, you get local knowledgeable people to help you with your travel plans. They know the area you’re visiting and the actual lodging properties you’re looking at, and they do the legwork for you to keep you in your budget. The personal service starts with the first phone call and continues until your vacation is over. Also the personal recommendations and services make your vacation a real “vacation”. We want you to come back. Distant national companies just can’t do that.”
What you get – a National Lodging Reservation Web site:
1. Property Prices – Because of the deep commissions these national companies charge such as Expedia, Bookings.com, Trip Advisor, VRBO, Homeaway, vacation rental and hotel property managers have to mark up the real cost as much as 30% over the average nightly rate. The national sites now charge the consumer a fee as much as 10% more than going local.
2. Quality Assurance – The photo of a property in a complex is a generic photo, not an individual photo of the specific vacation rental or even hotel room. The actual lodging may not even look similar nor have the same features. This is especially true with vacation rentals, as each home is personally owned with personal objects rather than a hotel where each room should be identical.
3. Personal Services – Other than a help line so you can navigate their site, any questions or answers about the property come from a manual not a live person.
What you get – a Local Resort Reservation and Concierge Web site:
1. Property Prices – All the local vacation properties such as at City Concierge in Mammoth are aggregated into one web site for easy comparison of properties, prices and features. The company’s staff has real relationships with property managers and owners – they know the inventory. They also know the best possible prices or current specials or even who will wheel and deal. Can’t wheel and deal on a national site.
2. Quality Assurance – The photos of the specific properties are the actual and true photos of the properties – no generic photos. “What you see is what you get”.
3. Personal Services – The local company has real people who specifically know the area and have personal relationships with the resort’s unique services, information, activities and businesses. Their information, guidance and assistance are free, just like with a hotel concierge. Certain companies even have local people to provide special guest services such as custom chef-prepared meals, grocery shopping, baby and pet sitting, in-home massages, holiday decorations, dinner and equipment reservations, special ski packages, and 24/7 problem fixers. A truly full-service company will offer special group services, too. This one item makes your getaway a success every time.
When it comes to getting the most value for those hard-earned vacation dollars, combining the ease of the Internet with the personal customer relationship of your own concierge will make your vacation. National reservation sites just can’t compete with this kind of attention. Book your Mammoth vacation rentals and hotels with a local company. You will get more and have a better experience.