Wish you were tanning on the beach or cracking a cold one while fishing in the Berg? Stop wishing and start planning! Add some excitement to the longest month of the year by designing your first holiday for 2020.
And, forget spending hours trawling travel sites. According to Shaun Lamont, Managing Director of First Group, a leading leisure company that manages over 25 holiday properties across South Africa, it is far easier (and more cost effective!) to book directly with the hotel or resort of your choice via their website. “Gone are the days where OTA’s (Online Travel Agencies) offer the best deals. Worldwide, leading hotel groups have sweetened the deal for travellers in an effort to make the overall customer experience a better one from booking through to check out. “
If price and convenience aren’t juicy enough, Shaun offers five more reasons to go direct, making the planning of your next holiday an exciting, seamless process:
1. Seeing is believing
Companies such as First Group showcase their portfolio online so that guests can get a good idea of what each venue, room or unit has to offer – from facilities through to décor. Not only are your expectations managed up front, matching your individual needs – whether it’s a family holiday or the ideal wedding venue – becomes easier when you are spoilt with galleries laden with spell-binding images and pages filled with features and services, facilities and amenities.
2. Additional savings
Your hard-earned Rands will stretch further with online sales and early-bird specials, giving you the much-needed peace of mind to enjoy your holiday. In fact, First Group offers 15% off if you book 90 days in advance and 20% off if you book 4 nights or more. Plus, when you book direct, there are no hidden commission costs.
3. Holidays with Benefits
When booking online with companies such as First Group, you’ll be exposed to their exclusive loyalty programmes – for free. This means that you could qualify for further discounts on accommodation, have access to express check-ins, later check-outs and a whole host of additional regular offers.
4. What’s on the Menu?
Vegetarian or Vegan? Seafood allergy? Or perhaps your child is lactose intolerant? Whatever your dietary needs, while booking online you can easily browse your destination’s restaurant menu as well as checking it’s opening and closing times. This is just another online convenience that companies such as First Group provide.
5. Changes and amendments to bookings
Life happens and, in the event you need to change guest names or postpone your stay, booking directly on the hotel’s website allows you to make the necessary amendments at the click of a button. When booking through an OTA, not only is it a massive schlep, but you run the risk of paying high penalties in addition to being charged a higher rate when you re-book.
“Planning your next holiday will be a welcome break from your back-to-work routine, and surfing your next holiday destination’s website, dreaming of experiences to come is guaranteed to be the perfect cure to the Janu-worry blues!” concludes Shaun.