Why Dick Smith is right about the Online Travel Agents


– Hi, firstly thank you so
much for watching this back on the replay. For those of you who are tuning
in live, if you could do me a massive favour and let me
know that you can hear me and that you can see me OK. So for those of you who don’t
know who I am, my name is Mark Simpson and I run
a company called Boostly and I look after a community called the hospitality community
and the Boostly community. And today, I want to talk
to you about Dick Smith. So firstly and foremost,
I just need to know that you can hear me. So before you start doing anything else, before you go on with your
day, for those of you watching this back on the replay, I need your help. Just let me know that you can hear me by putting a thumbs up. Paul, you make sure you stay there ’cause I need you for this. I’m so glad that you’re
watching this live and I need to know that you can see me OK. So if you can hear me, thank you Sheree, yeah you stay on as well. I need all my Australian
friends to watch this video ’cause it is really important not for you, but also as well for the UK, Europe, and the rest of the world. Before we begin though,
what I want to do is to give a little shout-out to
any hospitality owners that may be watching this. So if you are tuning in
live, all you need to do, is in the comments put the name of your hospitality property, whether it’s a hotel, guest house, rental. If you want to put your
website address, put that in. If you want to put a link
to your Facebook page, put that in ’cause this is gonna be really, really, really important. So what I’m gonna do
today is I’m gonna chat about a gentleman in
Australia called Dick Smith. Now I have been inundated over
the last week with messages, posts in the hospitality
community about a video that this guy did over in
Australia where he was talking about the state of the
hospitality industry over there. Now as you’re watching this,
before I go any further, I need you to do me one more thing. There should be a share button
somewhere on your screen. I need you to share this,
now whether it’s to your business page, whether it
is to your personal page, whether it is in some groups
that you are a part of. The person that I really need
to get hold of and the person that I really want to speak
to is Dick Smith himself. So if anybody’s watching this
that knows him or can share this in some of the same groups that he is a part of,
that would be amazing. Because there’s a reason
for this, but I need to set the story first and foremost. Thank you very much,
Emmitt, Sharon, yep, great. So if you’re a hospitality
owner and you’re watching this, put a little link into
your business ’cause all of this is really, really important. Now a week ago, Dick went live
on a thing on his Facebook, I wasn’t quite sure how he did it. But he was explaining the fact that he had just become aware that in
Australia, hospitality owners, they call them motels over
there, but motel basically is guest house over in the
UK on the Western side. And how there was two
big companies that were taking away millions
of millions of dollars every single year out of Australia. And he was fuming because of this. Now to give you a bit
of a background on Dick, he is an entrepreneur. He has built a big franchise in Australia and he’s now branching out and doing other little bits and bobs. But he’s got a real big
following and this was brought to his attention. And he was really annoyed at
the fact that in Australia, millions of dollars is being
taken out of the country, going overseas to these two big companies and these two big billionaires that were taking all the profit away. And the companies that
he was talking about is Booking holiday group
and the Expedia Group. Now you all have heard of Booking.com, you all have heard of Expedia. But what a lot of people
don’t know is that these two massive companies own pretty much all of the online booking space. So for example, you may
have heard of Trivago. Trivago is owned by the Expedia Group. You may have heard of Kayak. Kayak is owned by the Bookings Group. You’ve got Agoda, you’ve
got all of these other sites that are around the world that are owned by the bigger groups. The only separate one
in all of this is Airbnb and that’s a totally separate thing. But the reason for this
video and the reason why it’s so important to
spread this message is that for every booking that you make. And you being somebody who’s
not a hospitality owner, so when the general public
make a booking anywhere in an independent property. And when I say independent,
I don’t mean your Marriotts or your Travelodges, or your Premier Inn. And when you book with these
properties, every single time the property itself has
to pay a commission to the other third party sites,
so Booking.com, Expedia. And this commission can
range from 15 to 30%. Now if we’re talking about
it on a singular level, losing 15 to 30% of one booking may not seem a lot to you. But if you add that up, if
you’re talking about a 20 or 30 bed property or you’re
talking about a guest house that has like five or
six rooms and 80% of that bookings are coming in
vis-a-vis third party sites that adds up a lot. And you could be in a
situation, and I did an article with Look North, I think
it was nearly two years ago now where we worked out on
average there was about a million pounds being taken out
of the Scarba Coastline, the Yorkshire Coast, just
simply in commission costs. And that is crazy. And so the reason why you need
to go and watch the video, and if anybody’s watching
this and if you have a link to Dick’s video, please post
it in the comments below. Because he articulates
it so much better than I probably am doing now and
have ever tried to do. But it’s really important. The one thing that strikes
me, and again if you’re watching this live, thank you so much. Please do me a massive
favour, just let me know that you can hear me. If you’re a hospitality
owner, I know there’s a load watching, just please
comment below with a link to your website, your
Facebook page, and share this. Share this in groups, share
this on your personal wall. We need to spread the
message about this video. So the reason why it’s really
important is that these big groups, these big businesses: Bookings, Holidays, and Expedia, they make
you think that by going via their website, and by
booking via their website, you’re gonna get the best rate. And that simply isn’t the
case, it’s just very clever marketing by some very clever companies. If you were, thank you
Sheree, that’s awesome. I wanna pin that. Oops! If you were to actually call
up your local guest house, hotel, cottages, rentals. If you were to call them up directly, you would be getting a better rate. But it’s not all about price,
you get better incentives, you get treated better,
because that hospitality owner is having to put their rates up 15, 20% just to cover the costs. So if this video does
anything, I just want to try and educate just one or
two people out there. But the next time that
you’re looking to go and book a holiday, a staycation,
a two night stay or even business trips, don’t
always assume that by going to Booking.com, Expedia, that you’re gonna be getting the best rate. Do a bit of research, go on
to Google, find the property’s real phone number or e-mail
address, give ’em a call, send them an e-mail and you’ll
be pleasantly surprised. Now if you’ve got any
other questions about that, simply comment below and
there are well over 15 hospitality owners who are
watching this video as well and if you put a question on
how to book direct, I’m sure there’s gonna be somebody
that can help with this. Now Dick’s video was
amazing, and it really did open the eyes to a lot of Australians. But the problem with the
video, and the problem with a lot of it that I see
is that there’s no solution. He was saying that how
when you do a Google search for motels in his local area,
that the top 10 searches were all these big listing sites but he wasn’t given a solution to the problem. Now over the past two years
since I’ve started doing Boostly and started working with
the hospitality community and hospitality owners,
I’ve got some solutions. And this video is to try and
get in front of Dick and to any Australian, or to any Brit,
or to any Aussie, or to any American, or to anybody, to
say that if you want my help, if you want me to put on
some form of training, free training, this won’t be a charge. If you want me to do like a
webinar or something where I can show you three or four
really, really effective tools how you can actually fight
back against the big guys to get to the top of Google. To get seen by the right people. Then you just gotta let me know. Whether it’s in this post,
whether it’s through messages, whether it’s through just
commenting and tagging me on a Facebook post, let me know. What I really need to do
is to try and reach out to Dick and say that I’ve got
a solution that will help. So if someone can help me
in any way, shape or form, that’d be amazing. But for you guys, hospitality
owners, if you want some solutions on how you can
increase direct bookings, then let me know. For hospitality owners who
are watching this as well, we’ve got to re-educate and
it all comes down to us. Now we can bitch and bemoan
the fact that these guys get so many bookings, but we have to be spreading the word individually. It doesn’t just take one
person in Australia or me or if there’s a few of us trying to do it. It takes all of us and if
whether that is the case of having on your website
the benefits of booking direct with you, whether
it is just through e-mails or through your social media posts. However we do it, we have
to re-educate and as well it’s a case for me to help re-educate hospitality owners on how to do this. What I would love before
I sign off ’cause I’ve got a lot of things to do today before I get the kids off from school. And I’ve been going on for 11 minutes. And for people who are
tuning in, thank you so much. This is where I’m gonna pass it on to you. Hospitality owners, Paul
has just posted something really well that he says,
“Perhaps mention these companies “undercut the prices put in by
the owners, and take a cut in “the commission, but charge
the owner the full commission “and compare prices against
their own group of companies.” Paul and any other hospitality
owner that is watching this now, this is your chance
now in the comment section below, just to let people know
why they should book direct. How it affects your
business and like Dick said in his video, is that
50% of the average of the businesses that he spoke to that bookings come from the OTAs. If they just don’t go on
the OTAs, they’re gonna lose potentially 50% of their business. Singularly and individually,
we’re not going to do anything. This video is a plea as a collective. It doesn’t matter whether
you are in a little town, whether you’re in a county,
whether you’re in a country, or a big city, or a region. We as a group can come
together now and really start to spread this message. So that lil’ hashtag wherever it may be, the hashtag bookdirect,
that’s a great place to start. If you start putting that
lil’ hashtag out in Instagram, in your Twitters, in your
LinkedIns, in your Facebooks. Just start to spread the word. The more people see it, then the more people will
learn and they’ll start to then go direct to the properties. Alright, I’m gonna sign off there. Sheree, amazing if you
could in anyway shape or form, get this in front of Dick Smith. And if he ever does watch
this, please get back in touch with me, cause I’ve
got three or four solutions that I can show to him that you can pass on to his audience. And if everybody wants me to
do this free bit of training however I do it, I don’t
know how I’m going to do it, but just let me know in the comments. Just put the word bookdirect. If you put the word bookdirect
in the comments below, if I get a 100 of them,
then I’ll figure out how I can do some training and show everybody how you can increase your direct bookings. Alright, I’m gonna go. Thank you so much. There’s load of comments coming in that I can’t keep up with. Final, final thing that
I need for you to do. Number one is like this,
comment below and say you’ve watched it, and three is share it. Share it like crazy. If you’ve shared it once, share it twice. If you’ve shared it
twice, share it thrice. In groups, in business pages, on your personal wall, in messages. Let’s see if we can make a difference. Alright, I am signing off.

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