Well its been almost 10 months since my last post. I have the advantage now of experience in the self-catering holiday industry in South Africa and particularly Cape Town.
The establishments we feature on our site are also featured on many travel website sites. We subscribe to certain property managers who take care of the establishments on behalf of the owners who are looking for additional income from there second or holiday home. We get access to an online platform which essentially shows us the availability and prices for certain dates of these establishments. Many online travel websites have the same access to this platform and therefore people searching for self catering homes in Cape Town will have many results with the same information. Once an enquiry is made, the travel agent will “block” the availability and no other agent will have access to the specific establishment. Because of the many websites displaying the same properties, there is an increased demand for these establishments and therefore they are relatively expensive.
Along comes Airbnb, this has essentially revolutionised the self catering industry, traditional online travel agents, like myself have felt the effect from a booking point of view. More stock is available in more areas and, in my opinion better priced. We have therefore, decided to include the top Guest Houses, BnB’s and boutique hotels in our portfolio, all with live availability and prices. This is a time consuming exercise, but within the next couple of months there will be a increase in establishments for holidays and hopefully this will result in a better user experience.