Mosman, Australia (PressExposure) June 11, 2008 -- It has become evident in recent times that there has been a shift away from the last minute model with sites such as Wotif.com to go 365 days. Moreover, according to a recent study by HotelsCombined.com these last minute distribution sites including Wotif.com, NeedItNow.com and LastMinute.com.au are no longer offering the best available rates.
Much hype was created in the hotel industry with the launch of Wotif.com in March 2000 when it offered a 14 day booking window. Before this time hotels relied on global distribution systems (GDS) to assist in selling their hotel rooms with dynamic pricing not yet coming into existence. Wotif.com gave hotels what they needed offering a simple system to effectively yield manage their distressed inventory. Wotif.com capitalized on this for several years then in October 2005 they extended to 28 day booking window. At present, according to an ASX announcement published on May 8, 2008 it is confirmed that a 365 day model is coming. It is interesting to note that Wotif.com is in reality one of the few remaining last minute websites entirely using the last minute model with NeedItNow.com and LastMinute.com.au previously making the move to a 365 day model.
Clearly we can see that there is a movement away from the last minute model, so the question needs to be asked if these sites are no longer distressed inventory sites, are they just another distribution channel? HotelsCombined.com has taken this question to see if there are any points of difference that these last minute sites have against other third party intermediaries.
After taking a sample of twenty-five hotels within five major Australian capital cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth) the results indicate that Wotif.com, NeedItNow.com and LastMinute.com.au are just another distribution channel with non last minute providers on HotelsCombined.com offering better available rates. For results go to [http://www.hotelscombined.com/AboutUs/Press/LastMinute.aspx]