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Australian motel chain throws down gauntlet to OTAs

September 11, 2018 Headline News 2 Comments Email Email

The head of a leading Australian motel chain has challenged online travel agents (OTAs) to “demonstrate their social conscience in a tangible way” and give something back to small communities struggling with the drought.

Chairman of the Budget Motel Chain, Charles Ikstrums, was speaking after the charity BlazeAid sought accommodation for farmers who needed a short break to get away from their drought-stricken properties. BlazeAid is a volunteer organisation that works with people in rural Australia after natural disasters such as fires and floods.

The Budget Motel Chain (motto: Spend a night, not a fortune) called on its members to heed BlazeAid’s call. The members’ response, Ikstrums says, was “nothing short of fantastic”, with over 100 room-nights donated, along with the offer of meals, fuel, activities and tours farmers could enjoy during their stay.

“I am so proud of the Budget family”, Ikstrums said.

“Most of our members come from rural Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland, and it is these areas that are most affected by the drought. The drought affects not only the farmers, but the entire community, so our members are also doing it tough, but can still find it in their hearts to help others.”

Then Ikstrums turned his attention to OTAs (which on a separate front have drawn the recent ire of Aussie entrepreneur Dick Smith – see Dick Smith backs agents – declares war on OTAs).

Ikstrums said OTAs were “arguably the largest beneficiary of motel booking revenue in regional Australia” and called on them “to match the generosity of Budget Motel Chain members and demonstrate their social conscience in a tangible way”.


He continued: “The OTAs, conservatively, receive tens of millions of dollars annually from commissions and fees charged to motels and accommodation providers in rural Australia (these commissions can vary anywhere from 15% to 50% of the room cost), the majority of which goes straight overseas.

“It’s time for OTAs to give something back to the communities that support their businesses.

“If a motelier from a small rural town can help, then surely the giants of the industry can do the same and show they care by giving back to rural Australia.”

With Budget having thrown down the gauntlet, the Australian accommodation industry is watching with interest to see how OTAs respond to the drought challenge.

Written by Peter Needham

Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. bruce weston says:

    hmm – his statement of facts is a bit out – commissions are 12% not 15 to 50 % .. Funny isn’t it budget motels group calling on its members to support – NOT THEMSELVES , and has conveniently forgotten that budget motel charge their own members as much , or even more , commission than an OTA and even worse they are a subsidiary of the ACCOR group fully owned by their French company but what the heck – who needs the truth

  2. Peter Needham says:

    In reply to Bruce, Accor does not own the Budget Motel Chain. Accor runs a brand called ibis Budget, which was formerly called Formule 1 and Etap.

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