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Travel deals: New online booking tools

Room77 has announced that it will offer hotel loyalty points for users that book through its site.

travel Updated: Apr 16, 2012 17:12 IST
AFP

Room77 has announced that it will offer hotel loyalty points for users that book through its site.

In a break from the tradition of many online travel agencies, where earning points for discounted hotel rooms is normally not an option, the site revealed this week that it would allow users to pick up points for popular programs when they book using the site.

The booking tool, which made its name by allowing users to get details of specific rooms in hotels and request their favorite ahead of arrival, said that allowing users to collect points on bookings addresses one of the most common complaints travelers have about booking rooms online.

Often, points are only offered on bookings made directly through a chain's website and not on deals secured through booking sites such as Hotwire and Priceline, but Room77 says that it will be offering points for all major hotel chains on certain deals, which will be clearly marked -- a decision which could increase pressure on other online travel agents to do the same.

Room77 has also revealed that it will now offer advanced purchase and other discounts, bringing its rate offerings in line with competitors', with the site promising travelers up to 50 percent off.

That's impressive, but it's a competitive world out there, particularly when it comes to hotel booking.

Also this week, booking.com threw its hat into the last-minute booking ring, offering up a new app designed to take on the likes of Priceline and HotelTonight which also offers great deals for travelers, this time with no need to book in advance.

Offering hotels at discounted rates at the last possible time, normally within hours of your arrival at the property, it's a useful way to snag a bargain for that unexpected overnighter -- and unlike HotelTonight, it's available in Europe too.