Taste the Barossa is choosing to push back against greed in the tourism industry!

Taste the Barossa is choosing to push back against a few greedy hotels in Adelaide. Sometimes you have to say no, that’s not in the best interests of the tourism industry as a whole. The up side is an iconic South Australian Children’s Charity will benefit.

Taste the Barossa happily pay the appropriate commissions to travel agents that sell tours and rightly earn that commission. We are proudly featured in wholesale, inbound and retail brochures world-wide and value those relationships we have built over the past 20+ years we have been in the tourism industry.

We have serious issues however with the relatively new practice here in Adelaide of some City hotels, who in partnership with an online agent are charging us 20% commission when a customer chooses our brochure from the brochure rack and takes it to the hotel concierge in order to book our tour.  

To be clear, we’ve already paid for our brochures and we also pay a substantial monthly fee to be in the brochure racks. How can 20% commission (shared between the hotel and an online agent) possibly be justified simply for a phone call?

When this first happened we reluctantly agreed to a 20% commission rate. However, after literally no bookings from a hotel we previously had many bookings from, I called the agent to query the issue.

I was told that we weren’t competitive enough. Not really understanding the answer I argued that we were ranked #1 on TripAdvisor for the previous 8 years and remained without a doubt the most popular and positively reviewed tour company in Adelaide.

Knowing the company they were selling, I was confident we had the superior product. Unfortunately, when they said we weren’t competitive enough it wasn’t the quality of our product it was the level of our commission rate, the other company was paying 25% commission.

We were told if we wanted sales we’d have to increase our commission. We know customers were picking up our brochure and being sold another product purely on the basis of a higher commission. This is a very slippery slope!

This simply isn’t sustainable in the medium to long term, positive word of mouth from customers is imperative.  We can’t be diluting the quality of our customers experience simply to add a small income to the bottom line of huge hotel chains.

This is even more important in a market like Adelaide where we have to trade on the quality of the experience rather than a well-known iconic attraction.

Last year Taste the Barossa chose to stop paying any commission of any type to local hotels and instead have partnered with the Little Hero’s Foundation. We now donate 10% of all bookings made by hotel staff directly to The Little Hero’s Foundation. To date we have donated over $4,000 to this local South Australian Charity.

Stay tuned for our new Taste the Barossa initiative to raise much needed funds for the Little Hero’s Foundation. We are very excited. This is our way of pushing back

Source: Taste the Barossa

Comments please

3 thoughts on “Taste the Barossa is choosing to push back against greed in the tourism industry!”

  1. In answer to your question:

    “How can 20% commission (shared between the hotel and an online agent) possibly be justified simply for a phone call?”

    Rent – Bills – Wages – Tax (that have to be paid by both the hotel and an online operator).

    Yes 20% may sound like a lot to you, but with the cost of the tour you’re talking about, it’s less than 28 bucks. Any less than this simply wouldn’t be worth the time or effort of said hotel and online operator, a 50/50 split between these parties would mean a whopping $14 each.

    In a industry where sales staff are paid a commission on sales they make good luck not offering any.

    1. Andrew, we happily pay commission if it’s earned. If a hotel packages our tours up and pre sell them we will happily pay a commission. When a person picks a brochure up out of a rack we are being charged to be in and asks the concierge to make a phone call that’s not a commissionable service that’s just providing a service to a guest.

  2. “providing a service to a guest” – Someone has to pay for the hotel employee providing a service!

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