The TripAdvisor-owned reservation software announced they are adding a booking fee to sales from operator websites.
Arival doesn’t typically report on every announcement from tech companies. But Bókun’s recent move to change their pricing model was notable since the company announced it was nearly eliminating its software fees when it was acquired by TripAdvisor last year.
Yesterday, Bókun sent a letter to their operator customers stating that starting October 1, 2019, direct bookings made through operator websites will incur a 2.9% service fee—up from what was an essentially free service (a fee of 0.1% per booking). Bookings made through digital distributors, such as Bókun’s parent company TripAdvisor, Expedia, Viator, Klook, GetYourGuide, and more will still be free for operators.
Operators don’t necessarily need to absorb this cost, says Bókun, who encourages operators to add the 2.9% as a service fee to travelers. “We will soon be offering the choice to incorporate a service fee into your customers’ total booking cost, which will make Bókun free for you to use,” says the letter. It’s important to note that Bókun’s 2.9% does not include the credit card processing fee, which generally runs between 2-4%, depending on business size.
It’s not exactly shocking that Bókun decided to raise prices. It’s not an uncommon tactic for software businesses to lower prices or make services available for free to grow market share, and then add fees later.
Stay tuned for updates.