Fair Booking Businesses

What is this Fair Booking Cornwall initiative all about?

The Fair Booking Cornwall initiative has been designed to improve your profitability through a concerted national campaign that encourages, stimulates and rewards our visitors to book their accommodation direct with you. 

This campaign is in response to the growing impact of Online Travel Agents (OTAs). The focus is on rebalancing the relationship and roles between customers, OTAs and accommodation providers, so that OTAs continue to generate valuable new business for you, whilst loyal/repeat customers book direct with you.

With OTA commission rates being between 15% and 20%+, this impacts considerably on your profitability and has a knock on effect on the local economy.

Why should I get involved?

If your bottom line has suffered as a result of the trend for customers to use OTAs then Visit Cornwall's Fair Booking Cornwall initiative is for you.

We recognise OTAs have an important role in generating new bookings for you, but equally some of your regular customers who would have traditionally booked direct are now using OTAs. 

This initiative is about encouraging existing and loyal customers to Cornwall to book direct with you, their chosen accommodation provider.

What will it cost my business?

There is no additional charge. As you are already a Visit Cornwall member this will be a core benefit to you.  

With regard to delivering on the terms and conditions, there will be some additional cost in adding benefits for direct bookers as a reward for their custom. Perhaps a welcome pack, or an upgrade or a welcome drink, free afternoon tea, etc. However, the savings you will make by not paying large commissions will more than outweigh this.

You are also encouraged to nominate a charity and donate a minimum amount, per booking, per night/week. We know that this can give you a competitive edge as most customers like to feel good and give something back to the local community, look at the success of Fairtrade! 

There is also an opportunity to develop great partnerships in the community which will benefit your marketing by generating feel good stories, great content for websites, newsletters and social media and also motivate your staff. We all like to feel good, and together we can make a difference to our Cornish good causes.

What will I have to do?

Read further information here:

How will my customers become aware of the Fair Booking Cornwall initiative?

They will learn about the scheme in three ways –

  • Visit Cornwall is working with the other two co-founder members in Cumbria and the New Forest and will undertake a media campaign with travel and consumer journalists. The objective is to target ethical and savvy customers who understand that smart and responsible shoppers book direct. Simon Calder, the high profile travel correspondent, is supporting the Fair Booking Cornwall initiative. 
  • Visit Cornwall will be using its website, www.visitcornwall.com, which has over 3 million visitors a year, together with all its social media channels and email database to promote fair and direct booking. Every member who participates in the initiative will have the Fair Booking logo added to their entry on the Visit Cornwall website and the site will be modified to create the option for customers to use a Fair Booking filter to shortlist participating establishments. The Fair Booking Cornwall initiative will also be included in printed guides produced by Visit Cornwall. 
  • Finally, you can play your part by promoting direct booking to your guests using the promotional materials and customisable templates provided by Visit Cornwall. 

Why do I have to pledge to a good cause to be part of this initiative?

The Fair Booking Cornwall initiative is part of a growing national movement based on being fairer to businesses, but also as an ethical campaign that benefits the local area/community.

We believe that the vast majority of customers care about Cornwall as we have over 80% repeat custom. Equally we are all aware of the challenges in maintaining and improving the visitor experience and overall quality of Cornwall.

The three benefits are:-

1. It significantly increases the attractiveness of booking direct for our guests, as they are getting a better deal, but most of us like to think we are also doing good;

2. There are many causes that need support for the benefit of yourselves, your guests and the local community;

3. It will help to improve the relationship and reputation of tourism with those who feel they do not directly benefit.

How do I choose a good cause and how much should I donate?

Visit Cornwall does not want to dictate where your donations go however, we do want them to go to the general benefit of Cornwall. We have a list on www.visitcornwall.com/fairbooking.

If however you have a good cause that you wish to donate to, that is not already on the Visit Cornwall approved list, we are open to more suggestions.

Once you have chosen your good cause, Visit Cornwall will inform the organisation and they may well be in touch to provide additional recognition for your support. 

To be part of this initiative it is a requirement that for each Fair Booking stay, a minimum donation of 50p per room per night is made for guest accommodation and hotels and £5 per unit for self-catering.

How do I make my donations?

You make the donations direct to your chosen good cause. We would suggest that you donate on a quarterly basis, but we will leave it to you to make the final decision on what works best for you and your selected good cause.

Any queries?

Contact the Visit Cornwall team on [01872] 322905 or email: industry@visitcornwall.com 

How do I sign up?

Please complete the Visit Cornwall Fair Booking Cornwall Agreement (on the back of this document) and return to industry@visitcornwall.com, or print off a copy and post to the Visit Cornwall office. 

Visit Cornwall, Lakeview Country Club, Old Coach Road, Lanivet, nr Bodmin, Cornwall PL30 5JJ