Are Guidebooks Doomed

Are Guidebooks Doomed
Hotel rooms and Maps, the two major selling points to paper guidebooks.

I want paper guidebooks; however, the tricky pricing schemes of hotel could put them out of business.

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Acapulco - 8 Miles North of the City
Pie de la Cuesta - Playa Luces
Laguna de Coyuca - Barra de Coyuca
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Andy of HoboTraveler.com ---
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I still get the best prices on plane tickets from Travel Agents and I still get the best prices for Hotel rooms in Guidebooks.

The prices of plane tickets are probably becoming more predictable and more stable because of the fierce internet competition with low cost carriers.

I own a large Hotel Web Site whereby the owner of hotel need to put in the lowest priced room in the Hotel as a guide or reference. When the site went up there was no way for the owners to edit this price, I did not see as a huge problem, why would an owner want to change his price more than once per year.

I was wrong, hotels want to change their prices often, and it would not surprise me if they want to change the price of rooms for each day of the week. Maybe weekend will be expensive, while the midweek prices will be cheaper, a constant instability for people wanting to rent rooms.

How would a paper guidebook publish prices, people who purchase guidebooks already complain about inaccuracy of pricing, now the hotels are changing their prices radically?

High Season
Low Season
Easter Weekend
Weekend
Midweek
Business is slow discount
Monthly Rates
Weekly Rates

I do not recommend hotels very often.
I do not tell the price of a specific hotel room often.

The reason is this, the Hotel owners cannot be trusted, if suddenly their hotel was full they would raise their prices and my recommendation would suffer the same fate as a guidebooks.

I DO NOT RECOMMEND EL PACIFIC INN
(Did you read that, now continue to read.)
I am in a Hotel presently called El Pacifico Inn on the beach of Pie de la Cuesta or Playa Luces about 8 miles north of Acapulco.

I am paying Raul 100 dollars per week, or 1000 pesos per week, when I came he had a sign on the front that said 200 pesos per day, a few days ago he changed it to 300 peso per day. This is Easter Weekend here in a Catholic country, the rooms are full.

I like Raul a Mexican who lived 20 years in the USA, a good guy; it is possible you could get a room here after Easter weekend for as low as 10 dollars per day if you paid weekly. The hotel across the street is getting 150 dollars per day this Easter weekend, and the Villa Bonita is getting 75 dollars per night.

I am in the neighbors hotels paying 17 dollars per day and my room is probably better inside, bigger and better location, second floor with two large windows that allows a great breeze, plus not full of groups of Mexican who came to party, drink beer, smoke cigarettes and play Mexican music all night at full volume with their three dogs, and two beer coolers. I am on the same beach and can walk to the party and go home if I wish, and not live in the party.

All the Hotels on this strip of beach will be almost 100 percent empty on Monday night after Easter weekend is over.

I will not recommend El Pacifico Inn, I will not recommend any Hotel on this beach, they are Human and they are Mexican. I cannot buy peanuts and get the same price in the same store two times in a row; they look at me, change the price and sell them. Mexicans are not to be trusted for prices, you must know the proper price before you purchase. This is difficult, how do I learn the proper price of peanuts, rooms, when 9 out 10 people cheat me?

What is the future of guidebooks, how can they put the price of a Hotel in their books when none are to be trusted. Tourist areas gouge, they are actively searching for fools who will pay too much, get reservation and give a credit card to pay.

The truth is the hotel owners are not to be trusted and either is the people living in rooms. I normally pay daily, if I find better deal, I change hotels. I do not lie, I am not tricky, I do not say I will take the room for a week and then pay daily. I negotiate the price; pay for my room and I live happily ever after.

A good hotel is full high season, low season, Tuesday, Monday, Easter and ever lousy day of the year. I do not think there are any good hotels on this beach called Pie de la Cuesta.

I am not sure how paper guidebooks can survive. The list of Hotels with the prices is why I buy a guidebook. I have some ideas and propositions on how this could work, however they better get hopping or the internet will become the standard before the guidebooks can adapt.

TRUE REAL ESTATE EXAMPLE
I was a Real Estate Agent, a sold sign needed to be put on a property immediately after sold. Then taken out of the Multiple Listing Service almost instantly. It had to happen, if a higher price offer came in after a signed contract was made, 95 percent of sellers would do about anything to break the legal binding contract, and they would call their lawyers trying to see how to break their handshake and signature.

Are Guidebooks Doomed

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