“Hotel in Paris from … to …”: If you enter such a request in a search engine, you will get a list of the supposedly best accommodations. But travelers shouldn’t trust that.
Meta search engines are actually useful for travelers: The websites list offers from various booking portals, organizers and other providers. But the search for the best accommodation is still not that easy.
“The search results are not created by any of the search engines according to objective criteria,” is the conclusion of the magazine “Reise undpreise” (issue 4/2021), which six meta-searchers took a closer look at. Instead, it is sorted according to an in-house algorithm, according to a preset filter.
In the order of the results, portals and hotels that bring a lot of sales and commissions are preferred, it is said. The search engines made “no secret” of this.
An unsuspecting user might think that the list of the supposedly best hotels and accommodations is based on the reviews of other travelers. But that is usually not the case. Instead, for example, the offers are initially listed in a non-transparent manner according to “recommendation”, “price-performance ratio” or “relevance”.
Rearrange the list and use filters
The experts at “Reise undpreise” advise you to rearrange the first result list with one click – from “according to recommendation” or the like to “price ascending”.
After this step, it is advisable to use the various filters. In this way, holidaymakers can narrow down their search according to their own needs, for example according to the category and equipment of the accommodation. Useful options are also “pay on arrival” and “cancel free of charge”. The selection criterion “proximity to the city center” is informative for a city trip.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 211014-99-594180 / 2