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Wednesday, December 7th 2016

"I'm a travel junkie who's hooked on deals from YYZ." - Chris Myden



2014
14
January
Where all inclusive prices come from, and why Canadians waste a lot of time searching

Around this time of year when the temperature drops I often see people asking a similar question, 'What website(s) should I visit to get a good deal on an all inclusive package?'.

And with good intentions, I will often see people reply with something along the lines of 'Check out X site, Y site, and Z site. Those are the best!'

But here's the thing. X site, Y site, and Z site will have identical all inclusive package prices. In fact, every Canadian based travel site has identical all inclusive prices.

Why?

Well, this might be easiest to explain with a picture, which should theoretically save me a thousand words.

Here is a diagram that shows where all inclusive package prices come from in Canada, and how they make their way to the consumer...

Where all inclusive package prices come from in Canada

How time is wasted

The mistake people most often make is thinking that 'The Websites' have control over the prices. They do not. It is the '6 Suppliers' who dictate the prices. 'The Websites' cannot and do not compete against each other on price.

For that reason, the all inclusive package prices displayed on each of 'The Websites' are identical to each other (unless a site is a little behind on getting the latest price updates from 'The Central Hub').

And since The Websites are all displaying identical prices, people often waste a lot of time searching multiple websites.

Adding to the confusion for Canadian consumers is the fact that The Websites all dearly want you to search for and book your next all inclusive vacation through them, to earn a commission from one of the 6 Suppliers.

Their marketing goal is to try and convince you that you will get the best deal exclusively through their website, which is clearly at odds with the technical fact that they are displaying the same prices from the same 6 Suppliers as every other site.

Hopefully this helps a bit in explaining where all inclusive prices come from. I've tried to keep it simple and focus on just the Canadian Tour Operators as the suppliers. There are technically other sources of package prices, such as when sites automatically combine flights from the major airlines with all inclusive hotel rates, but for the most part, when Canadians book an all inclusive package it's from one of these 6 Canadian Tour Operators.

And you may have noticed that I have my own all inclusive package search tool right here on YYZ Deals, called the Ultimate All Inclusive Deal Finder.

Just like the other websites out there, it's using the same price data, although I have tried to do some interesting things with the data, such as merging it with other large data sets, like TripAdvisor review data, to help analyze the millions of prices and figure out which specific deals are an extraordinary value at the moment (see 'Value Scores' after searching).

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12 Responses to "Where all inclusive prices come from, and why Canadians waste a lot of time searching"


    Has RG been here?
       RG on January 15th, 2014

    Omggg I was just about to do exactly that... scour every website and make a spraedsheet comparing weekend getaways to the caribbean. Thanks for the insights!

    Has akemi been here?
       akemi on January 16th, 2014

    You mentioned that the websites get a commission from one of the big 6. Is it unheard of for them them discount the price by slashing their commission? Or offering cash back or some other incentive? Or sometimes you can get a referral kickback from a linker such as gcr or ebates. Though the dollar value of these possible incentives may not justify the trouble to find them...

    Has Chris_Myden been here?
       Chris_Myden on January 16th, 2014

    I think sometimes you do see small incentives like that where an agency has cut their own commission. The trouble is, the commissions are pretty small to begin with, so there isn't a lot of wiggle room.

    Has John been here?
       John on January 17th, 2014

    I would still take a peek at a couple of those websites. There are smaller suppliers that are only covered on certain websites. For example itravel doesn't show packages from Holasun (they offer a lot of great Cuba packages) but redtag does. Same goes for
    TMR Holidays.

    btw it would be nice if yyz deals had those suppliers as well :).

    Has Chris_Myden been here?
       Chris_Myden on January 20th, 2014

    Thanks John, I agree, and am working on it!

    Has pk been here?
       pk on January 21st, 2014

    What about sandals resorts? are the considered a supplier?

    Has pk been here?
       pk on January 21st, 2014

    What about sandals resorts? are the considered a supplier?

    Has Errol been here?
       Errol on January 21st, 2014

    Hi
    I was on a site and saw a 5 night stay at a hotel in Nassau, a crazy price of $780 (flight and hotel) - could not find it on another site.

    When I went back (1/2 hour later), the price was up to ~ $960.

    Why would prices change that fast? Seems like they were the only one to offer it that low, I mean $200 is $600 savings over 3 people.

    Thanks

    Has Tania been here?
       Tania on January 23rd, 2014

    I think you should mention 'waste of time' also includes your site.

    Your search results bring up packages, the intelligent engine is searching 2.7 million packages, etc, then when one clicks "BOOK", a nice message appears saying " There are no packages available".

    The first search just showed the package was available!

    Sorry, but if you're going to know other websites as a waste of time, throwing stones glass houses........

    Has mark been here?
       mark on January 23rd, 2014

    I didn't use the booking and always thought this site's value was the declaration of deals.
    Then you click through to see if you were in time to snag the deal. Maybe his booking engine is broken but the whole point is all booking engines are pulling from the same sources so if his is broken and other people's are broken then guess what? The source is probably the operative variable that is in fact broken.

    At least this site has a main purpose and isn't JUST a booking engine.

    Has Tania been here?
       Tania on January 24th, 2014

    I think Chris Myden wants you to book through this site, not just find deals then go somewhere else.

    That being said I have a found a deal on here that was the lowest compared to itrave2000, and also vice-versa.

    While the article's premise is don't comparison shop, for me anyway, you can find a better deal at different sites.

    In fact, one trip I called the travel site (can't remember who it was) and negotiated a better deal down saying I can get a better deal elsewhere, do you want it? it just takes some effort.

    Has m been here?
       m on January 27th, 2014

    This might true to some degree, however at any moment in time different sites sell different deals at different times and sometimes you can find deals on one site which are not available on the other, for example this site doesn't give me any packages for trips south on Fraday, Feb 14, it only offers deals for different dates, and yet a small sites I typically use give me at least 5, 6 packages for chosen dates. How do you explain that?

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