Customers who book direct with some hotel booking sites for overseas holidays are being misled by ‘indicative exchange rates’, Aito has warned.
The specialist operators’ association has reported that customers face higher-than-anticipated prices quoted by some accommodation booking sites, and has urged people to book with a UK tour operator to pay in sterling.
Aito’s chairman Derek Moore has told consumers that opting for a UK tour operator will mean they will “know precisely what price you’ll be paying, and it’s quite likely to be cheaper than the price you would have paid locally, direct to the hotel – absolutely the opposite of what many believe to be the case”.
“Such websites quote ‘indicative exchange rates’ to give customers a ball-park price as to what they will pay the hotel when they are at their destination,” he explained.
“These indicative exchange rates are quoted in the sterling equivalent of the local currency and seem, on the face of it, to be a useful guideline.
“However, such rates tend to err on the positive side – and the rate that your credit card company is likely to charge you could be very different, and certainly not in your favour.
“You’ll then also be faced with the credit card company’s charge for converting currency – a double hit which will, typically, add 3% to 4% to your bill. This can be further aggravated by a change in the exchange rate between the time of booking and when checking out of your accommodation.”
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