There is a post in the comment section which ought to tell folks that anyone who feels that going through those online sites is such a bargain is either smoking rope or has not searched around...or even worse...does not read the fine print:
'Did you know?? Unless, you are booking a reservation, at a FOUR star or higher hotel, you will usually find a better rate on the CHAIN website (e.g. booking a night at the Econolodge with Travelocity will be higher than with Econolodge.com after service charges are applied). Also, you are charged at the time of reservation with the GNOME and not till check-in/out with the hotel.'
Granted this is Travelocity, home of the Gnome who looks like something out of the Wizard of Oz with a face that only Gillette or Schick would salivate over. Now this begs the question as to why Econolodge's site does not get as much traffic as it really should? This may have to do with the sad reality that some firms have deep, deep pockets and even deeper throats, I mean relationships with the holding companies of many of the known hotel chains. With that said,why would for example Econolodge for example want to set up their site to compete the sites that seem to be omniplace in their advertisements?
The reason is this and it is rooted in the old-fashioned, American tradition of private enterprise. Most hotels in this chain are owned and operated under a franchise agreement with the main firm in question...that being in this case Wyndam Hotels. BUT...each owner has the opportunity to with each customer to offer something different, something unique. Not to mention even do things price-wise to make the customer feel as though they are the only one staying in the hotel in question [such as offer a rate lower than advertised]. Yeppers, yah sure, you betcha it is old school, quaint...even something for Charles Osgood to talk about on Sundays on CBS as being a part of the passing scene of Americana. However, there are still some businesses that see the customer as being not just right, they feel the need to provide the WOW factor.
If only the Gnome would roam to business school or on the road to look for America [with apologies to Paul Simon, Yes and Renaissance who have all recorded that lyric] and see how the world really does revolve.