What Is a Hotel Booking Affiliate Program?

A hotel affiliate program is a revenue-sharing program between a hotel booking agency and third-party websites.

There are internet websites out there called “online hotel finders“, whose business model it is to locate affordable hotel rooms for customers. The customer pays the “online hotel finder”, also known as a “hotel booking agency”, to find cheap hotel rooms. Alternately, high-priced customers who don’t want the trouble of finding their own hotel accommodations pay the hotel room finder to do the task for them.

In either case, the hotel booking agency takes fee to find hotel rooms for customers. This is presumably worth the fee, because this hotel booking agency can reserve hotel rooms at a bulk rate, then book these rooms for customers under the price the customer would normally pay for the same room, while still making a profit. An example would be Lodging.com, while Hotels.com is an even more famous example.

Hotel Affiliate Business Model


To make their “bulk rate hotel room reservations” business plan work, these companies need to consistently drive customers to their site. One of the best ways to drive traffic to their online hotel finder website is to follow a “hotel affiliate business model”. This creates a network of affiliate sites, numbering into the thousands, whose goal it is to drive customers to one of these big hotel booking agencies.

A “hotel booking affiliate” is simply a website owned and operated by a third-party, generally a regular person like you and me, who builds a website with information about hotel rooms or the hotel industry. People looking to book hotel rooms for a trip or vacation comes across this site while looking for good deals. They decide to book a room and see an ad for a “hotel booking agency” on that website.

Hotel Affiliate Commissions

This affiliate website has a link to any particular hotel booking agency. If a customer follow a link to a hotel booking agency, there is code in the link that tells the hotel booking agency which affiliate sent that customer to them. If that customer in turn books a hotel room through that hotel booking agency, then the affiliate gets credit for that customer. In effect, a hotel affiliate gets a “finders fee” or commission for sending customers to a hotel booking agency.

Hotel Booking Affiliate Program

When you ask “what is a hotel booking affiliate program”, it’s is the sum total of all the affiliate websites which are associated with a particular hotel booking agency. Each affiliate program has different rates it pays for driving customers to their website. They might pay a higher rate, if one affiliate sends a certain number of customers to them in a month’s time. A hotel booking agency will have a “hotel affiliate program manager” or a series of managers. These people correspond with the affiliates, seeing to their cares, concerns and questions. Ultimately, they see the affiliates are paid.

Most hotel booking agency websites will have a link on the homepage that says “Affiliates” or “Affiliate Program”. If you want to become a hotel booking affiliate program member, you follow this link and put your information into their database. Essentially, you submit a website you own for permission to become an affiliate. The hotel booking agency will review your website to see if it has potential to drive customers, then gives you the code you need to make money as an affiliate. Some programs are easier than others to join, while there are sites and services out, like “Commission Junction”, which specialize in joining affiliates with productive affiliate programs.

Ultimate, the hotel booking affiliate program is a cheap and easy way for a hotel booking agency to drive customers to their website. They pay a finders fee or commission on customers sent by affiliates, while the affiliates do all the work.

See also:

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