We are having a few days off and we find it incredibly frustrating to have to battle through the OTA’s that dominate the web searches to be able to contact our preferred place to stay.

We often don’t know where we want to stay until lunch time or even mid afternoon, and to find accommodation then is a real chore. All I want is a phone number when I search for accommodation at that hour of the day, (or if prior to when we travel, a website with a email address and a contact phone number.) But, NO, not so easy as OTA’s dominate the search engines.

Now many might say, “What’s wrong with that?” –

I still persevere as we love to find unique places to stay and we like to be spontaneous when it’s mid week and we are just roaming. 

I’ll tell you Barcoos story and why we refuse to use on-line booking agents and their affiliates.

Barcoos has been targeted for 3 years now with one agency refusing to stop listing Barcoos despite many requests from us. They persist to the extent that over the last month they are paying for Google ads using Barcoos, plus Farmstay Bathurst as their bait to get potential guests to click on their site, only to be given the message that there are no dates available at Barcoos…..not ever!!

“BUT, don’t worry, you can find accommodation somewhere else in town”. This is obviously not true, is misleading and is a misrepresentation of Barcoos.

What to do??? Copy and paste the name of the property you are looking for and put it in your search bar. Hopefully the property will have a website and a Google listing, (it appears generally on the right hand side of the page),-  so now you have a phone number, and email address to contact them direct. BUT, sometimes not, so scroll down until you come to a website hosted by the town, district or state web page that comes up, you will mostly find a phone number here for your selected accommodation. If they have a mobile number use it to send a sms also.(Small accommodation providers have lots more to do than sit at the computer all day).

There are also other valuable and honest websites that host speciality accommodation providers. Ones that Barcoos Farmstays Bathurst are listed with provide a link to the website, email and phone numbers. eg; www.farmstaycampingaustralia.com.au; www.familyfriendlyaccommodation.com.au; www.bbfaccommodation.com.au/property www.australianbedandbreakfast.com.au

and a few select others. AVOID the ones that are looking for you to “book now” unless it is on the properties own website.

I also have to comment on the value of using a registered travel agent. A couple of years back I became unwell just prior to a overseas trip.(the day before). For the first time in many years I had organised the trip through a locally owned travel agent. What a blessing that turned out to be! – They did all the legwork in claiming for reimbursement on airline tickets to Europe, maybe I was just lucky but I’ll never book another “big” trip unless I use a local travel agent that I can trust.