In 2005, Yury Shar, Brendon McQueen and Michael Doubinski (all three formerly worked for HotelClub) partnered to create a hotel comparison site where users could access the best rates from a variety of top travel sites all in the same place.
Today, HotelsCombined has nearly 200 employees and 17 million users monthly. The site is available in more than 220 countries and in 39 different languages.
In 2010, HotelsCombined won TRAVELtech “Website of the Year and was named a finalist in the Telstra 2010 Business Awards. In the same year, it was awarded ninth place in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific Ranking, was named “Website of the Week” by the Daily Mail, and was declared one of the top 10 travel websites by guidebook author Arthur Frommer (of Frommers.com). In 2011, HotelsCombined was once more named one of the top 10 ranking Australian businesses in Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 Program. Also in 2011, the UK’s The Independent named HotelsCombined one of the best money-saving websites while Pauline Frommer named it a “terrific resource”.
On 30 November 2013, at the World Travel Awards in the La Cigale Hotel in Doha, Qatar, HotelsCombined won the “World’s Leading Hotel Comparison Website 2013.
All these achievements are not possible without a smart affiliate program which is a backbone of every online travel site. Story is little-bit different when it comes to HotelsCombined. Yes, they do have a very smart affiliate program in place and thousands of affiliates are working hard day and night to send them major chunk of the traffic they receive. Now comes the most important part, the payment part. No, you won’t get paid for the efforts you’ve made to send them traffic. They will simply ‘suspend’ the affiliate accounts when they are about to reach their payment threshold of USD100. You won’t be able to login again. Over to new affiliate, world is full of idiots and many will still signup for their affiliate account.
We never ever had such kind of company robbing a large community of affiliates off their affiliate payment since last 9 years and still not a single word from the travel industry. Not even a review of their ‘fraudulent’ affiliate program which clearly says that it is ‘pay per lead’ program but its not. If you are looking for a long term Pay per Lead relationship with the Affiliate Program Hotels Combined has to offer, they are not the ones to go with unless you truly have thousands of targeted visitors because we all know travel sales is a numbers game. You have to actually have the numbers in order to get the bookings and at the end of the day Hotels Combined only wants to pay you for leads IF those leads turn into actual bookings. So, disappointingly, this is not the Pay per Lead program so many think it is and that they advertise for you to “think” you are signing up with.
World wide web is full of stories narrating how HotelsCombined affiliate program robbed them and the list is never ending.
Every travel company needs conversion to survive but Pay per Lead is Pay per Lead and Pay for Bookings is simply… Pay for Bookings. HotelsCombined knows very well that affiliates are drawn to their Affiliate Program thinking it’s Pay per Lead. The affiliates that are scammed into it can actually advertise for the company for a few months. When they realize they will not get paid for every lead brought to the table the affiliates will naturally quit or will be suspended as in many cases.
Wonder what happens to all those leads, leads that may even come back to book within that 365 cookie? Well, you guessed it. A percentage of those leads will definitely come back because they now know Hotels Combined exists yet Hotels Combined won’t have to pay for the advertising because the affiliate that created that lead/booking is gone forever.