Official blog

Booking dot com best alternatives for hotels

Alternatives to Booking.com for hotels and other accommodation? Our recommendations country by country


Dear WuBookers,

that Booking.com is a very powerful online display and sales tool is beyond doubt and, as such, it certainly deserves the prominent position it has assumed globally. However, it is not the only one and today there are numerous alternatives that are equally valid and appreciated by travelers and hoteliers. In this article we have collected the main ones.

Booking.com’s competitors and where to find them  

As the saying goes, “So many countries, so many customs”, but we could also mispronounce it as “So many countries, so many OTAs“. Yes, because there are so many online travel agencies and although many have an international presence, not all markets show the same preferences. 

Here are the ones that, in our experience, are most recurrent:   

  • Latin America: Airbnb, Expedia;
  • France: Vrbo;
  • Georgia: Expedia;
  • Greece: Airbnb, Expedia, SunHotels, HotelBeds;
  • Italy: Expedia and Airbnb; 
  • Poland: Expedia;
  • Spain: HostelWorld Group, CasasRurales.net, HotelBeds, Expedia;
  • Ukraine: Expedia.

But how to make the right choice? Much depends on the sales strategy of each entity, but knowing a few aspects in detail can help you get an idea and steer your exploration in one direction or another.

Sites similar to Booking.com: an overview  

In order to understand what the aforementioned OTAs are and how they work, we have listed them below in alphabetical order, summarizing for each one the key aspects of their positioning, including (when accessible) the economic conditions provided for hoteliers and property managers.   


Like Booking.com, Airbnb needs no introduction and, as host or guest, is now known by all. This platform, which was born and known mainly for hospitality in home environments, has recently opened up to hotel structures as well. Provided, however, that they meet certain standards, not only legal but also structural, such as: ‘accessibility features useful for guests with reduced mobility; lively common spaces where people can meet or organize events; guest rooms furnished with personal touches and unique and/or typically local design elements’. 

Not only hotels: Airbnb remains a valid and solid alternative also for those who manage holiday homes and flats, with similar conditions for all types of accommodation. 


Commission costs apply to all properties and range from around 3% to 15% depending on the formula chosen by the host. 

The host also has the advantage of the portal’s insurance cover (AirCover), which protects him or her in the event of damage to the property and any loss of income related to repairs.


Casasrurales.net is an online platform specializing in the promotion and booking of rural accommodation in Spain. Founded in 1999, it is one of the main platforms in the Spanish rural tourism sector. 

Its mission is to connect rural homeowners with travelers seeking authentic experiences immersed in nature.

Founded on a commission-based business model, the platform offers advertisers a dedicated space to publish and manage their properties, enabling them to reach a global audience of potential customers interested in rural tourism. 

Users can explore a wide range of accommodation options, filtering by geographical location, services offered and previous guest reviews. 

Casasrurales.net acts as a reliable intermediary, facilitating the booking process and providing a safe and transparent environment for owners and guests.

The platform is committed to providing high-quality customer service, ensuring a hassle-free experience for both owners and guests. 

It also actively promotes sustainable and responsible tourism, encouraging the conservation of the natural environment and the enhancement of local communities.


Thanks to its long experience in the sector and its extensive network of rural accommodation, Casasrurales.net has become a reliable and popular resource for those wishing to enjoy an authentic experience in the heart of rural Spain.


A true colossus of the sector with more than 430,000 hotels ‘bookable worldwide, including luxury hotels and major chains’, Expedia is one of the main brands of the Expedia Group, which also includes Hotels.com, Vrbo, Travelocity, Orbitz and many others. By subscribing to the portal, it is also possible to appear on other platforms at the same time, thus increasing one’s potential audience.

Commission costs vary from country to country and are indicated during the registration process as a partner establishment. 

The payment system is rather streamlined. There are in fact two options offered by Expedia: the first involves the use of a virtual credit card issued by Expedia Group to which the hotelier can charge the amount due for the booking received, without the need to issue an invoice. 

Alternatively, it is possible to have guests pay directly at check-out and pay the service fee to Expedia Group. 


This OTA also offers numerous internal analysis and revenue management tools, as well as traveler loyalty programmes to gain additional visibility.

Hostelworld Group

Hostelworld Group boasts 55 million visits to the portal and almost 5 million overnight stays sold per year, with a total of 180 countries covered. Founded in 1999, this OTA specializes mainly in the hostel segment and has recently introduced measures to assess the environmental sustainability of its member establishments, in line with the overall philosophy of the project. 


The registration process involves an initial check by the agency’s team (which ascertains the presence of all legal requirements) and the subsequent publication of the listing. Listing a property on Hostelworld is free of charge, but there is a commission fee of 15% of the total booking price for each booking made through the platform. The collection procedure is really smooth: when guests book, they pay a deposit confirming their reservation. This deposit corresponds to the commission and is received in advance, excluding the need for any reconciliation in case of a no-show. Guests then pay the balance directly to the hotel. 


On the other hand, Hotelbeds specializes in hotels and accommodation of all kinds, including hostels, flats, aparthotels, resorts, traditional hotels, villas and B&Bs, to name but a few. It is a slightly different portal from those seen so far, since it is aimed exclusively at a B2B (business to business) audience. With an extensive distribution among more than 71,000 travel agencies, tour operators and airlines, Hotelbeds promises bookings made well in advance, longer stays and lower cancellation rates than B2C (business to consumer) customers. 

It also offers monitoring and marketing tools that are always accessible and easy to use. 


Registration is required to find out about costs and access, but the premises – and the brands it boasts – are a good business card to start looking into. 


As previously mentioned, Vrbo is part of the Expedia Group’s marketplace. Formerly known as HomeAway, this OTA specializes in holiday homes. The main target audience is families and the host can either accept instant bookings or rate guests in advance – i.e. before accepting a booking (a measure similar to what happens on Airbnb) – through parameters such as cleanliness, communication and compliance with the accommodation’s rules in the reviews received. 


The host’s reviews, on the other hand, are among the criteria for positioning the listing on the platform and influence its visibility along with the accuracy of the availability calendar, the owner’s response time, the frequency of bookings, the consistency of rates and participation in the Boost program (which involves an additional payment) promoted by the OTA. 

There are two options for registering a property: the Vrbo Flexi model, which only requires payment for accepted bookings, or the annual subscription. The latter is one of the internal ranking factors. 

Sunhotels (WebBeds)

Founded in 2002 to help Scandinavian travel agents find accommodation in European beach destinations, Sunhotels was acquired in 2014 by WebBeds, a distributor specializing in the sale of accommodation to agencies and tour operators. The portal therefore follows the logic of its parent company, which has an audience of over 44,000 properties in 139 countries, with an average booking rate of one every six seconds (figures for the first half of 2023). 


The partnership with the portal is not exclusive and, indeed, WebBeds encourages hotels to complement their promotion strategy with direct sales channels, such as OTAs and metasearchers. Here again, access conditions and prices are only visible after registration. 

Google Hotel

This is a tease, we know that Google Hotel is not an OTA but a metasearch. One of the most powerful and promising, globally spread ones. Like the other metasearchers, Google collects information about prices and accommodation and compares them with those in the various channels, including the direct channel, i.e. the property’s website. So why talk about it here? Because, in a way, the best alternative to Booking.com is not necessarily another OTA, but the institutional website, especially if integrated with the booking system. Unlike online travel agencies, in fact, direct bookings are free of intermediation costs and thus represent an important source of revenue, worth exploring and exploiting. 

Google Hotel

Optimizing channel management and direct bookings with WuBook

If our quick overview has convinced you to better explore alternatives to Booking.com, however, know that there are two other aspects to consider: channel management and the ability to receive direct bookings.

Let’s look at them in detail. 

The Channel Manager for managing OTA

WuBook’s Channel Manager allows you to manage availability, rates and restrictions of your sales channels from one place, quickly and easily. 

Connecting to OTAs and metasearchers, this software synchronizes in real time information entered by you (such as room closures or changes to sales conditions) or received from the portals themselves (such as reservations and cancellations) by transmitting it to your entire network of active channels. So you no longer have to worry about possible errors and inconsistencies, or finding yourself with more rooms sold than actually available. Not only that, through the tool you will also be able to set differentiated rates between one channel and another, to maximize returns depending on performance. 

An essential solution that can be perfectly integrated with more than 100 OTAs, including all those mentioned so far!

Booking Engine as an alternative to OTAs

More independence from online agencies and direct earnings: WuBook’s Booking Engine turns the property’s website into a machine for receiving and managing bookings, with no commission fees or additional operations. 

Not only that, the customer communication process is also streamlined and immediate: you do everything from a single interface, without the need to access different extranets each time. 

What’s more, you can customize your business strategy with ad hoc offers reserved for your website’s customers, with discount codes and dedicated promotions, even changing the appearance of your quotes to make them more in line with your identity. 

The same room – or lodging or apartment – can also be subject to different occupations and rates, each with its own treatment and cancellation rule, all easily consulted by your potential customers. 

In short, Booking Engine allows you to do what you would do in the various platforms, and more, but without intermediary costs, only on your terms.  

A nice alternative to OTAs, don’t you think?

About WuBook:

We help customers to have easy access to the best technologies in the tourism industry to grow their business.
PMS – CHANNEL MANAGER – BOOKING ENGINE for Hotel, B&B, Hostels and Vacation rentals.
Find out more.