What is the best way to get data for a metasearch hotel site?
Hi, I've learned so much reading your articles, thank you!
I want to make a metasearch site for hotels, like Tripadvisor or Trivago. What is the best way to get that data?
All of the API's I'm finding are intended for Hotels to send data, not for people to request data. Are there API's for each OTA and also for each direct booking site?
Is there anyone who aggregates all of that data and provides it via API? That would certainly make things much easier...
Is it possible to get 'logged in' rates for places like hotels.com? They have 'Secret Prices' that you have to be logged in to see. I'd like to have this data if possible but I can't find a way to get it via API.
Concerning the first part of a question:
It’s a rule of thumb that in travel no data can be accessed for free. In most cases, you’ll need to contact either a booking platform, or a metasearch to access travel data API, if there is one.
Which is currently a big question: few platforms offer such APIs.
For example, Scyscanner has an API for sourcing pricing data dynamically. Scyscanner states that the API includes flight, hotel, and car rental data. So you may request the access by contacting them.
There is also an unofficial API on KAYAK that also offers hotel information.
So, to wrap it up, the best way is probably reaching out to other meta searches/hotel websites, to gain access to their APIs, source rates, and probably get the deeplinks.
A less recommended way is web scraping. You can monitor web pages to receive pricing and other information on booking using crawler programs. However, this isn’t reliable, as prices won’t be updated dynamically. Moreover, the use of a crawler may cause legal issues, as travel content providers forbid the use of such programs.
As for the second part of the question. The secret prices, or “Private Rates” are usually visible for authorized partners of a given hotel. These rates are shipped via a paid subscription or membership in the private rate group.
So for entering such a group, there is no other way then contacting the provider directly.
But, pay attention that private rates are not allowed to be publicly exposed. So for the metasearch business model, it’s probably not possible to use them. They are primarily intended for bed banks and other types of distributors.