Oyster Hotel Reviews is reaching out to travel agents, labeling itself as an alternative to Expedia, Orbitz and other online travel agencies (OTAs), to call attention to the company's comprehensive of list professional reviews of the properties. With more than 600 world hotels reviewed and 200,000 pictures, the company says travel agents can benefit from a website that doesn't build business relationships with the hotels it reviews but instead offers an impartial critique with un-doctored photos.
"Travel agents rely on repeat customers; providing clients with all of the information they need up front ensures travelers aren't unpleasantly surprised when they reach their destination," said Elie Seidman, co-founder and CEO of Oyster Hotel Reviews. "Travel agents no longer have to sift through pages and pages of online marketing materials. Instead, they can get straight to the crux of each and every hotel, based on content from a professional staff with no agenda beyond reporting accurate, useful information."
Citing Expedia, Orbitz and similar travel sites as good marketing and sales platforms for hotels but unreliable resources for travel agents, Oyster also claims its reviews on the site are more reliable than travel guides like Fodor's— which Oyster says often leverage their status to book for free, giving hotels the opportunity to prepare for the visit.
Site editors award select hotels in a broad range of categories and create "best of" lists that can give helpful suggestions for travel agents looking to book romantic getaways, budget-friendly family vacations, spring break hotspots, and more specialized trips for clients. Agents can filter search results by price, location and amenities such as a kids' club, poolside cabanas, a swim-up bar, and over 50 other verified features. In addition, Oyster.com offers GPS-coded data on all its hotels, including those in the Caribbean that don't have street addresses. Using the GPS data, agents can see exactly where a hotel is located on a map, how far it is from the airport, golf courses, beaches, local attractions, or any other points of interest.
Currently, Oyster.com provides objective, comprehensive reviews and over 200,000 photos taken by Oyster reporters for hotels in Las Vegas, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Miami, Hawaii, Jamaica, Aruba, the Dominican Republic, the U.S. Virgin Islands hotels and the Bahamas.
Oyster Hotel Reviews does not accept compensation or incentives from hotels, and pays for all travel expenses. Hotels cannot pay to be reviewed nor can they influence the reviews in any way. The site aggregates hotel prices from leading travel sites and provides several booking options for each hotel.