WEB upstart www.Ubid4rooms.com, which officially launches next week, aims to have 10% of Australia’s online hotel booking market within five years. Founder Gary Berman told Travel Trends he believes there is enormous potential for the auction site, the first of its kind Down Under, which allows consumers to bid on hotel rooms up to 14 days in advance. He said there’s no reserve rate – “it’s up to the hotel in question to either accept or reject the bid.”

Berman said the model has big advantages for hoteliers, who can use it as discretionary pricing channel because the system does not commit them to a posted rate. Ubid4rooms is charging 10% commission on bookings and has signed up 40 properties so far. “The reaction has been very positive and we’re about to start advertising through the consumer press,” Berman said. He has extensive hotel management experience and began developing the business more than 12 months ago.

Travel Trends: November 1, 2007

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