Following a call from Blaze Aid seeking accommodation for farmers who need a short break to get away from their drought-stricken properties, Charles Ikstrums, Chairman of the Budget Motel Chain, called on members for assistance.
The response was nothing short of fantastic, with over 100 room nights donated, along with the offer of meals, fuel, activities and tours they can enjoy during their stay.
“I am so proud of the Budget family”, he said. “Most of our members come from rural Victoria, NSW, SA and Qld, and it is these areas that are most affected by the drought. The drought affects not only the farmers, but the entire community, so our members are also doing it tough, but can still find it in their hearts to help others.”
Charles Ikstrums is now calling on Online Travel Agents (OTAs) – arguably the largest beneficiary of motel booking revenue in regional Australia – to match the generosity of Budget Motel Chain members and demonstrate their social conscience in a tangible way.
“The OTAs, conservatively, receive tens of millions of dollars annually from commissions and fees charged to motels and accommodation providers in rural Australia (these commissions can vary anywhere from 15% to 50% of the room cost), the majority of which goes straight overseas,” commented Charles.
“It’s time for OTAs to give something back to the communities that support their businesses,” he continued. “If a motelier from a small rural town can help, then surely the giants of the industry can do the same and show they care by giving back to rural Australia.”
With Budget having laid down the gauntlet, the Australian accommodation industry is watching with great interest to see how OTAs respond to the drought challenge.