The Falmouth District Hoteliers Association has launched a new on-line booking system which is aimed at cutting out the middle man.

The association has added the “free to book” system to its website which enables customers to book direct with hotels and guest houses, commission free.

The move to adopt the system, which went live earlier this month, comes at a time when hoteliers and guest house owners are becoming increasingly concerned with the dominance of larger online travel agencies.

Increasing commission fees have forced accommodation providers, particularly the smaller guest house owners, to cover their costs by increasing tariffs.

“The big online agents charge anything up to 17 per cent per night, forcing guest house owners to push up their own charges,” said Jayne Gray, secretary of FDHA.

“Giving visitors the option to book from our own site and by not charging commission fees will help to keep costs down, support local business and ultimately boosts the local economy.”

Formed in 1939, to promote local accommodation providers, the FDHA has steadily developed a strategy that supports both the guest and the accommodation provider.

Association chairman, Shaun Davie, said: “We have grown the site’s rankings with valuable information, simple navigation and created a genuine relationship with our social media followers.

He added: “It is these elements we believe our guests are looking for when looking toward online travel agents.”