Travellers booking accommodation online for Tarbert, Harris, are being asked to take care that they are not booking hotels in Tarbert, Argyll.
Staff at the Tarbert VisitScotland office report that a number of tourists intending to stay in the Harris port have booked hotel accommodation in the town’s mainland namesake after making reservations online.
Carol at the Harris office said: “Some of the people are left devastated. They come in, tell us the name of the hotel and that it overlooks the harbour and ask how to get there – but the hotel they’ve booked is actually on Loch Fyne.
“People do intend to come here, but are booking it just not realising that it’s not in Harris,” she continued.
“We try to find them something suitable here, do our best to get people relocated. We let the provider know there’s been a mistake and also let the other hotel know; but sometimes people aren’t able to get their money back."
Taking a quick look at a variety of online booking websites and the confusion is clear. Put ‘Tarbert’ into Google search engine, it’s a scroll down to entry No.8 before Harris is mentioned.
Booking site Laterooms.com will take visitors to Loch Fyne when searching for Tarbert, but will bring up Hotel Hebrides if the search is refined to ‘Tarbert, Harris’.
Gosur.com will also take searches to hotels in the Loch Fyne area – even if the search is refined to include Harris; and Lastminute.com also goes direct to Loch Fyne accommodation – and adding Harris ends up in the search timing out.
Booking.com manages slightly better, giving different options of Tarberts – however, even then it’s not quite right as to book island accommodation, visitors must select ‘Tarbert, Isle of Lewis’.
“It’s nobody’s fault but people do have to be careful when booking online,” added Carol.