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Merch Gymreig / Welsh Lady
You pose a good question as I've been offered the 'preferred partner program' for the privilege of having to pay an extra 3% commission. I think the 12% we pay is quite adequate - it is, after-all, in the interest of both Booking.com and their partners to maximise guest bookings.
Booking.com appears to have a very good business model and achieves one of the highest rate of guest bookings in Australia. The 'preferred partner program' is a bit of clever marketing - we do the extra exceptional work as hosts, attract good reviews, entice more guests and are then given the option for a 'thumbs-up' sign for an extra 3% commission - go figure :)