The announcement by the Competition and Markets Authority of enforcement action on online booking companies will provide greater transparency for customers, says UKHospitality.
Making search result ranking criteria clearer, reducing pressure selling tactics, ensuring that only applicable discounts are displayed, and revealing hitherto hidden charges were among the recommendations.
UKHospitality has also urged the Government to act on unfair parity clauses which penalise hotels.
Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality, said, “Action to provide transparency, clarity and fairness around online booking platforms will provide a fairer playing field, which can only be a good thing. Customers booking online have for too long been unwittingly misinformed and they deserve better.
“The CMA’s recommendations will simultaneously add a level of protection for accommodation businesses who have too often lost out via unfair practices.
“UKHospitality has worked hard with partners and our members to secure today’s announcement. We hope that the voluntary commitment from online booking companies is honoured, otherwise the CMA’s review has shown that this is an issue that may warrant legislation.'
Nicholls concluded, “It is a welcome step to increase transparency in the realm of online platforms at a UK level. We now need action to address unfair parity clauses to ensure there is fairness and transparency for both customers and businesses.”