OTA market investigation welcomed by British Hospitality Association

OTA market investigation welcomed by British Hospitality Association

The Competition and Markets Authority’s decision to re-open a project investigating the practices of Online Travel Agencies has been welcomed by the British Hospitality Association

The CMA last week sent questionnaires to a large sample of hotels in the UK as part of a joint monitoring project, in partnership with the European Commission and nine other competition agencies in the EU.

This project is looking at how changes to room pricing terms, and other recent developments, have affected the market.

In particular the CMA is looking at whether a Europe-wide removal by Expedia and Booking.com of certain ‘rate parity’ or ‘most-favoured nation’ clauses in their standard contracts with hotels in July 2015 has affected the market.

The CMA sent an initial request for responses to its questionnaire in July.

It then re-opened the questionnaire with a deadline of September 23, to give hotels a further chance to respond.

The joint monitoring is expected to be completed by the end of the year and will enable the CMA to determine whether there is a need for any further action.

BHA chief executive, Ufi Ibrahim, said: “The CMA’s decision to reopen their survey is an opportunity for our industry to lead European policy, and we urge all hoteliers to respond.

“The online market place is constantly changing so it is vitally important that the industry’s voice and experience is heard in this consultation.

“Customers and hotels alike will benefit from transparency and fairness.”

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