Hotel Lobby Issues Notice to Online Booking Platforms

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The Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) has issued notices to online travel aggregators (OTA) MakeMyTrip and GoIbibo. The members have alleged that business practices followed by OTAs were exploitative, unethical, and divisive, and led to predatory pricing and other market distortions.

In a statement, FHRAI said that it has written a letter to the OTAs stating the most critical concerns of the hotel industry which include distorting market prices, demand for exorbitant commissions and the hosting of illegal and unlicensed bed and breakfast accommodations.

The federation has also forewarned a nationwide protest against the OTA entities if the discussions are not fruitful.

“One of the biggest concerns is that after securing discounted rates from a hotel, the OTAs further discount it on their online platforms without the hotel’s consent. This damages the hotel’s reputation, and also simultaneously distorts the market scenario,” said Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, vice president, FHRAI, and president, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI).

“We are actively engaged with our partner hotels and are in dialogue with FHRAI as well. We are confident that we will be able to resolve any concern amicably,” said a spokesperson of MakeMyTrip and GoIbibo.

The federation claimed that more than 40% of the room inventory available on the OTAs is illegally operated and said they would organise a nationwide protest if the issues are not addressed properly.

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