UKHospitality welcomes CMA action on booking sites
06 February 2019
Posted by: Chris Banks
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.
“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.”
Notes to editors
- UKHospitality is the new trade body representing the UK’s hospitality sector, established following a merger approved in February 2018 between the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) and the British Hospitality Association (BHA)
- UKHospitality is the authoritative voice for over 700 companies, operating around 65,000 venues in a sector that employs 3.2 million people
- The body speaks on behalf of a wide range of leisure and ‘out-of-home’ businesses, from FTSE 100 enterprises to niche groups and independent single-site operators
- For the first time, the sector has a single voice bringing together businesses from all aspects of hospitality; coffee shops, hotels, serviced apartments, pubs, restaurants, leisure parks, nightclubs, contract caterers, entertainment, stadia and visitor attractions
- Engaging with government, the media and the public, UKHospitality works to develop a robust case on how to unlock the industry’s full potential as the biggest engine for growth in the economy and ensure that the industry’s needs are effectively represented
- The sector creates £130bn in economic activity and generates £38bn of tax for the Exchequer, funding vital services
- Hospitality represents 10% of UK employment, 6% of businesses and 5% of GDP
- Hospitality is the 3rd largest private sector employer in the UK; double the size of financial services and bigger than automotive, pharmaceuticals and aerospace combined
- Member benefits include free advice and expert guidance on regulation, finance and health and safety as well as savings on services from carefully selected business partners.