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Published on Thursday, July 18, 2019

Caribbean hoteliers consider boycott of Booking.com



Caribbean hoteliers are considering a boycott of Booking.com over the online giant's new 'unfair and regressive' commission policy.

In a statement today, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association said an 'overwhelming majority' of Caribbean hotels are reconsidering using Booking.com over its policy to charge commission levied on staff tips.

The association said the policy is aimed at generating additional revenue for the online giant 'at the expense of consumers, the region's destinations, hotels and employees'.

In a letter to Booking.com, CHTA cited 'a strong negative backlash' from members, particularly on how the policy cuts into staff tips.

A recent survey of its 33 Caribbean hotel and tourism federation associations and hoteliers revealed a belief the commission policy was 'regressive and punitive' and hit the profitability of the Caribbean tourism industry.

CHTA CEO and Director General Frank Comito warned prices would rise as hotels try to recoup losses by raising prices.

"In a region where consumer price sensitivity and high operating costs are an ongoing challenge, this presents the industry with an added predicament," he said.

He said the commissions would be 'short term profit' for Booking.com but could eventually be a 'significant long term loss'.

The association's survey found 84% of hoteliers were reconsidering using Booking.com and more than 60% said they were looking at various other options, such as increasing rates, deducting the commission from the tip amount paid to employees, no longer accepting bookings from Booking.com, or reconsidering the discounted percentage offered to the website.

Some are also considering adding a 'Booking.com Fee Surcharge' to customer billings to recover the added cost.

With certain areas of the world and some major brands reportedly exempt from the new commission policy, the CHTA said this penalised the region's small and medium-sized hotels.


"Many in our region which are luxury properties, are already disadvantaged because of the marketing and buying power of hotel brands and major destinations," said Comito.


A statement from Booking.com said: "As an extension of our overarching aim to provide our customers with transparent information about the total price they will need to pay at a property when they make a booking and to create a level playing field for all of our accommodation partners, we are updating our process when it comes to charging commission only on mandatory extra fees - such as service fee or resort fee charged outside of the rate that customers are asked to pay at the property. "

 

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  • Eh?

    I don't understand. A) what tips? B) aren't tips cash left on a bedside table? Not in any accounts, direct to staff, nothing to do with booking.com.

    By Mark Smith, Thursday, July 18, 2019

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