UKHospitality welcomes OTA transparency

UKHospitality has welcomed EU Council approval of new laws that will provide transparency for accommodation businesses, in dealings with online booking platforms - Online Travel Agencies (OTA).

The Council has today approved:
• The banning of hidden paid placements on online platforms
• Online platforms and comparison websites must inform customers of the main parameters determining product ranking
• Greater transparency on the authenticity of reviews on comparison sites
• Online platforms must inform consumers if products are sold by professional traders and if the transaction is protected by consumer law
• New rules guaranteeing that price promotions are not fake.

UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said, “Transparency and trust in online platforms is of the utmost importance, for businesses and customers. There needs to be fairness to make sure that businesses are not unfairly disadvantaged and customers are not misled. The Council’s approval of the agreed measures will help provide this.

“UK Hospitality has worked closely with partner bodies in HOTREC to secure this and we will be pushing the UK Government and competition officials to deliver on this for the UK.

“One area in which we still need to see action is in parity clauses which undermine the idea of operating on a level playing field.”