Govt intervention sought on discounts by travel portals

MUMBAI: Several hotel and restaurant associations, who are up in arms against two online travel portals over the alleged hefty commissions and steep discounts being offered by them, have sought the government’s intervention in resolving the issue.

Around 270 hoteliers in Ahmedabad have stopped accepting bookings from MakeMyTrip and Goibibo travel portals, alleging they are offering heavy commission and indiscriminate discounts to customers.

Besides, the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) had warned OYO of action, alleging large-scale breach of contracts, jeopardizing consumers safety and violation of laws by the hospitality firm.

The room aggregator has, however, strongly denied the charges.

“Together GoMMT (Goibibo and makeMyTrip) and OYO (have) created a monopoly in the industry which, in turn, has increased their highhandedness in dealing with the hoteliers.

Govt intervention sought on discounts by travel portals

“If the current situation persists, the entire budget hotel owners will get into dire financial straits,” said the federation in a release.

“We request the (tourism) ministry to intervene to alleviate the pain and help the industry out of this disastrous situation,” the release said.

Some of the associations seeking the ministry’s intervention include the Mumbai Budget Hotel Association, the Association of Indian Hotels and the Hotel & Restaurant Associations (HRAs) of Gujarat and Delhi.

Demanding that the travel agent’s commission be restricted to 15-18 per cent as recommended by the FHRAI, the federation, as per the release, has sought discontinuation of discounts and any other commission offered by the two travel portals.

From OYO, the industry body has sought clearance of all pending payments as per the contract within 48 hours, the release said.

The federation has also demanded that OYO take commission only on the business they drive through their offline and online channels.

All other sources such as Google, Trivago and other OTAs, among others, should be allowed to be handled by hoteliers themselves, the release added. PTI

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