In its summary the UK Completion Watchdog Reigns-in Misleading Booking Sites that it says are: “Using sales tactics like pressure selling.” Also evaluated were misleading discount claims and hidden charges. The Consumer Watchdog demanded full disclosure and transparency in how money influences which properties are featured on their sites.
Specifically they oppose tactics such as: Misleading statements that effect search ranking, leading to search results that do not truly reflect the offer. References pricing with strikethrough, savings claims and any form of pressure selling are forbidden. All these misleading tactics put hotel marketers, agents and distributors at risk of breaking consumer protection law.
BBC news reported that no names were mentioned but it is widely believed that the sites that were investigated include leading OTA sites include Expedia and Booking.com. Of particular note to Digital Media Marketers was the warning that sites that manipulate search ranking are a major concern; “How search result rankings are influenced by factors irrelevant to consumers, such as how much commission a hotel pays the site.” Source BBC News
‘Trust’ is the key to commerce on the Internet and all marketers loose if they fail to convey trustworthiness. About 70% of travel shoppers use hotel booking sites, according to the CMA. Andrea Coscelli, CEO of the CMA adds: “Booking sites can make it so much easier to choose your holiday, but only if people are able to trust them.”
For more see BBC Business news