The American Association of Hotels and Accommodations (AHLA) has conducted an investigation that ensures that American travelers are scammed worth 6,000 million dollars (5,385 million euros) annually due to certain tactics that occur in travel reservations on websites fraudulent or misleading that confuse consumers.
Almost one in four customers faces some kind of problem when booking a hotel through a source other than the hotel’s direct booking system, according to the Association.
Thus more than 40% of consumers were bothered to learn that when they compare prices between these ‘digital intermediaries’: Trivago, Kayak, Expedia, Orbitz, Hotels.com, Travelocity, Booking.com and others, they generally only compare the same two companies : Expedia and Priceline, which together control 95% of the online travel market.
He also warns that some fraudulent practices include imitating hotel websites and call centers, appearing at the top of search engines. These misleading websites also offer discounts that do not exist or encourage a false sense of urgency by ensuring that there are a limited number of rooms available.
Therefore, more than 77% of consumers agree that the American government should make it more a priority to comply with consumer protection laws against resellers of third-party hotels.
“The numbers we saw in this investigation are completely unacceptable. Consumers are being stripped of billions of dollars every year,” said AHLA president and CEO, Chip Rogers.
The hotel association urges consumers to perform smarter searches, look before booking, take advantage of loyalty programs and book directly with the hotel or a trusted travel agent.