Hotel chain InterContinental has agreed a new relationship with online travel agent Lastminute.com, following the introduction of tough new criteria for companies that sell its hotel rooms over the web.
The room distribution deal certifies Lastminute as a third- party distributor of InterContinental's 3,500 rooms worldwide, including Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and InterContinental itself.
In April InterContinental said it would only work in future with distributors and their affiliates "who do not engage in confusing and potentially unclear marketing practices, who clearly present taxes and fees to consumers, who respect InterContinental Hotel Group's trademarks, and who ensure reservations are guaranteed through an automated and common confirmation process."
Practices InterContinental wants to stamp out include listing hotels as "sold out" when they still have rooms available, luring customers with promises of huge discounts when they are only available in small quantities and the use of inefficient manual processes, including faxes.
Since April's announcement it has severed relations with travel site Expedia, but signed a deal with Travelocity.
Hilton, which has followed InterContinental's lead in introducing new criteria, has also struck a distribution agreement with Lastminute.
by Nic Paton
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