Search
The Caterer

Petition calls for OTAs ‘hijacking' of search engines to be banned

11 March 2019 by
Petition calls for OTAs ‘hijacking' of search engines to be banned

A petition calling for OTAs to be banned from "hijacking" the names of hotels and B&Bs on search engines has received more than 1,000 signatures.

The petition accuses large online agents of taking out adverts so search engine inquiries are diverted to their websites.

The author says this should be "illegal without a specific separate arrangement".

Frank McCready, who posted the petition, which will be live for six months, wrote: "As a small B&B I cannot compete with the billions that OTAs spend on web searches and am deprived of direct clients by this practice and forced to pay high commissions (15% to 25%), which ultimately of necessity are passed to consumers.

"The clause hidden in small print allowing OTAs to use our names negates our own websites and internet presence and it cannot be fair to use someone's own name to divert customers. Such bidding should be by express mutual agreement only. A lot of good B&Bs will go under."

If the petition receives 10,000 signatures the government will respond. If it gains 100,000 signatures the matter will be considered for debate in parliament.

Last month the Competition and Markets Authority set out its dos and don'ts for hotel booking sites after announcing a crackdown on ‘unacceptable' practices.

The principles address issues such as failure to disclose the effect of payments on search results, misleading reference prices, misleading presentation of prices and misleading popularity and availability statements.

To view the petition click here.

CMA sets out guidelines for hotel booking sites>>

Operators fight back on OTAs' dominance of online guest bookings>>

Get The Caterer every week on your smartphone, tablet, or even in good old-fashioned hard copy (or all three!).
The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.