Aito ‘applauds’ CMO’s hotel booking site investigation

The Association of Independent Tour Operators (Aito) has said it ‘applauds’ the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) for looking into the trading practices of hotel booking sites.

The CMA launched an investigation last week, following concerns over the alleged use of ‘pressure tactics’ to encourage consumers to book hotel rooms faster.

Derek Moore, chairman of Aito, said “This investigation should, of course, have been instigated several years ago, before these online reservation sites had gained such a high level of control over the market. There seemingly isn’t a shack in the hotel world that is not featured by them.

“It is Aito’s strong belief that, with power and market dominance, should come a commensurate level of responsibility. Such responsibility is notably absent here, which is very disappointing.”

He added: “We at Aito urge the CMA to ensure that these super-large brands take stock of what they are doing and rethink their modus operandi, taking on board the importance of shouldering responsibility for their actions.

“Additionally, the sheer lack of transparency is worrying and does not serve well either the travelling public, the hotels featured on these sites or, indeed, the American companies’ UK-based competitors.”

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