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SYNHORCAT claims that Expedia, TripAdvisor and Hotels.com were providing misleading info

Red card for unfair practices of Expedia, TripAdvisor and Hotels.com

French websites of Expedia, TripAdvisor and Hotels.com are obliged to change their unfair practices with regard to provision of information hotel availability and prices, according to a French Court ruling.

SYNHORCAT, one of the French HOTREC member associations, had launched a case at the Paris Commercial Court, claiming that the above mentioned websites were providing misleading and false information. As an example, Hotels.com and expedia.fr were claiming at some hotel booking searches “No rooms are available at the selected dates”, but that was only true for bookings via that site, because rooms were still available via direct booking or other channels. This practice was unreasonably drifting away guests to other accommodation providers in the neighborhood, causing economic damage to hoteliers.

In its ruling of 4 October 2011, the Court supported SYNHORCAT’s claim and obliged the French websites of Expedia, TripAdvisor and Hotels.com to change their unfair practices and to pay compensation for the damage caused to the French hotel industry.

Didier Chenet, President of SYNHORCAT, further explained: “We will continue pursuing the adoption of fair practices in other areas of online distribution as well, like the authenticity of travellers’ opinions, legality of contracts between hoteliers and reservation sites, including fair practices in relation to reservations of restaurants”.

This ruling is an important milestone also with regard to HOTREC’s efforts to clean the online hotel distribution market from unfair practices.

Kent Nystrom, President of HOTREC, congratulated SYNHORCAT and the French hotel industry for the successful results and stated: “HOTREC will always offer its support to all parties who are working for the establishment of an equal and fair level playing field for the benefit of hoteliers, consumers and online booking and review providers”.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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