Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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Will Booking.com’s designation as a ‘gatekeeper’ be a gamechanger for hoteliers?

As of Monday, May 13th, European regulators have designated Booking.com as a “gatekeeper” platform, subjecting it to stricter regulations. They have just six months to submit a detailed report outlining how they comply with certain obligations. Non-compliance could lead to fines of up to 10% of their total worldwide revenue.

Ultimately, this move aims to level the playing field for smaller hospitality businesses who may feel disadvantaged by the dominance of large booking platforms and OTAs (Online Travel Agents).

But what are the potential implications for hotels? Will this be the direct booking ‘gamechanger’ we’re all hoping for?

The new regulations could potentially impact hotels in a few ways:

  • Increased Transparency: Booking.com could be required to disclose more information about its algorithms and ranking criteria, allowing hotels to better understand how to improve their visibility on the platform
  • Fairer Practices: Regulations may address concerns about preferential treatment, hidden fees and rate parity, ensuring a more balanced marketplace for hotels
  • Potential Changes to Booking Fees: The new rules could lead to adjustments in Booking.com’s commission structure, potentially impacting your hotel’s profitability

How can hoteliers potentially get ahead of this?

While the specific details of the regulations are still emerging, hoteliers can begin to take some proactive steps:

  • Stay Informed: Keep up-to-date on developments related to the EU regulations and Booking.com’s response. We’ll be monitoring this closely, so be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to be kept updated
  • Diversify Your Distribution Channels: Relying less on Booking.com and exploring other marketing channels can mitigate dependence on a single platform, always a sensible strategy
  • Strengthen Direct Booking Strategies: Encourage guests to book directly through your website to reduce commission fees. With less potential demands on rate parity, there may be more opportunities to finally offer the best rates direct

Of course, this is a developing story, and the full impact of the regulations on Booking.com upon the wider hotel industry remains to be seen. Stay tuned.

Hotel Speak
Hotel Speakhttps://www.hotelspeak.com/
Hotel Speak provides actionable hotel marketing and revenue management strategies from hospitality industry experts.

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