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Posted at: Dec 5, 2018, 12:57 AM; last updated: Dec 5, 2018, 12:57 AM (IST)

Hoteliers deliberate on boycotting online portals

Sukhmeet Bhasin

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, December 4

Hoteliers in Punjab have planned to boycott two online portals — Makemytrip and Goibibo.

The Punjab Hotel Association has called a meeting on Wednesday in Bathinda to take action over commission and indiscriminate discounts offered by these portals.

Punjab Hotel Association president Satish Arora said, “Dispute between hoteliers and two online portals have been going on and we are having talks with them. If there is no headway, then we would also follow other states and ban Makemytrip and Goibibo in the state.”

He said, “Moreover, we have called a meeting on Wednesday in Bathinda in which we will discuss the issue to ban these portals in the state.”

“The way MakeMyTrip and Goibibo are offering discounts on online booking, it is hurting our profits. Moreover, they have increased commission from 15 to 35 per cent. All these factors are posing business sustainability issues for us and therefore, we are planning to boycott these portals,” Arora added.

Satish Arora said, “We also support the ban imposed by the Gujarat Hotel Association on these two online portals from December 1 and even the Maharashtra government is also planning same action.”

“We had sensed this monopolistic and arm-twisting tactic by these two portals and if a decision is taken to ban these then hotels in the state would delist these portals after which any booking through these would not be accepted,” he added.

The Gujarat Hotel and Restaurant Association banned these two online portals from December 1 over indiscriminate discounts and offers, which have robbed the hoteliers of their margins and made business unviable.

They have claimed that budget hotels are the hardest hit as their room fares are lower. Hefty commission by booking portals not only erodes their profitability, it also makes for a loss making proposition.

The commissions of portals have increased from 10 per cent initially up to 40 per cent now. They are also offering schemes to customers without consulting the hoteliers.

A majority of hotel bookings are through online web portals as they are offering huge discounts.

The ban on these portals would come as a relief for the hotels, but it would come as a shocker for the people.


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