Independent hotels, you are suffering the abuse caused by the dominant position and unfavourable clauses implemented by the major players in the online hotel booking market.
You will soon have to enter into a contractual relationship with these agencies, such as Booking.com, Expedia and all the others…as set out in the French ‘loi Macron’.
While the big hotel groups have already negotiated their contractual relationship, independent hoteliers are alone and defenceless in their negotiations with these multinationals.
The R.E.D (Réservation En Direct – direct booking) association was founded in 2013, which you may be more familiar with under the name of its direct booking platform, FairBooking, is launching this constructive movement, against the unfavourable clauses in the contracts of the OTAs (online travel agencies) such as Booking.com, Expedia, etc.
This constructive movement, ‘lesvachesalaitdesotas.org’, aims to publicise the online hotel booking charter. This charter is the only text that aims to define the keys to fair and equitable commercial relationships, within a loyal and balanced context, between hoteliers and their online intermediaries, via web and mobile channels.
This charter was drawn up by the GNI, representing independent businesses in the HCR (hotel, café and restaurant) sector, based on 19 best practices recommended by HOTREC in 2012 (grouping of the HCR syndicates on the European Union level).
It makes it possible both to better understand the challenges of each of the terms and conditions imposed by the agencies, and to clarify all of the methods of publicising and distribution of hotels by the major players in the online agency sector.
Although it may not have the means to prohibit certain practices, it sheds light on what is detrimental and unacceptable to an independent hotelier, on what is negotiable and profitable from the agency’s point of view, and on what is negotiable in the mutual interest of the client, the hotel and the agency.
Although this charter defends the interest of hoteliers, it also defends the transparency of information and prices from the point of view of the clients who use these platforms.
The charter is based on the following key principles:
- Which are the points that upset the relationship between hotels and agencies?
A1. No unauthorised use of hotel brands for online marketing purposes
A2. No display on affiliate portals without the hotel’s authorisation
A3. No imposition of parity or equivalence of rates
A4. No imposition of parity or equivalence of conditions
A5. No imposition of access to all of the hotel’s offers
A6. Clarity and transparency of pricing and information on the search engines
A7. No bidding model without clear information for the client
A8. Clarity and transparency of searches by criteria on the search engines
A9. Authentic client data, supplied and checked by the agency
A10. No commission on taxes or on non-booked services
A11. Adequate reaction time for the updating of bookings
A12. Deletion of the hotel’s content in the event of suspension or breaking of the contract
- Upon what other points is the GNI demanding change?
B1. The terminology and ranking standards must comply with legislation
B2. The authenticity, reliability, veracity and legality of the content of client feedback and comments should be guaranteed to the hotel
We, the signatories of this manifesto, declare our support for R.E.D in its aim to publicise this charter which should be signed by as many of the players concerned as possible: hoteliers, voluntary hotel chains, hoteliers’ clubs, syndicates, institutions, consumers…
Together, we will have the power to defend the individual interest of each of us
Join us on
Because an independent hotelier does not have the legal expertise and does not carry enough weight in a negotiation with each of the online agencies, as required by the ‘loi Macron’ law for growth, business and equality of opportunity, it is imperative that we act collectively.
Wouldn’t it be a shame not to take advantage of this law to reverse the power ratio between hoteliers and the OTAs?
President of RED FairBooking