Hoteliers in Greece are expressing their discontent over a policy applied by online booking agents, including Booking.com, to collect commission based on total room price VAT included, according to Greek press reports.
Representing the country’s hotel industry, the Hellenic Federation of Hoteliers (POX) has brought it to the attention of the tourism and economy ministries and has called for action claiming the policy is impacting the industry.
More specifically, POX is requesting that online booking platforms calculate their commission based on the net room rate charged by the proprietor and not with VAT included.
Speaking to the Greek media, POX President Grigoris Tasios has described Booking.com’s policy – charging a 15-25 percent commission on the total room rate, tax included, and not on the net price – as unacceptable and unfair, and at the expense of hotel operations. According to Tasios, booking platforms end up collecting in the long term 3 to 5 percent of total business profits.
He has said that in the US, where booking.com does not have as big a market share as in Europe, the commission is based on the net price of accommodation as is the case in other European destinations under individual hotel chain agreements.
According to reports, hoteliers are set to meet with Booking.com and other online booking platform executives in Athens, in the upcoming period to resolve the issue. Local media also has reported that Booking.com is considering the request.
Meanwhile, other bodies representing hospitality professionals are also claiming to have received complaints from members partnering with Booking.com with regard to unlicensed charges and fee withdrawals.
Greek hotel group Aldemar discontinued its partnership with Booking.com earlier this summer citing policy and charging issues and for “flouting market rules”.
In relevant news, the majority of hotels in the Caribbean are steering clear of Booking.com, claiming the company’s new policy also includes commissions levied on staff tips.
In July, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) called for the termination of the policy, which it said is aimed at generating more revenue for the online giant at the expense of consumers, the region’s destinations, hotels and employees.
“Without further consideration and a reversal of your policy, we can only advise hotels to reassess their use of your platform and consider placing added emphasis on other booking options,” CHTA said.