The American Hotel & Lodging Association
says consumers paid $5.2 billion in fraudulent and misleading hotel booking
transactions with third-party travel companies in 2017.
In an online survey conducted by Morning
Consult on behalf of AHLA, nearly one-quarter (23%) of consumers report being
misled by travel resellers on the phone or online.
Of those who report being misled, 46% say they
were charged extra fees on their credit card, 34% had to pay for a second room
because their original, paid reservation was lost, and 44% made a room request
that was not relayed to the hotel.
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easy and convenient to make travel arrangements online. Unfortunately, as
online bookings have surged, so too have scams and deceptive behaviors,” says
Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of AHLA.
why we encourage consumers to look before you book, slow down, and search
AHLA is launching a consumer education and awareness
campaign titled “Search Smarter” to combat this fraud.
The association is urging consumers to book
directly with the hotel or a trusted travel agent, to check the fine print
before sharing their credit card information, and to sign up for hotel loyalty
says 500 online bookings are made every minute, accounting for 15% of all U.S.
e-commerce. More than a third (39%) of survey respondents indicated they most
often book their hotel rooms through a third-party website, but AHLA says some
of these resellers use “a variety of marketing tactics to mimic hotel websites
and call centers, but are not, in fact affiliated with the hotel.”
survey found that fraudulent bookings translated to 28.5 million hotel stays in