A process where search results for some hotels are not shown in prominent positions or do not include types of media content has been scrapped by Expedia Inc.
The group, which has the Expedia, Hotels.com and Venere hotel booking brands under its belt, says the practice of so-called "dimming" will be phased out after feedback from hotels and travellers.
The idea behind the strategy was to remove photos or bits of information in a listing during a user's search results for any property that Expedia deemed as "offering low consumer value" compared to other hotels.
Expedia's tactic came to prominence earlier this year when the mainstream media picked up on the story from a consumer-champion angle, criticising Expedia for being the "most prominent dimmer in the business" and allegedly restricting visibility and choice to travellers.
The online travel agency's biggest detractors claimed "dimming" was being used to punish hotels that wouldn't offer it the best rates.
Whether it is to head off further criticism or simply learn from an "experiment" (as Cyril Ranque, president of lodging partner services at Expedia, calls it), Expedia says the approach "was not improving the overall consumer experience".
"This practice was created to potentially enhance the overall consumer experience and efficiency by removing photos and similar content from a very small number of properties that our algorithm identified as offering low consumer value."
"After careful review", an Expedia official says, "dimming" is now at an end.
NB:Candles image via Pixabay.