The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) has rejected an online travel agency’s commission as grossly unfair and regressive.
According to the CHTA, on Wednesday an overwhelming majority of Caribbean hotels said they were reconsidering using Booking.com as a result of the new commission policy that they claim is aimed at generating additional revenue for the online giant at the expense of consumers, the region’s destinations, hotels, and employees.
The CHTA has called for the immediate ending of the policy.
In a letter to Booking.com, CHTA cited “a strong negative backlash” from members, “particularly how it cuts into employee tips and gratuities”.
The association pointed to a recent survey of its 33 national hotels and tourism federation associations and hotels, which it said “revealed a belief the commission policy was ‘regressive and punitive’ adding to Booking.com’s revenue while reducing the profitability of the Caribbean tourism industry, hotel operations, and the earnings of many of the region’s employees.”
CHTA’s chief executive officer and director general Frank Comito said the commissions would “directly affect travellers because some of the higher costs associated with additional payments to Booking.com will need to be shared by the travelling public, as some hotels seek to recoup losses by raising prices.
“In a region where consumer price sensitivity and high operating costs are an ongoing challenge, this presents the industry with an added predicament,” he said.