After 270 hoteliers in Ahmedabad, Gujarat have banned bookings from two major online travel portals – MakeMyTrip and Goibibo, Punjab and Maharashtra are determined to follow suit. Alleging indiscriminate discounts to customers on room tariffs offered by these platforms and charging heavy commissions from hoteliers, the hotels are facing a threat to their business.
While the boycott in Gujarat came into effect from December 1, the Hotels and Restaurant Association Western India (HRAWI), on December 3, decided to do the same if no headway emerges in the discussions between their Gujarat counterparts and the portals – MakeMyTrip and Goibibo. Keeping themselves on the safer side, the president and former vice-president of the Frederation of HRAWI, Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, said that he had already contemplated a counter-move last year, sensing a monopolistic and arm-twisting tactic, and tied up with another online travel portal for their customers.
While some hotels in Mumbai have already delisted the two portals, others too will stop accepting bookings made by customers through them if the ban comes into effect in Maharashtra.
Right after HRAWI announced their discomfort, Punjab Hotel Assosiation called a meeting today to look into the same matter in their state. Satish Arora, President, Punjab Hotel Association expressed his concerns over the portal’s indiscriminate discounts and offers which had started eroding their profits and adversely affecting their sustainability in the business.
Supporting the ban imposed by the Gujarat Hotel Association, Satish justified that the budget hotels were massively hit, given their already low fares in the market. The hoteliers were robbed off their margins and business was made unviable when the commissions turned hefty, rising from 10 per cent initially up to 40 per cent now.
Under all such burdens, the ban might spell relief for the hotels but given the majority of hotel bookings that the two portals enjoy, the ban would come as a shocker for the regular customers.