In what can be seen as a very interesting turn of events, Booking.com is starting to ask hotels to remove a widget that shows their rates for the properties alongside other agencies. This is particularly interesting because the company asks to either remove the feature or Booking.com will remove the hotel listing from their website.
This is quite a demanding thing to be honest, but it does manage to bring in front an interesting outcome for sure. We are talking about the Triptease Price Check widget. This particular widget works in a simple manner, as it sits on the result page of hotel sites and it also manages to kick into action.
It does that simply by showing the price for a property room in three different OTAs. Basically, the widget allows consumers to find a demonstration that the price is fair, and thus it will be a lot easier to book them directly with the hotel. As you would expect, this hurts Booking.com directly because they won’t be able to take their own cut which is quite bad to be honest.
This is especially true since the OTAs do tend to have a high set of commissions and most of the time that tends to hurt the company as a whole.
On the other hand, this might be good news for the hoteliers because Triptease claims that they can actually increase the total number of direct bookings with around 35%. This is definitely an interesting sum for sure, and one that manages to bring in front some really interesting results, but at the end of the day it does seem like the fight might be lost for OTAs.
It does seem that way, true, but the reality is that Booking.com does have a point to ask hoteliers in removing such a thing because they are entering a black area of advertising which is not legal. This is not the first tech company that has started to use such widgets, and the fate of this particular tech was not that good, because they were actually demanded to shut down everything in order to get the best possible outcome.
Sure, there are situations in which the OTAs are undercutting hotels on rates, but going aside from a deal such as the one with Booking.com is definitely making hotels do a shady business that will indeed have some consequences.
After the entire process, it seems that Booking.com is ready to go with a legal action that will help them solve the issue. How successful will this actually be is hard to say, but one thing is certain, if we take into account what already happened in the US, Booking.com does have a high change of getting extraordinary results. If the court will rule in their favor or not remains to be seen, but odds are definitely stacked in their favor.