Operators of accommodation businesses are being encouraged to highlight competition concerns about the online travel agency market.
The Accommodation Association of Australia said it is keen to see as many operators as possible provide their views through a questionnaire, which has been launched by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
“The Accommodation Association has been advocating for the ACCC to re-examine the level of competition in the online travel agency market for some time, therefore the Association is pleased that the ACCC is currently consulting with operators in our industry on this issue,” said the Accommodation Association of Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Richard Munro.
“Concerns about a lack of competition in the online travel agency market were raised at the time of Expedia’s takeover of Wotif.com last year.
“These were amplified when operators were recently notified that the other dominant player in the market, Priceline (Booking.com), would increase the commission rate that it charges accommodation operators from 12 per cent to 15 per cent.
“With the dominant collective market share that the two leading players have among Australian operators, our industry is facing a similar scenario to the dominance that the two major supermarket chains have in Australia’s retail sector.”
On behalf of operators, the Accommodation Association intends to make a submission to the ACCC, which highlights these important competition policy issues.
“It’s vital that the voices of individual operators of accommodation businesses are heard in this debate, which is why the Accommodation Association would like to see them complete the questionnaire,” Munro said.
“The more that the two leading players are able to dominate the online travel agency market, the more that margins in our industry will be squeezed.”
The questionnaire can be accessed on the ACCC’s website – https://consultation.accc.gov.au/communications/online-accommodation-booking-sector/consultation/subpage.2015-09-02.3809780468/view
The deadline for responses is 27 September.