L-R AAoA Chief Executive, Richard Munro and Acting TAA Chief Executive, Bradley Woods.
L-R AAoA Chief Executive, Richard Munro and Acting TAA Chief Executive, Bradley Woods.

The Accommodation Association of Australia (AAoA) and Tourism Accommodation Australia (TAA) have proudly welcomed today’s (Mar 22) announcement from Expedia to waive its controversial narrow-rate parity MFN (Most Favoured Nation) clauses in contracts with lodging partners.

Rate parity has been a thorny issue for the Australian accommodation industry for some time, with both organisations working on lobbying efforts with various levels of government and opposition to outlaw the practice.

Last week, the Federal Labor Opposition vowed to ban rate parity if it was elected this year to form government under leader Bill Shorten.

AAoA Chief Executive, Richard Munro, said the organisation welcomed today’s move by Expedia Group.

“It is amazing what pressure the Accommodation Association of Australia has brought to the market through our political advocacy. Thanks again to the Australian Labor Party and our media friends for working with our industry to achieve this important milestone.

“The AAoA will keep a watching brief that property rankings will not be impacted by complex Expedia algorithms to darken properties due to rates being advertised under Expedia.”

Congratulations were forthcoming from the Australian Hotels Association and its accommodation branch, Tourism Accommodation Australia, with Acting TAA CEO, Bradley Woods, praising Expedia for taking the first step and urging the Priceline Group (which runs Booking.com) to follow suit.

“The AHA and TAA has been working on multiple fronts for many years to see the current market dynamics better reflect a genuine partnership between hotels and online travel agents. We are pleased that our focus over several years has, in the past fortnight, begun to bear fruit for our members and the broader accommodation industry.

“This shows that Expedia is prepared to act in the spirit of a distribution partner for Australian hotels and accommodation providers.

“In the spirit of genuine partnership and on behalf of our members, the AHA and TAA encourage Booking.com to make a similar announcement to waive narrow rate parity MFN.”