Peak industry body the Accommodation Association says Federal Court decision in relation to Trivago highlights the value for Australian consumers in booking accommodation direct or through Australian travel businesses. Trivago, which is part of American online travel shopping company Expedia Group Inc., was fined $44.7m for misleading consumers about hotel rates.
Justice Mark Moshinsky said Trivago’s conduct has cost Australian consumers $30m.
How did Accommodation Association react to verdict?
Accommodation Association CEO Richard Munro said, “On behalf of our members, the Accommodation Association welcomes the commonsense decision from the Federal Court on Trivago, however, for Australian hotels the writing’s been on the wall for some time.”
“After surviving COVID-19 and closed borders, the harsh reality is that many of our members rely on a portion of their bookings generated through these platforms, and can find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place,” Munro further commented.
How can travel consumers get the best rates?
“The Accommodation Association is alerting the ACCC to exploitative practices and we want the ACCC to now cast their net wider and review price parity rules where similar large, overseas based multi-national corporations threaten Australian accommodation providers with exclusion if the accommodation provider offers a better rate online,” Munro said.
“Australian travel consumers deserve access to the best available rates, and the only way to guarantee that outcome is to book directly with Australian accommodation operators.”