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Third-Party Booking Sites Lead to Fraudulent, Misleading Hotel Bookings

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The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) has found that fraudulent and misleading hotel bookings are costing consumers billions of dollars each year.

Its research found that online booking scams and dishonest marketing practices by fraudulent and misleading travel websites are rampant and that 23 percent of consumers report being misled by third-party traveler resellers on the phone or online. This led to $5.7 billion in fraudulent and misleading hotel booking transactions in 2018 alone.

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“The numbers we saw in this research are completely unacceptable. Consumers are being robbed of billions of dollars every year by bad actors,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA. “In addition to third-party websites that mimic hotel websites and call centers, but are not actually affiliated with a hotel, costing consumers time and money, this new research shows just how big of a problem deceptive advertising is on some online travel agency websites.”

In fact, one out of four consumers experienced a problem with their reservation, and more than 40 percent of consumers were upset to learn that when they comparison shop with companies such as Trivago, Kayak, Expedia, Orbitz, Hotels.com, Travelocity, Booking.com and others, they are usually just comparing the same two companies: Expedia and Priceline, which together control 95 percent of the online travel market.

Nearly all consumers (94 percent) believe that they should know who they are doing business with online when booking a hotel room, and 77 percent want the government to enforce consumer protection laws against third-party hotel resellers.

AHLA’s Search Smarter campaign can show consumers how to prevent common mistakes and avoid lost reservations and additional fees. The program instructs travelers to book smart and use trusted travel agents or book directly with the property for the best deals.

“Given the continued fraudulent issues we’re seeing, AHLA reminds consumers to Search Smarter, a campaign to educate consumers about these problems and encourage consumers to slow down when booking a hotel and not be pressured by misleading advertising or deceived by fraudulent websites. Our focus in the hospitality industry is to make sure guests have a smooth, stress-free experience, from booking the room to checking out after their stay. We recommend consumers look before they book, take advantage of loyalty programs and book directly with the hotel or a trusted travel agent” continued Rogers.

AHLA is also advocating for Congressional passage of the Stop Online Booking Scams Act.

This post was published by our news partner: TravelPulse.com | Article Source

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Las Vegas Sands Donating Two Million Pieces of Personal Protective Equipment

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WHY IT RATES: With the Palazzo and Venetian shuttered in Las Vegas, parent company Las Vegas Sands continues to pay some 10,000 furloughed Team Members and provide full health-care benefits, and has just announced a fresh donation of two millions pieces of personal protective equipment to support the work of those battling coronavirus on the ground in New York and Nevada. — Laurie Baratti, TravelPulse Associate Writer


Las Vegas Sands today announced it will donate two million medical masks and 20,000 protective suits to help health-care professionals, first responders and nonprofit organizations in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Medical mask donations will be distributed in the company’s corporate headquarters of Nevada as well as New York, which has become the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States. Each state will receive one million masks. The 20,000 protective suits will be donated to hospitals and first responders in Nevada.

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“Hopefully our donations will help protect people on the front lines so they can continue their invaluable work, and we can start to see the numbers of people affected begin to diminish,” Sands Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sheldon G. Adelson said. “Our properties in Las Vegas may be empty right now, but our hearts are full of hope for the future. The determination and courage I have seen in our Team Members, which I know is the same throughout this country, gives me every confidence we will get through this unprecedented crisis.”

This contribution marks the second round of personal protective equipment donations Sands has made. The company previously provided 100,000 masks to the Las Vegas health-care community and 5,000 masks to the Las Vegas Metro Police Department. It also donated 1,900 coronavirus test kits to the state of Nevada.

Mr. Adelson said the one million masks being sent to New York will help health-care professionals and first responders in the state currently with the most cases of coronavirus.

“People are looking to New York as a bellwether for what comes next, both in terms of the pandemic’s impact and for how quickly the region, particularly New York City, is able to recover from the aftermath of the virus,” he said. “It’s important we steer resources to the places where the need is the greatest and most urgent.”

In addition to the protective gear donations, Sands is fulfilling its pledge to give $250,000 to several important local organizations during this time of need. The company is making contributions to ‘Three Square’, Southern Nevada’s largest hunger-relief organization; ‘Communities In Schools’, which is helping provide meals to students who would otherwise be participating in their school’s free and subsidized meal programs; and ‘Share Village Las Vegas’, a veterans assistance organization that also runs a community food pantry.

Sands also has donated 60 pallets of food and more than 55,000 bottles of water to local organizations. In addition, the company is currently paying each of its nearly 10,000 Las Vegas Team Members, along with providing full health-care benefits, while its properties remain closed.

For more information, visit sands.com.


SOURCE: Las Vegas Sands Corp. press release.

This post was published by our news partner: TravelPulse.com | Article Source

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