Mar 22, 2019

Media Release – Australian Hotels are already benefiting from Labor’s policies – Friday, 22 March 2019

Ten days after Labor announced that a Shorten Government would stop major online booking providers from using ‘price parity’ clauses in their dealings with Australian hotels, one of the two major multinational platforms, Expedia, has announced that it will unilaterally cease using these clauses in their agreements.

Price parity clauses prevent Australian hotels from telling to their customers that they can get a better deal by booking directly. This has the effect of channelling bookings through the two major online booking platforms, which have a combined market share of 84 percent, and charge hotels commissions of up to 30 per cent.

Labor’s announcement last week was welcomed by a range of stakeholders in the local accommodation sector, including the Accommodation Association of Australia, YHA Australia, the Australian Hotels Association/Tourism Accomodation Australia, and the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman.

Expedia and its subsidiaries – which includes Trivago, Hotels.com, Wotif and HomeAway – currently control 38 per cent of the online accommodation booking market.

The other major multinational online accommodation booking platform is Booking.com, whose parent company  owns Priceline and Kayak, and controls 46 per cent of the market.

We call on Booking.com to follow Expedia’s lead, and cease using price parity clauses in their agreements with Australian hotels.