Supporting tourism and accommodation providers to set their own prices
The Albanese Government is delivering on its commitment to support tourism and accommodation providers to set their own prices when guests contact them to book directly.
Minister for Trade and Tourism, Don Farrell, and Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury, Andrew Leigh, today announced that the Government will commence consultation to understand if online booking platforms are restricting the ability of tourism and accommodation providers to set their own prices, and to identify if any action is required to address this.
If online travel agents use price parity clauses or similar restrictions, this could overwhelmingly impact smaller accommodation providers, particularly smaller individual operators who rely on online travel agents to market their products.
During the consultation period, 25 November to 6 January, Australian tourism and accommodation providers, online booking platforms and other stakeholders are invited to provide written submissions on their views. Tourism and accommodation providers, including small businesses, may choose to complete a survey.
This activity builds on previous work done by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in 2016, which led to some of the largest online travel agencies removing certain types of price parity clauses in their contracts.
For more information on the public consultation process, visit: https://treasury.gov.au/consultation/c2022-338978.
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Trade and Tourism Don Farrell
“Tourism and accommodation providers are the heart and soul of the visitor economy in regions, communities and cities and must be supported after some of the most challenging years they have faced.”
“Australia is home to some of the world’s best visitor experiences, and the Government continues to seek better ways to connect providers with our visitors so they can enjoy what our cities and regions have to offer.”
Quotes attributable to the Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury Dr Andrew Leigh
“Fair competition is at the heart of a successful economy. Online booking platforms have grown to dominate the accommodation sector, often taking a sizeable cut of the room rate. It’s bad news for travellers and hoteliers to have a situation in which massive online platforms are the gatekeepers to the accommodation sector.
“Hotels should have the freedom to offer their best deals to consumers who book direct -- without fear of being punished by the oligopoly online booking platforms. More freedom means more competition and that is good for guests, good for hotel owners, and good for the people who work in the accommodation sector.”