Some Caribbean hotels are reconsidering using Booking.com as a result of a new commission policy, which they claim is aimed at generating additional revenue for the online travel agency, the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) said.
Commissions levied on staff tips by Booking.com have been criticized by the CHTA as "grossly unfair," and the trade association has called for the immediate discontinuation of the policy.
CHTA pointed to a recent survey, which showed a belief that the commission policy was adding to Booking.com's revenue while reducing the profitability of the Caribbean tourism industry, hotel operations and the earnings of many of the region's employees.
CHTA's CEO and Director General Frank Comito added that the commissions would also affect travelers due to rising hotel fees resulting from the policy.
More than 60 percent of hotels reported the Booking.com commission policy will result in changes in how they assess and/or cover these charges, including: increasing rates; deducting the commission from the tip/gratuity amount paid to employees; no longer accepting bookings from Booking.com; or reconsidering the discounted percentage offered to Booking.com.
Among the actions some of the region's hotels considered taking included applying a "Booking.com Fee Surcharge" to customer billings to recover the added cost and using other booking platforms.
Appealing to Booking.com to drop its policy, CHTA cautioned, "without further consideration and a reversal of your policy we can only advise hotels to reassess their use of your platform."
For further information, visit www.caribbeanhotelandtourism.com.