Following a letter earlier this month to the transition team for the Trump administration, the Travel Technology Association (Travel Tech) has announced its advocacy priorities for 2017.
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is currently reviewing a handful of matters related to competition and consumer welfare issues in domestic air travel, including challenges facing consumers seeking the full price of travel before booking as well as the practice by some air carriers of restricting access to their fare and schedule information, Travel Tech said. The organization is calling on the department to take swift action on these proceedings, as well as encouraging the DOT to continue to support Open Skies agreements by approving competition-friendly applications such as it did this past year with new low-cost carrier Norwegian Air International.
Additionally, legislation to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration is once again due in September, Travel Tech said. The organization is encouraging Congress to reexamine policies such as the process for approval and renewal of antitrust immunized agreements for international alliances.
Further, Travel Tech said it will continue to work with DOT as well as the departments of Commerce and State and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to urge the Chinese government to lift market access constraints on non-Chinese global distributions systems (GDS). At present, only the state-owned GDS, TravelSky, operates in China. A competitive marketplace for GDSs in China would be a boon to travel and tourism in both directions across the Pacific Ocean, Travel Tech said.
Congress and the administration should also recognize the vital role that travel intermediaries play in the ability of all Americans to shop not just for flights, but hotels, car rentals, cruises, tours, and many other travel-related activities in a clear, efficient, competitive, and transparent environment, Travel Tech said. Whether consumers are seeking traditional hotel accommodations or those offered in the short-term rental space, it is our members, the leaders in independent travel distribution and travel technology, that provide them with all the information they need to make the best choices.