The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) recently launched an awareness campaign entitled “Search Smarter” aimed at helping travelers avoid lost reservations, additional fees, and ruined vacations.
Americans make 500 online hotel bookings every 60 seconds, but evidence from new, extensive polling data from the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) suggests they’re not getting the deal they think they are. The two culprits are (1) online booking scams and (2) misleading marketing messages perpetrated by online travel agencies and their third-party affiliates.
Additional research reveals that online scams made through fraudulent sites are on the rise, resulting in 55 million “bad” bookings of this type each year, costing consumers $3.9 billion. In 2015, just 6% of travelers reported booking on what they believed was a hotel’s official website, only to find they had booked on a fraudulent site not affiliated with the hotel. Just two years later, the number of travelers who have experienced this has nearly quadrupled to 22%. • Seniors in particular have major concerns about the lack of transparency in online booking – many of which are due to bad experiences. 1 in 10 consumers 65 or older say they have accidentally booked with a fake site when intending to book directly with a hotel.
Transparency, consumer choice, and guest satisfaction are at the core of the hotel industry’s business model. AHLA is raising awareness among consumers, Congress, and federal agencies to make sure guests have all the necessary information prior to booking their hotel reservations. With so many ways to book a reservation, it’s important to make sure consumers understand how to slow down, search smarter and make the best decisions throughout the booking process for themselves and their families. Consumers should know what to look for before they book a hotel reservation.
Visit https://ahla.com/SearchSmarter to learn more about the “Search Smarter” campaign.