The American Hotel & Lodging Association says consumers paid $5.2 billion in fraudulent and misleading hotel booking transactions with third-party travel companies in 2017.
In an online survey conducted by Morning Consult on behalf of AHLA, nearly one-quarter (23%) of consumers report being misled by travel resellers on the phone or online.
Of those who report being misled, 46% say they were charged extra fees on their credit card, 34% had to pay for a second room because their original, paid reservation was lost, and 44% made a room request that was not relayed to the hotel.
AHLA says 500 online bookings are made every minute, accounting for 15% of all U.S. e-commerce. More than a third (39%) of survey respondents indicated they most often book their hotel rooms through a third-party website, but AHLA says some of these resellers use “a variety of marketing tactics to mimic hotel websites and call centers, but are not, in fact affiliated with the hotel.”
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