MUMBAI: Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI), an apex body of hotel associations in the country, has put online travel aggregators such as MakeMyTrip and GoIbibo on notice in response to grievances by its western region members. It said the aggregators’ business practices were exploitative, unethical and divisive, leading to “predatory” pricing and other market distortions that could harm hoteliers and consumers in the long term.
FHRAI has written to the aggregators outlining the most critical concerns of the industry, which includes distortion of market prices, demand for exorbitant commissions, and hosting of illegal and unlicensed bed and breakfast accommodation (B&B). FHRAI wants them to engage in dialogue with the industry to resolve issues that could threaten their livelihood, business, investments and entrepreneurial initiatives/spirits. If not, it may result in a nation-wide protest, affecting ties and businesses, industry sources said. “One of the biggest concerns is that after securing discounted rates from a hotel, they discount it on their online platforms without the hotel’s consent,” said Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, vice-president, FHRAI and president, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India.