New Study Reveals: Some 15 Million Online Bookings Are Scams by Rogue Websites
American Hotel & Lodging Association
When it comes to booking a hotel, it pays to go straight to the source. A new study conducted by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) reveals that one in three people are worried about online booking scams, which affect millions of unsuspecting consumers.
Early estimates suggested that some 2.5 million hotel bookings a year were affected by deceptive practices through rogue third-party online travel agency (OTA) affiliates who pose as direct hotel booking sites. The study, conducted by GFK Custom Research, and released today shows that six percent of consumers who have booked hotels online had the experience of thinking they were booking directly with a hotel, but found out instead that they were booking with an online hotel booking site posing as the direct site. By AH&LA estimates, that translates to some 15 million hotel bookings that have been affected by deceptive rogue affiliates. That translates to more than $1.3 billion in money going to bad bookings, meaning consumers are not getting what they want and need, not to mention suffering inconveniences, lost room charges, and cancellation and booking fees. Another 20 percent of respondents who have booked hotels online reported that they were “not sure” if they had also been scammed.