The umbrella body for leisure accommodation wants Booking.com – a popular travel fare aggregator website and search engine for lodging reservations to drop its new commission policy.
The Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association’s CEO Senator Rudy Grant has said that his organization has been joined by the regional umbrella Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) to object to the Amsterdam-based website leveraging commission on a number of items in its billing to users.
Senator Grant named one of these items as service charge which should not be included in the new policy, in keeping with position on which the BHTA and the CHTA are agreed.
He told Barbados TODAY: “There are items such as service charge. Service charge in many jurisdictions, and certainly including here in Barbados, is included in the collective agreement between the hotel association and the unions representing the workers.
“And in the case of Barbados, it is the BHTA and the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) in our memorandum of agreement.”
He noted that service charge is not generated by the hotels and is not reflected in their costs or prices.
Senator Grant declared: “It is essentially what is identified and agreed to between the hotel association and workers union with respect to that service element that should be provided to the staffing in a pecuniary form.
“So when Booking.com puts a position that they should receive commissions on an item such as service charge, the BHTA and CHTA are of the opinion that that should not exist.”
The BHTA CEO revealed that negotiations were continuing to reach a settlement on the issue.
He told Barbados TODAY: “We are hopeful that good sense would prevail and that we would be able to reach a solution on this very delicate matter.
“We would not want a situation where hotels are being asked to pay commissions on items that are not relevant and should not be properly included.
“And the CHTA has asked Booking.com to remove those items and I believe they are expecting very soon to have some response from Booking.com.
Booking.com is the primary revenue source of the United States-based firm, Booking Holdings.