The U.S. hotel industry plans to step up a lobbying and public relations attack on Expedia Inc. and Priceline Group Inc., hoping to convince consumers and members of the Trump administration that the travel-booking giants are monopolistic. A proposed marketing campaign aims to portray online travel companies as monopolistic by highlighting that different booking sites like Booking.com, Hotwire.com, Kayak.com and Travelocity all fall within the empires of Priceline and Expedia. “The rollout will play off the Monopoly board game to better underscore that the individual companies are really owned only by two major players,” the documents said.“The Expedia and Priceline duopoly hurts consumer choice and the small businesses in our industry, which represent some 60 percent of all hotels in the U.S., who are struggling to compete as a result of the gouging commission rates” charged by the online travel agencies, she said. The documents also outline plans to re-brand the hotel industry as tech-savvy and innovative. The group wants to get more hotel executives speaking at technology conferences and is planning “field trips” for political staff to visit hotel “innovation labs,” according to the documents. “We want to create an environment where the hotel industry is thought of inside the Beltway as an innovator with an important voice in technology policy discussions.”
Full article here (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-05-05/u-s-hotels-plan-attack-on-the-priceline-expedia-monopoly)
Are companies such as Priceline and Kayak hurting the hotel industry? Do you think they will be able to convince the Trump administration that these travel-booking giants are monopolistic? Thoughts?