Another hotel chain dumps big website

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Rica Hotels, one of Norway’s largest hotel chains, has become the latest to stop selling its rooms over the large hotel website Expedia/Hotels.com. That means all the large Scandinavian hotel chains have now broken ties with the US-based web giant.

Rica Chairman Ole-Jacob Wold confirmed that Rica’s earlier agreement with Hotels.com ran out on December 31 and was not renewed. Rica has around 80 hotels in Norway and Sweden that no longer can be found or booked through Hotels.com, reported newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN).

The paper has reported earlier on how Nordic Choice, First Hotels, Scandic Hotels and Thon Hotels have dumped Hotels.com, and both Best Western and De Historiske hotels recommended that their independent owners withdraw from the website. Their complaints centered around Expedia’s reported demand for rate parity, which meant that no customer could book a room at a lower rate through the hotel itself. The Norwegian hotels felt that gave Hotels.com too much pricing power, and they revolted against the clause that they couldn’t sell rooms at lower rates through their own websites.

The hotels are now relying on their own websites to attract bookings and several are also using the Dutch hotel booking site Booking.com. Expedia officials haven’t been willing to comment, reported DN.

newsinenglish.no staff