Deregulation threat to travel deals

24 August 2005
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25 August 2005 | Anusha Bradley

Deregulation of electronic booking could reduce travel buyers' ability to access the best deals, booking firm Booking Services International has warned.

The European Commission is considering opening up the market for global distribution systems, which display flight, hotel and other prices accessed and bought by booking firms, to improve competition.

But many fear deregulation could allow larger hotel chains and airlines to negotiate lower fees and pay to have their products displayed prominently.

This could lead to systems listing different products, making travel buyers' search for the best prices more difficult.

John MacOmish, business strategy director of Booking Services International, told SM: "Corporate purchasers need to be very careful how their intermediary is involved and how it is going to control pricing."

A survey by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) found 86 per cent of corporate buyers saw the deregulation of global distribution systems as a threat.

SMaug2005

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