Turkish court has ruled for the suspension of Booking.com’s activities in the country on Wednesday after the Turkish Travel Agencies Association (TURSAB) filed a lawsuit over unfair competition.
According to a statement released on TURSAB’s website, Istanbul’s 5th commercial court of first instance ruled in favor of the association, suspending the online hotel reservation website’s activities as precaution against unfair competition.
In the first instance Booking.com may seem to be a positive arrangement for consumers. This is because when the consumer visits Booking.com, hotels rooms are easily reserved with the lowest price guarantee. On the other hand, looking at the bigger picture, there may be different conclusions and, within that context, there are a number of facts that should be considered. For instance, whether these “lowest” prices that are applied in the Booking.com platform have the majority market share. As a consequence of this the accommodation facilities would be unwilling to offer lower prices direct to customers.
Access to the website is expected to be blocked following the official court notice.
This may seem a minor inconvenience. However we feel that this shows the Government is taking tourism very seriously. This will be good news for hoteliers and pansyon owners who struggle to compete with the might of Booking.com. It also shows that the Turkish tourism industry is moving towards a more structured and professional era. Coupled with the new rulings for registering villas, standards and therefore, holidays will only get better.
Booking.com will be reinstated once they begin to comply with the competition rulings.