Consultation on use of price parity clauses in the accommodation and tourism industry

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The Federal government is consulting on the price parity clauses that on line travel agents/platforms may have in their agreements with accommodation and tourism providers.

These clauses may:

  • meant that a provider listed on the platform cannot offer their services to customers through other distribution channels at prices that are lower than those on the platform, and
  • be included in terms and conditions that providers are required to agree to when entering into an arrangement with an online booking platform.

The Consultation Paper seeks feedback on the use and impact of price parity clauses and similar restrictions. It has been released to assist the Government to:

  • understand the extent to which price parity clauses or similar practices are being used by online booking platforms, and any impact this is having on the ability of Australian tourism. and accommodation providers to set their own prices when guests contact them to book; and
  • identify if any action, including legislative change, is required to address this.

The consultation is seeking to obtain information and views from accommodation and tourism providers and online booking platforms.

However, consumers spend large amounts on services provided by the accommodation and tourism industry and make great uses of the internet when comparing and buying these services. Furthermore, price parity clauses can increase prices and reduce competition. Therefore, to ensure that their views are known and considered, it is very important that consumers and consumer organisations also participate in the consultation. This can be done by responding to the following question in the Consultation Paper aimed at ALL stakeholders:

17.Do you have any other comments relating to restrictions on tourism and accommodation providers setting prices that you would like to be considered as part of this consultation?      

Information about the consultation, and a copy of the Consultation Paper, are available here

The closing date for submissions is 6 January 2023.

Ian Jarratt, Queensland Consumers Association