Belgian hotels and hostels may soon be able to offer cheaper room prices than booking.com. A parliamentary committee will today vote on a law proposal that would make it easier for local hotels, guesthouses, hostels and bed and breakfasts to set their room prices as they see fit. Belgium’s minister of consumer affairs Kris Peeters has repeatedly said that he wants to give local tourism accommodation providers more flexibility to set their own prices.
If it is passed by federal lawmakers, the law will introduce a ban on so-called parity provisions, which forbid hotel operators that have signed an agreement with booking.com from advertising lower prices than those offered on the popular online booking site.
It is estimated that roughly 40 % of hotel reservations in Belgium are made through the booking.com website, which is headquartered in Amsterdam but active around the world.
The draft law was written in response to complaints from local hotel industry associations last year about the stringent pricing provisions imposed by online booking platforms like booking.com.
Linda A. Thompson
The Brussels Times