Booking.com promised payment on Monday (14 August) to accommodation providers whose transactions have been delayed for weeks. According to some sources, this has been fulfilled almost 100%. Meanwhile, Fidesz has called for a meeting of the National Assembly’s tourism subcommittee to discuss the matter – turizmus.comreports.
Earlier we reported that the international accommodation website was several weeks behind in paying accommodation fees in July due to an IT changeover, affecting mostly private accommodation. Booking.com has also failed to meet the deadlines it has repeatedly revised, with many of its Hungarian accommodation partners not receiving large amounts until recently. According to a survey by the Hungarian Tourism Agency, 2,290 businesses said they were owed money by the accommodation provider by 8 August, and 26% had not yet received over one million euros from the online platform.
The Hungarian Competition Authority has launched a complaint procedure against Booking.com.
As a result of weeks of negotiations,
the company last promised that by Monday of this week, almost all of the twenty-two thousand Hungarian partner companies will receive the delayed payments, and by Thursday, regular and hopefully error-free operation will be restored,
reportedIndex on Sunday, citing MEP István Ujhelyi, who said that the delay in payments was due to a change in accounting and bookkeeping software that had been prepared more than two years ago. The MEP posted on Monday afternoon that according to information he received from the managers of the international accommodation company,
Booking.com had settled 98.2 percent of payments in Hungary by Sunday evening,
and according to their accounting, only 14 payments had been postponed to Monday morning, mostly due to banking technical problems in Hungary.
Booking.com is several weeks behind with the payment of accommodation fees.Continue reading
According to Balázs Schumicky, President of the Hungarian Association of Apartment Hosts, many accommodation providers, including himself, had already received the outstanding payments, but he had no information as to whether the remaining transactions had been completed by Monday.
In yesterday’s news,
Fidesz has called for a meeting of the National Assembly’s tourism subcommittee on Tuesday over Booking.com’s “money withholding scandal”.
Representatives of the Hungarian Competition Authority, the Hungarian Tourism Agency and the Consumer Protection Authority are expected to attend the meeting to give an accurate picture of the situation and possible responses.
Balázs Schumicky welcomed the actions of the government and the authorities, saying that “it is an oligopoly market, as practically a few big players like Booking.com, Airbnb or Szallas.hu dominate the Hungarian accommodation intermediary market, so it is very important to protect both guests, consumers and hosts.”
He stressed that they were also pleased with the Hungarian Competition Authority investigation because
Booking.com did not offer any compensation to the accommodation providers for the inconvenience caused, which might not have left hosts with such a negative impression”.