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Monday, August 17, 2015

Business profile: The Abbey hotel, Bath

Ian and Christa Taylor have doubled turnover since acquiring the Abbey hotel in Bath three years ago. Janet Harmer finds out how throwing off the shackles of a brand have helped boost business

The branded hotel sector may be expanding, but Ian Taylor believes that independent operators can be just as successful, if not more so, than those with a badge over the door.

Taylor speaks from experience. He and his wife Christa were the owners of the Cotswold House hotel and the Noel Arms in Chipping Campden until they sold the two properties in 2007. During their eight-year tenure, they scooped a rarely-matched three Catey awards – Independent Hotel of the Year in 2005 and Best Independent Marketing Campaign in 2005 and 2007 – after successfully transforming Cotswold House into a high-performing, luxury boutique hotel without the support of a brand. Read More »

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

France bans all hotel rate parity clauses by law

The French decision allows hotels in France to set lower prices both on their online and offline direct distribution channels - including their own hotel website - than the rates available via intermediaries, thus putting an end to mandatory rate parity clauses. - See more at:  Read More »

Friday, July 10, 2015

France bans rate parity

France is to ban rate parity, after legislation outlawing the practice passed its third review by the French National Assembly yesterday.

Following confirmation from the French prime minister Manuel Valls (pictured), the legislation is expected to be adopted no later than today (10 July).

However, this new law contradicts commitments by the French Competition Authority accepted earlier this spring.

The commitments agreed between prominent online travel agents (OTAs) and the French Competition Authority included a provision that would allow for narrow rate parity, a condition that permits the OTA to restrict a hotel from offering lower public room rates on the hotel’s own website than the rates offered through the agent’s site. As a result, customers continue to see virtually the same price across all websites rather than a competitive marketplace with many sites competing with one another to offer the most attractive deal. Read More »

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

BHA slams 'restrictive' OTA rate parity agreements

The British Hospitality Association (BHA) has criticised ‘restrictive’ price fixing agreements set by online travel agents (OTA’s), and announced that it will continue to campaign to ban the terms.

The group's statement coincides with a commitment from prominent OTA Booking.com to roll out its new rate parity agreements in the UK and Europe on 1 July.

Under the commitment, hoteliers advertising rooms on the site will be able to offer lower prices and additional services through other OTA’s.

However, the hotels will be prevented from offering cheaper rates or better booking conditions through their own websites than those advertised on Booking.com.

Though Booking.com said the commitment was necessary for the site to remain ‘a cost-effective marketing channel for partners and deliver transparency, choice and great prices for consumers’, the BHA is arguing that such terms restrict freedom in the market. Read More »

Monday, June 29, 2015

Cutting tourism VAT could provide £20bn boost to UK

The campaign to Cut Tourism VAT has placed renewed pressure on the government after a study revealed that lowering the tax could be worth £20bn to the UK.
According to a report by Nevin Associates, cutting the rate of tourism VAT from 20 to five per cent would reduce the UK’s Balance of Trade deficit by £632m in year one, £1.1bn in year two, £1.5bn in year three and £20.1bn over 10 years, at 2015 prices. Read More »