The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) said it
will "advise hotels to reassess their use" of Booking.com if the OTA follows through on plans to charge hotels a commission on mandatory resort fees.
In a letter sent to Booking.com earlier this week, CHTA CEO
and director general Frank Comito said the trade group has received "strong
negative backlash from our members about the overall policy, and in particular
regarding assessing commission on employee tips and gratuities."
Comito's letter cited a recent survey showing that 37% of
the region's hotels assess resort fees. While those fees vary by destination
and property, Comito said resort fees typically include gratuities and
destination fees, with the latter often going toward initiatives such as
beautification, environmental enhancement and marketing.
He added that amenities like breakfast, complimentary
beverages, pool and beach access, parking and WiFi can be covered by resort
Comito argued that by charging a commission on these fees,
Booking.com negatively impacts employee gratuities and hotel profitability. In
order to offset the commission charge on fees, he said that Caribbean hotels
could be forced to assess a fee surcharge on Booking.com customers as well as
switch to "more favorable booking platforms."
The CHTA counts roughly 1,000 hotel and allied members among
its membership base.
In May, Booking.com said it opted to charge a commission on
mandatory fees to pressure hotels into greater price transparency, as resort
fees rarely are included in an advertised price.