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5.2 billion dollars — that’s how much travelers are spending every year on fraudulent and misleading online booking transactions.
That’s why the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) are launching a “Search Smarter” education and awareness campaign this summer to educate travelers on the benefits of booking directly through company websites.
While I’m an optimist at heart and believe the world is made up of innately good people, the reality is that there are a few sour apples both in person and online with ulterior motives to mislead travelers that could cost them money.
Through third-party travel resellers, 23% of consumers report being misled on the phone or online, which resulted in 28.5 million hotel stays and 5.2 billion in fraudulent or misleading transactions in 2017 alone!If you know someone going on a trip soon, share this with them to make sure they're not booking through a scam site! Click To Tweet
President and CEO of AHLA, Katherine Lugar stated:
We encourage consumers to look before you book, slow down, and search smarter. Taking a few extra seconds to book directly with a hotel or a trusted travel agent can save time and money in the long run, and lead to a better travel experience overall.
There’s so many benefits to booking directly through hotel sites, because there are no surprise fees, charges, or any doubt that your transaction isn’t secured.
As travel is becoming more accessible to the everyday person and accommodating for varying budgets, it’s so important not to skimp out on your security just to save a few dollars.
Before you press “BOOK” do a quick Google search reviewing the website you’re about to book on.
Type in “*name of website* scams” and see if this yields any results of people complaining that they lost money or didn’t actually get a confirmed booking.
I hope this serves as a reality check for you to be more cautious, vigilant, and aware of the scams that exist in the online booking industry, and I urge you to pass this message along or tell a friend so that we all become better-informed travelers. Check out the video below!
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored on behalf of the AHLA, but as always, all opinions are my own.