(Washington D.C., Tuesday, October 8, 2019)The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) released research that reveals online booking scams and dishonest marketing practices by fraudulent and misleading travel websites continue to deceive and confuse consumers.

Twenty three percent of consumers report being misled by third-party traveler resellers on the phone or online, which amounted to $5.7 billion in fraudulent and misleading hotel booking transactions in 2018 alone.

Over 40% of consumers were upset to learn that when they comparison shop among these “digital middle men,” Trivago, Kayak, Expedia, Orbitz, Hotels.com, Travelocity, Booking.com, and others, they are usually just comparing the same two companies: Expedia and Priceline, which together control 95% of the online travel market.

When booking a hotel reservation through a third party, one out of four consumers experienced a problem with their reservation.

AHLA encourages consumers to Search Smarter, a campaign aimed at helping travelers avoid lost reservations, additional fees, and potentially ruined vacations. The transparency campaign encourages consumers to book smart by booking directly with hotels or trusted travel agents.

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) is the sole national association representing all segments of the U.S. lodging industry and contributes nearly $660 billion to the U.S. GDP. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AHLA focuses on strategic advocacy, communications support and workforce development programs to move the industry and our employees forward. Every day, America’s hotels make dreams come true, not just for our guests, but also for the 8.3 million people whose jobs we support—more than one in every 25 American jobs. Learn more at www.ahla.com.

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