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HOTREC: soon to be designated as Gatekeeper

Monday, 04 March 2024
digital announcement on its gatekeeper status is the first step to its formal designation under the Digital Markets Act (DMA). The European hotel industry has been long warning of unfair business practices of the largest Online Travel Agent (OTA) and calls for more fairness and transparency in the online accommodation market. We hope that the European Commission will designate the company as a gatekeeper as soon as possible. 

The notification of represents an important milestone after over a decade-long struggle of European hoteliers with unfair practices of Booking. We fully expect that the company will adjust its business behaviour such as removing all price parity clauses, enabling access to data generated by listings and allowing hoteliers to opt out of various services that entrench them in Booking services.

HOTREC expects to conduct a transparent process and inform of proposed changes in a timely manner when changing various aspects of its business operations. We fully believe that any updates must not be introduced to circumvent obligations under the DMA.

Marie Audren, HOTREC Director General, commented: ‘This notification is only the first step in ensuring that Booking will be fully compliant with the DMA. HOTREC remains available for constructive and transparent engagement with Booking and the European Commission’’.

According to HOTREC distribution study, Booking’s market share on the hotel accommodation market has increased considerably from 60% in 2013 to 71% in 2021. The next edition of the HOTREC distribution study will be delivered in June 2024.

Press contact

In case of any queries, please contact Mr Matej Žežlin, Public Affairs Manager at HOTREC.


HOTREC is the umbrella association of Hotels, Restaurants, Bars and Cafés and similar establishments in Europe. It brings together 46 national associations in 36 European countries and serves as the voice of the European hospitality industry. HOTREC’s mission is to represent and champion the industry’s interests towards the EU and international institutions, foster knowledge sharing and best practices among its members to promote innovation and serve as an expert platform for the hospitality sector.  

The European hospitality industry is a vital economic contributor, comprising 2 million businesses and employing 10 million people. It plays a vital role in driving economic growth and job creation, contributing approximately 3% to the total EU GDP. The industry is characterized by a high level of entrepreneurship, with 99% of businesses classified as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). These companies bring innovation, creativity, and a personal touch to the industry.