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How will the Digital Markets Act impact your holiday search experience?

Wednesday, 24 January 2024
Platform economy Newsletter

Have you already started planning your summer holidays and are looking for the dream hotel somewhere in the Mediterranean? Or even checking which fancy restaurants you will visit?

If you use Google Search to help you find your dream holidays, your user experience will be very different compared to last year.

From 9 March, various online platforms will have to comply with various obligations under the Digital Markets Act (DMA) which reigns in on disproportionate market power of gatekeeper platforms (so called Gatekeepers). HOTREC warmly welcomed the DMA, and we remain convinced that the law, which addresses the disproportionate power of large online platforms, will represent an important legislative framework for many hotels and restaurants around Europe.

Nevertheless, we are very concerned with one of the changes that will soon be visible on Google Search. The DMA obliges Google to rearrange its search result page so that it no longer favours its own products, such as Google Hotels compared to other ‘’non-Google’’ comparison sites.

HOTREC fears that proposed changes will reduce the visibility of direct hotel website at the expense of powerful online platforms that will be more prominently visible on the new search page. In our view, the proposed changes will impact business performance, reduce competitiveness and consumer choice.

While these changes cannot be welcomed by hoteliers around Europe, HOTREC is eagerly waiting for the official designation of the largest Online Travel Agent as a gatekeeper platform as soon as possible.