2013 vs 2017
Side-by-side comparison of the 2013 and 2017 versions of the Sydney Declaration.
Sydney Declaration 2013
Sydney Declaration 2017
Agreements between OTAs and youth travel accommodation operators should not contain clauses that:
Agreements between Online Travel Agents (OTAs) and Hostels should be reflective of the following principles:
1. Allow the use of property or brand names in online advertising, unless specifically authorised;
1. OTAs should seek prior approval from Hostels for using property and/or brand names in advertisements and promotions;
2. Require rate parity;
2. Agreements should be based on a legal framework that does not require or enforce rate and availability parity;
3. Enforce mandatory availability parity (either via last room availability or minimum allocations);
3. Agreements should include fair and reasonable notice periods and times;
4. Allow for agreements to be terminated at short notice (without a compelling cause), with no consultation and without being signed by both parties;
4. Agreements should be written in plain and precise language;
5. Are not written in plain English (and are not translated into the main official language of the operator);
5. Agreements should be in line with trade, competition and consumer laws in the Hostel’s and OTA’s jurisdictions;
6. Conflict with national or international trade, competition or consumer laws;
6. Agreements should not require Hostels to indemnify OTAs for tax obligations on commissions;
7. Require operators to indemnify OTAs for tax obligations on commissions;
7. Agreements should ensure that commission to OTAs is only paid for consumed bookings;
8. Allow the OTAs to be opaque in how they display default search results (including the use of spurious” recommended” terms that are designed to mislead consumers, when the basis of recommendation is the % commission paid or the availability given to the OTA);
8. OTAs should treat all Hostels equally regardless of size and location;
9. Result in commissions being paid on no shows or any other unrealised turnover.
9. OTAs should provide Hostels with all required personal information including email addresses to allow the provision of efficient and personalised services to guests. (A positive relationship between the Hostel and guest will also be positive for the OTA);
10. Discriminate against an operator based on size or location.
10. Agreements should ensure that OTAs provide all personal information required to comply with all applicable laws in the Hostel’s jurisdiction;
11. Agreements should ensure that OTAs can only offer rooms/beds at rates set by the Hostel operator. OTAs should not offer a given bed/room at different rates in different locations depending on the country or city from which the OTA is accessed. OTAs should not be able to undercut the rates as given to them by the Hostel without permission;
12. Agreements should ensure that Hostels can determine their own cancellation policies;
13. Agreements should ensure that OTAs do not advertise alternatives for the same nights to guests who have confirmed with a Hostel on their system;
14. Agreements should ensure that Hostels do not have to honour or hold bookings for which a credit card has been declined and an alternative has not been charged;
A briefing paper was distributed during WYSTC Belgrade (2016) to allow all Distribution Roundtable participants to gain a common understanding of current issues with regards to the relationship between OTAs and youth travel accommodation providers. It served not as a comprehensive report, but as a working document which allowed participants to have an informed and structured discussion. To download this 12-page document please click here.