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Against the backdrop of increasing consolidation of major Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), a group of leading hostels and industry associations met during WYSTC Sydney in 2013 to formulate a position statement regarding online distribution practices.
The group stated in 2013 “Online Travel Agents (OTAs) and youth travel accommodation operators are mutually dependent. OTAs have benefited by broadening the variety of product they offer, while youth travel accommodation providers have gained distribution to customers in markets where they are less well known. Youth travellers have gained most – from being able to access a broad range of accommodation options, coupled with customer reviews and location content.
Nevertheless the accommodation operators are the ultimate providers of the product; they alone should determine where it is sold and at what price. There is thus a need for a sensible reset to be found in a relationship which, over time, has become less and less commercially balanced. A number of fair practices need to be established to ensure product sovereignty rests with the operators. Equally OTAs that provide genuine value to operators can be assured of continued support in terms of competitive product and good availability.”
What followed was the first version of the Sydney Declaration. Since 2013 the hostel industry has debated, revised and updated the Sydney Declaration. Please click the links below for more information on the background of the Sydney Declaration, who has signed it and how to sign it yourself.
Addressing the relationship between Online Travel Agents and Hostels
Agreements between Online Travel Agents (OTAs) and Hostels should be reflective of the following principles: