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Update from BOA on Hostelworld contract

08 November 2013

BOA is pleased to report that positive progress has been made in regards to hostel operators’ concerns about the Hostelworld Standard Services and Licence Agreement.

boa11Hostelworld has acknowledged that their initial communication of the revised contract was not handled as well as it could, and that Hostelworld has subsequently taken on board input from hostel operators and associations. Hostelworld has since issued a revised contract that addresses the concerns of many hostel operators around the world, who have welcomed this approach.

BOA appreciates Hostelworld’s decision to modify the initial agreement and remove some of the more contentious clauses. This brings Hostelworld at least in line with most other Online Travel Agents (OTAs) and in some cases, such as removal of mandatory rate parity, Hostelworld now offers more favourable conditions than other leading OTAs.

While some BOA members – particularly larger hostel chains – still have some concerns over clauses that deal with online advertising using suppliers’ brand names (e.g. Google Adwords), the BOA Committee believes that it is now time to move on and  advised these hostel chains to work with Hostelworld directly to clarify their position.

BOA will continue to contribute to the broader discussion about the relationship between accommodation providers and OTAs, including a call to reset the relationship and establish fair practices in online distribution. More information on this topic can be found in the ‘Sydney Declaration’ posted on the STAY WYSE website, following a forum at the recent World Youth & Student Travel Conference (WYSTC) – see http://staywyse.org/2013/09/20/sydney-declaration/

BOA is pleased, therefore, that most of the issues with the Hostelworld contract have been resolved, and that the emphasis can now be on strengthening a mutually advantageous partnership.

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