Late Booking.com Payments Impact Accommodations in Hungary

Tourism

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A survey conducted by the Hungarian Tourism Agency indicates around half of the tourism accommodations have been affected by problems with online tourism agency Booking.com's payment platform, according to news agency MTI.

In a statement issued late Tuesday, the agency said 80pc of those tourism accommodations affected hadn't received payment for bookings through Booking.com.

Of the close to 6,000 tourism accommodation operators, mostly family-run businesses, who have responded to the survey so far, 2,290 said Booking.com owed them money. Around 28% said Booking.com owed them between HUF 500,000 and HUF 1 million, and 26% said they were waiting for transfers of over HUF 1 mln.

The survey was launched on August 4 and the agency is accepting responses until August 11.

The agency noted that Booking.com had earlier signaled payment delays due to summer maintenance of the platform, but had also indicated that the regular payment schedule would resume after July 27.

Zoltán Guller, who chairs the board of the Hungarian Tourism Agency, called the payment delays during the high season "outrageous and unacceptable", adding that they had put the livelihoods of "thousands of families" at risk.

The agency has started talks with authorities on the matter and will offer the affected accommodations legal aid. 

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