If you have ever been to one of the big hotel and flight booking portals on the Internet, you may have noticed sentences like "Only 1 room like this left on our site", "other persons showed interest in this hotel in the last 24 hours", "the room is popular", or "time limited offer".
Hotel and flight booking portals like Booking.com use these to convey a sense of urgency to people interested in finding a hotel or flight in order for them to make rash decisions.
According to a Reuters report, Booking.com will stop using manipulative sales practices in the European Union from June 16, 2020 onward.
The European Commission said that Booking.com had committed to end “manipulative techniques” on its travel site, such as time-limits for making bookings and misrepresentation of discounts.
One of the main issues that the European Commission had was that some of the information that Booking.com displayed on its site would not provide any context. The "only x rooms" message for example meant only that Booking.com could not provide any more rooms to interested users but it did not necessarily mean that the hotel itself or competing services would not have any rooms either anymore.
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