KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 5 — The Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry (MOTAC) will look into the need for a mechanism to regulate the services and operations of Online Travel Agents (OTA) in the country, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri said there was no legal provision currently to regulate OTA services offered to hotel operators and tourist accommodation premises.
She said the OTA operation with the accommodation operator, including transaction process with customers, was based on the agreement of the terms and conditions between the parties involved only.
“This also includes the commission rate which is now based business to business arrangement by both parties. The (proposed) regulation will not only ensure the quality of service at the accommodation premises is good, but also as cooperation between MOTAC and stakeholders to continue to improve the industry to a better level,” she said during the Minister’s Question Time in the Dewan Rakyat today.
She was responding to a question from Abdul Latiff Abdul Rahman (PAS-Kuala Krai) on whether MOTAC planned to set a ceiling level on commission for room sales through OTA due to the high rate charged by the companies concerned to tourist accommodation operators.
Nancy said the matter should be looked into thoroughly as the business network between the two entities was interconnected and not biased.
She said the business collaboration between OTA and accommodation operators was an alternative to provide a competitive accommodation price for customers.
“Hotel operators, however, can choose to work with any OTA or they can sell hotel rooms directly to customers without OTA services and earn maximum profit without sharing with the OTA,” she added.