Booking.com has said it disagrees with an Istanbul court ruling to halt the activities of the Netherlands-based travel fare aggregator website in Turkey, adding that it will appeal the decision.
The website on March 30 began to halt selling rooms in Turkey to Turkish users, one day after a court decision to block the website in the country.
“As an e-commerce and technology company, we are convinced that we contribute to healthy competition in the market by offering Turkish consumers a transparent and easy platform to compare and book accommodation all over the world,” the company said, as quoted by the Associated Press on March 29.
It added that Booking.com also helps 13,000 Turkish businesses offer accommodation to consumers.
An Istanbul court on March 29 ordered the suspension of the activities of Booking.com in Turkey, citing accusations of unfair competition.
The Istanbul 5th Court of First Instance ordered the suspension of Booking.com to market and mediate stationed hotel and accommodation facilities in Turkey on its own website and on other addresses, in a lawsuit filed by the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TURSAB).
The website can be used from foreign countries to make reservations for Turkey hotels. Closed to reservations from Turkey
The court ruling is expected to mainly hit local tourism and city hotels.
According to a sector player, Turkey’s city hotels take around 35 percent of their reservations via websites, with Booking.com taking a large share of this total.
“Online portals have been a direct reservation outlet for city hotels and represent a good source of income. Such hotels take around 35 percent of their reservations via these portals and Booking.com had a large share of this total with around 25 percent,” said the head of the Professional Hoteliers Association (POYD), Hakan Duran, as quoted by the Doğan News Agency on March 30.
This decision will affect local tourism, Duran noted, adding that it would take around 10 days for the effects of the ruling to be felt.