Booking.com needs no travel agency license in Turkey: Expert
ISTANBUL - Anadolu Agency
Booking.com does not need to have a travel agency license since it does not operate as one but acts as a “middleman,” according to a 63-page report presented by a group of experts to a court in a case in Istanbul involving the online agent and the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB).
The report, however, suggested that the online agent should pay tax as it generates revenues from its Turkey operations.
“Booking.com is paid a commission for the hotel reservations, thus it is liable to pay tax,” it said.
The lawyer representing the online agent demanded the decision to suspend the company’s activities be lifted.
The court decided to provide the parties some time to present their cases against the report. The court scheduled the next hearing for April 12, 2019.
The Booking.com website and app, headquartered in the Netherlands, have been suspended in Turkey since March 29, 2017 by a court ruling citing accusations of unfair competition in the lawsuit filed by TÜRSAB.
On March 30, Booking.com, which had around 13,000 hotel members from Turkey, began to halt selling rooms in Turkey to Turkish users, obeying the order to block the website.
In May, a local court rejected an objection by Booking.com against the suspension of its activities in Turkey.
However, the website and application can be used from foreign countries to make reservations for hotels in Turkey.