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Travel Tech urges Houston city council to reject proposed new taxes on online travel agents


Travel Tech on May 09, 2017

Below is a statement from Steve Shur, President of the Travel Technology Association, on Houston’s proposed ordinance that would apply occupancy taxes to the online travel agent service fees.  The ordinance will be considered at today’s city council meeting.  Travel Tech submitted a letter to the Mayor and the council as well.

 

“Online travel agencies facilitate the booking of tens of thousands of rooms in Houston every year.  Imposing discriminating taxes on OTA fees provides a disincentive for OTAs to steer travelers to Houston hotels.  Like all taxes, this new tax will be passed on to the consumer in the form of higher room rates, making Houston hotels less attractive to and less competitive with those outside the city limits. Leisure travelers are hyper price-sensitive and will drive a few miles for lower-priced hotels. The proposal to tax OTAs is short sighted. Any tax revenue generated will be offset by the lost revenue when travelers choose to stay outside the city. We urge the city council to reject this proposal and find ways to grow your tourism economy, not tax it.\\\\\\\"