Travel Tech's members are among the world's leaders in technology innovation. Often taken for granted, the ability to effectively search, compare and book travel is an immensely complex challenge. All of Travel Tech's members - the GDSs, OTAs, travel management companies and metasearch and short-term rental platforms - operate this complex market seamlessly and with great benefits to both travel providers and consumers.
What started as airline reservation systems, traditional travel agencies and the renting of homes via local realtors has blossomed into a technological ecosystem that encompasses all travel products across the globe. Travel Tech's members took an extremely fragmented marketplace and developed the technology to empower consumers to make informed choices, regardless of where they shop for and ultimately book travel and gives travel suppliers visibility to billions of travel consumers globally.
Travel Tech members:
~Operate in over 195 countries
~Draw an average of 515 million or more monthly visitors to their websites
~Facilitate over $130 billion in gross travel bookings
~Employ over 2.8 million people worldwide
Policy Impacting Innovation:
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) has been enormously important to the growth of the internet by providing legal certainty to an ever-expanding world of internet services, including social media, blogs, consumer review sites, search engines, and in the case of our members, travel and accommodations intermediaries and platforms. Drastic changes to Section 230 could lead to serious consequences for the millions of consumers who visit our members’ websites every day, particularly those who rely upon travel platforms for user reviews and opinions of accommodations, restaurants, attractions, airlines, and more.
Online travel companies, metasearch sites, and short-term rental platforms employ highly sophisticated content moderation processes to ensure these reviews are genuine and accurate. However, they simply would not be able to adequately screen such content without the protections afforded under Section 230, and consumers of travel would no longer have access to the peer-reviewed content they have grown to trust over the past two decades.
This legal standard has provided an environment that promotes innovation and has allowed the internet to grow and thrive over the past two decades. Absent the protections of Section 230, all internet platforms would be obligated to police and censor content under the threat of massive legal liability, destabilizing the internet as we know it and opening up companies to endless frivolous lawsuits.
Additionally, the removal of Section 230 protections will result in enormous liability exposure for e-commerce platforms. Only the largest e-commerce platforms in business today would be able to bear the cost and liability of such exposure. Start-ups, new entrants, and innovators would be disincentivized to build new platforms, products and, services based on the immense liability exposure leaving only a few major players to survive.
Any further amending of Section 230 of the CDA must be carefully and thoughtfully considered. In one generation, the internet has transformed the way the world communicates, learns, thinks, educates, works, shops, and travels, and Section 230 has been a vital piece of that transformation.