27 September 2010

In Corfu this is nothing new!

Although this article is very worrying for the Caribbean Hoteliers, I cannot help but find it slightly amusing, as the tour oeprators have been doing this to Corfu accommodation owners for years. Every year hoteliers and villa owners sign a contract around June for the next season, sometimes they are even given a 1% increase. Every winter the tour operator starts making noises about bad seasons (NEVER ever about good seasons!) and every spring they call the owners in for a meeting to 'discuss' a rate reduction, only the discussion is somewhat one sided, ie 'Take it or leave it'.

'The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association has threatened legal action against Thomas Cook if the operator does not drop its plan to deduct 5% from payments for August and September.

The CTTA joins the worldwide chorus of disapproval at Thomas Cook which says it is dropping payments for UK customers’ rooms to hotels worldwide as it needs to recoup losses.

The CHTA said it was rejecting the “unilateral move” by Thomas Cook and would take a “strong collective stand”. It added that hotels had been told verbally about the cuts but not in writing.

Thomas Cook chief executive Manny Fontenla-Novoa has been sent a letter by the Cancun Hotel Association saying that unless he withdraw the 5% cut, the operator will have a legal battle on its hands.

CHTA director general and chief executive officer Alex Sanguinetti said: “CHTA is polling our members to find out how far and wide this unilateral policy by Thomas Cook has spread.”

He added that the CHTA would be sending a letter to Thomas Cook on behalf of its member hotel associations expressing concern and rejection of the plan.

Added Sanguinetti: “We can’t have any company taking unilateral and unauthorized monetary deductions because they experienced a drop in their earnings, no matter how steeped in history and credibility they have accumulated over the years.

“Tour operator contracts have been negotiated and are currently in place. Contracts are to be upheld by both parties and when this breaks down unilaterally it undermines the entire contracting system.”

I couldn't agree more! Best wishes to the Caribbean Hoteliers, I hope they have better luck than Corfu ever did.