People, Travel
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European Travel Websites Mislead Consumers

Officials claim Iran’s coastal regions have the potential to attract 3 million foreign visitors a year.Officials claim Iran’s coastal regions have the potential to attract 3 million foreign visitors a year.

Two-thirds of travel booking websites provide misleading information on prices and breach EU consumer protection rules, the European Commission said on Friday.

In its survey of 352 online travel booking and comparison services, it found a third of the websites displayed initial prices that were not the final prices and in a fifth of the cases promotional offers were not available, the commission was quoted as saying by Reuters.

About one in four websites also misled consumers by saying there were only a limited amount of seats or rooms left at a certain price, when this often only applied to the website in question.

The commission did not name any of the companies surveyed in its screening of websites across the bloc in October 2016.

The EU executive said national authorities would contact the websites that breached EU consumer protection rules and could take legal action if the companies failed to improve.

Authorities will now require the websites concerned to bring their practices in line with EU consumer legislation, which requires them to be fully transparent about prices and present their offers in a clear way at an early stage of the booking process.

The commission has in the past coordinated similar "sweep" actions into airlines, online ticketing and consumer credit lenders to ensure consumers are being protected.

 

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