Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Enforcing their own monopoly is not enough now AAA Tourism wants your help

It is not enough for AAA Tourism that they have a government sactioned exclusivity to stars in ranking systems (or anything that looks like it). Now they want online retailers to refuse to stock self rated hotels (AAA press release, Travel Today story). I am all for quality controls and standards, especially after spending time in American hotels that claim to be 4 star. However I object to the monopoly that the government has granted to AAA Tourism. If AAA are such strong believers in their history and brand, then that should be enough to entice hotels to use their ranking system. If they are good enough at their job, voluntary participation would be extensive and consumers protected. The bullying tactics they take with retailers and properties look more like justifying their existence and extending an outrageous monopoly than protecting the consumer.

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