Hungarian watchdog starts probe into payment delays

(Image: Koen Van Weel EPA/MTI)
By Dénes Albert
2 Min Read

Hungarian competition watchdog Gazdasági Versenyhivatal (GVH) launched an investigation into delayed payments by Dutch online travel agency to several thousand Hungarian-affiliated accommodation providers, news portal Index reports.

Toward the end of July, news began to trickle in that large sums of money were not arriving into the accounts of Hungarians using due to a payment glitch. The service provider had not transferred the money to the accommodation providers.

The case was discussed by the Tourism Subcommittee of the Economic Affairs Committee of the National Assembly on Tuesday, which reported in detail on the investigation of the persistent debts of to Hungarian accommodation providers and possible official measures.

Anikó Suhajda-Molnár, deputy director general of the Hungarian Tourism Agency, said that they pay special attention to accommodation providers, and it is important that their interests are not harmed in their work. In recent years, a number of measures have been taken to support the sector in order to address issues with competitiveness, including the challenges posed by the coronavirus epidemic and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.

She said it was outrageous that had put domestic accommodation providers in such a position in the middle of the tourist season: “There was no question that action should be taken as soon as possible when news of late payments emerged.”

This is the third GVH investigation against In 2020, the watchdog fined HUF 2.5 billion (€6.44 million) for “aggressive marketing practices” and falsely advertising free cancellations.

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