The Travel Technology Association : Travel Tech Says Chicago Tax Ruling On Online Bookings Is Ripe For Appeal

  The Travel Technology Association : Travel Tech Says Chicago Tax Ruling On
                      Online Bookings Is Ripe For Appeal

Contact: Robin Reck, Director of Communications
         202-870-8924
         rreck@traveltechnologyassociation.org

  Travel Tech Says Chicago Tax Ruling On Online Bookings Is Ripe For Appeal

Washington, D.C.  June 21,  2013  - The  association representing  the  online 
travel industry issued  the following  statement in regards  to Friday's  Cook 
County Circuit Court decision:

"Quite simply, we feel that today's ruling by the Cook County Circuit Court is
incorrect. Judge  Robert  Lopez Cepero  found  that online  travel  companies 
(OTCs) are hotel operators under the plain  meaning of the word. OTCs do  not 
greet the guests.  OTCs do  not change  the sheets  or towels.  OTCs do  not 
maintain the  building or  any  other task  that  remotely resembles  a  hotel 
operator. This  is  a basic  misunderstanding  of fact.  Every  other  court 
decision nationwide that has addressed  this issue has concluded  differently. 
That's like calling  a bailiff  a judge  because he  happens to  work at  the 
courthouse. 

"Aside from the definition of a hotel operator, this case serves as an outlier
as most courts nationwide have ruled decisively in favor of OTCs. The Court's
ruling will  significantly  increase  costs for  all  tour  operators,  travel 
agents, OTCs,  and  other  travel intermediaries  that  facilitate  travel  to 
Chicago. Because demand for travel to Chicago is sensitive to price  changes, 
this change  in tax  treatment will  harm consumers  and significantly  reduce 
demand for Chicago vacations, conventions  and meetings. Travel Tech  members 
intend to challenge  this ruling as  well as work  cooperatively with  tourism 
leaders and lawmakers  to minimize  the ruling's damage  to Chicago's  tourism 
economy."

About Travel Tech

The Travel Technology Association, or Travel Tech, is the association for
online travel companies (OTCs) and global distribution systems (GDSs), and is
dedicated to connecting consumers and travel providers, eliminating barriers
to travel and protecting consumers. Travel Tech's members include: Amadeus,
Expedia, Orbitz Worldwide, Priceline, Travelocity, Travelport and Vegas.com.

1250 Connecticut Avenue NW · Suite 825 · Washington, DC 20036 · 202-870-8924
                     www.traveltechnologyassociation.org

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