This year marked the fifth annual Exhibitors Day and one of the major issues discussed was housing poachers. From June 5-6, convention industry members went to Capitol Hill to bring to light that there are “15 million fraudulent online bookings scams” every year. That’s $1.3 billion in booking scammers’ pockets!
Hotel scammers, housing pirates, room block poachers…however you refer to them, they have been a major problem in the convention industry for years. These are companies that masquerade as being the official housing partner for an event and sell room blocks that don’t actually exist. Their victims may pay thousands of dollars, only to arrive at the hotel and be told they don’t have a reservation.
Back in 2008, the American Society of Association Executives won a federal lawsuit against the hotel scammer Complete event Planning, Inc. Despite this monumental win, third-party hotel scammers continue to sprout up bringing financial pains. According to the American Hotel & Lodging Association, there are 55 million bad hotel bookings annually; that’s nearly $4 billion dollars in poachers’ pockets!