A Turkish court of appeals has rejected a renewed appeal filed by Dutch-based online hotel booking platform Booking.com against a ban on its activities in Turkey, Sputnik Turkish service reported on Tuesday.
The decision was made public in an announcement on the website of the Turkish Association of Travel Agents (TÜRSAB), which had initiated the process by filing a complaint against the website claiming that it had engaged in unfair competition against Turkish-based hotel and flight booking platforms.
Upon that complaint, the website was prohibited in March 2017 from conducting commercial activities in Turkey by an İstanbul court, since which time the website has been inaccessible in Turkey.
The ban was protested in 2017 by Turkish hoteliers who blamed it for the worsening of Turkey’s tourism sector.
In July of this year, an İstanbul court of first instance had rejected an earlier appeal filed by Booking.com to lift the ban on its activities.
TÜRSAB Chairman Firuz Bağlıkaya had said the website would be accessible in Turkey again after a number of regulations were enacted.
Former Minister of Economy Nihat Zeybekci had suggested that they were moving towards a solution and that the website would soon be accessible again.
Also, according to the Turkish media, new Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Ersoy had lobbied for the ban as he owns hotels and tourism agencies in the country.