APA-Economics revealed that it is possible to book places in hotels via this service in Nagorno Karabakh. All hotels operate under the flag of occupier Armenia. Interestingly enough, when you choose “manat” in the section of “choose your currency”, the services of the hotels are calculated in manat. So, with the help of Booking.com, APA-Economics knew that the prices in the hotels illegally operating in Nagorno Karabakh for one day (including meal) are in the range of AZN 36-62.
It’s also possible to book places in these hotels via credit cards.
Head of Azerbaijan Association of Tourism Professionals Ruslan Guliyev told APA-Economics that a protest should be made to Booking.com service: “Such cases occur due to either lack of information or support to armenians. Booking.com has registered in Netherlands. As you know, it has been banned to operate in several countries, including Turkey due to tax avoidance. This company creates serious obstacles for operation of tourism companies. As you know, it offers lower prices than real. While tourism companies buy these places from hotels for higher prices. It’s unknown whether the company pays tax to Azerbaijani budget or not. As for cooperation with hotels illegally operating in the occupied territories, our state should seriously react to this. I believe that this issue will be solved within 24 hours after this research is published. Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Culture and Tourism should condemn it. Booking.com should apologize and correct its mistake”.
He also noted that the company has not office in Azerbaijan: “the problem is that the company earns money from Azerbaijan but does not pay tax”.
Spokesman for Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hikmat Hajiyev told APA-Economics that the ministry repeatedly appealed to Booking.com: “However, unfortunately, they don’t take necessary steps. We recommend Azerbaijan’s tourism companies, civil society institutions and media to make appeal to Booking.com”.