Is in trouble? Thousands of hotels go unpaid hasn't paid thousands of hotels for months. (via Rental Scale Up) is the most popular hotel booking website in the world, but a recent trend of leaving thousands of partner hotels unpaid for months on end has some questioning the brand’s solvency and reliability. This may, in turn, lead to guests losing their money booking through the platform as suffering hotels cancel or don’t honour bookings they aren’t getting paid for.

The booking platform is ranked as the 50th most popular website in the world, with close to three-quarters of a billion hits per month. It is ranked first for travel sites worldwide, second in Thailand only to Agoda, whom they own. Their figures dwarf the second place Airbnb, which receives about 115 million visits per month.

But communities in chat groups and Facebook pages have sprung up with thousands of hotels worldwide lamenting money owed long-term by So what’s going on?

There are two types of payment methods for hotel bookings. With the first, guests pay in full at check-in. Hotels then send a commission for each booking. The second method is prepayment, easier and usually safer (until now), cutting down on no-shows and fraudulent bookings. In this method, guests pay directly, and then each week the booking site pays out the hotels, minus their commission.

Except those weekly payouts from have stopped for thousands of hotels in June and, for some, as far back as April or earlier. Hotel owners are faced with the dire choice of taking the loss and hoping for repayment someday, or removing themselves from the most popular hotel booking platform in the world by far. claims the failure to pay hotels worldwide is because they are grappling with payment system woes. The problem emerged as’s finance system encountered technical difficulties, resulting in delayed payments for some hotels.

A message in late June promised payouts for reservations checked out between June 28 and July 19, 2023, to be processed by July 24, 2023. However, as one host pointed out, the promised date came and went without any money transfer.

After a prolonged silence, sent a new message to hotels on August 1, pushing the payout deadline to August 4, 2023. A few properties started receiving payments but thousands are still in the dark and on the hook for big money.

This delay, coupled with the lack of communication, has fueled frustration and mistrust among hosts and has prompted many to speculate on the solvency of Did their finance system really get so messed up that it can’t be fixed in six months? Or are they hoarding cash, or struggling to pay costs or debts and avoid bankruptcy? is part of Booking Holdings, a financially robust entity with diverse revenue streams. A complete collapse seems far-fetched, but so do clerical errors lasting for months on end.

Hosts’ reactions to the situation have been a mix of frustration, anger, desperation, confusion, disappointment, and a sense of betrayal. Hotels are left in the dark, uncertain about when or if they will receive their payments from

Many are pursuing legal action. Some proactive hosts are considering collective action to address the issue, recognizing the importance of standing together to protect their rights.

Other hotels have been considering cancelling upcoming reservations or insisting on cash payments or direct rebooking. Guests travelling may find their hotel bookings to be unreliable, cancelled unexpectedly, or not honoured by hotels suffering from the online platform’s non-payment.

The delay in payments not only impacts hosts’ immediate financial stability but also raises concerns about’s long-term reliability. Hosts are questioning whether they can rely on the platform in the future and are even exploring the possibility of moving to other platforms.

As of now, the problem remains unresolved for thousands of hotels, leaving them out of pocket and uncertain about their financial future.

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Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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