A U.S. digital tourism and travel company that owns and operates several search and booking websites. Its flagship websites Expedia.com and Hotels.com list locations in occupied Palestinian and Syrian lands.
Expedia Group Inc is a U.S.-based publicly-traded company that owns and operates Expedia.com and Hotels.com, two of the world’s most popular flight and hotel booking websites. Other tourism and travel companies and websites owned by Expedia Group include CarRentals.com, CheapTickets, Classic Vacations, Egencia, HomeAway, Hotwire, Orbitz, SilverRail Technologies, Travelocity, trivago, and Wotif Group. In addition, the company owns Vitalize LLC, which operates the website Bodybuilding.com, an online retailer of mainly dietary supplements and sports nutrition products.
Expedia.com and Hotels.com both list properties in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian and Syrian territories. In September 2018, Amnesty International documented nine accommodation providers in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. This includes four large hotels with more than fifty rooms. The two websites also have more than a dozen listings in illegal settlements in the occupied Golan Heights.
Expedia’s actions violate several principles of international law. First, the company contributes to the illegal settlement economy by driving tourism and providing jobs and income, financing continued settlement existence and expansion, in violation of international law. Second, the company is involved in discrimination against West Bank Palestinians since, unlike their Israeli neighbors or foreign tourists, they cannot access the properties listed in settlements. Third, some of the listings raise concerns of pillage, as the company is charging a commission on their booking without the freely given consent of the legal landowners.
In response to these allegations, Expedia did not address the question of removing listings in illegal settlements. However, the company changed the labeling of some of these listings, identifying them as “Israeli Settlement located in Palestinian Territory.” The company did not do so for listings in occupied East Jerusalem or the occupied Golan Heights.