Booking.com Suspends Services in Nagorno-Karabakh

Booking.com, the Netherlands-based travel fare aggregator website, has suspended reservation services on the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, several Azerbaijani media outlets have reported.

Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hikmat Hajiyev told trend.az this information earlier today.

This news comes after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism complained to Booking.com about their providing reservation services on the occupied territories of Azerbaijan.

“We have on several occasions appealed to Booking.com in a bid to prevent such activities,” Hajiyev said on June 2.

“In conjunction with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, we have given appropriate instructions to the Azerbaijani embassy in the Netherlands...in order to bring Azerbaijan’s discontent to the company's attention and prevent such illegal activities. We’re also planning to contact the regional branches of Booking.com and international structures...Booking.com’s promotion of Azerbaijan’s occupied territories as a tourist destination and making hotel reservations therein are in contrast with the norms and principles of international law, the regulations of the World Tourism Organization, the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, and relevant decisions and recommendations of the WTO Executive Council. While the Netherlands, where the company is based, as well as the European Union, supports Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, Booking.com has acted against this position,” he added.

A Meydan TV journalist attempted to make a reservation through Booking.com. The map on the company’s website does not show available accommodations on the territory of Nagorno Karabakh. When looking for accommodations in Stepanakert or Khankendi, the respective Armenian and Azerbaijani names for the region's capital, Booking.com suggests accommodations in several Armenian towns such as Goris, Karahunj or Halidzor, all located along the border with Azerbaijan.

Meydan TV tried to get in touch with Booking.com for a comment on the matter. However, for the time being, Meydan TV was told that Booking.com  has no comment on this issue. 

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