WASHINGTON – Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vt., co-introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives that would crack down on online booking scams that mislead travelers into buying fake hotel reservations.

The bill would make it illegal for an online hotel reservation seller to advertise or sell a reservation if they falsely state or imply that they are the owner or operator of the property.

Legislators who introduced the bill spoke about the importance of such a law to protect the tourism industry in their states.

“Vermont has world-class resort destinations and hotels that are key contributors to our economic growth,” Welch said. “Skiers, hikers, hunters and fly fishermen should not have to worry about getting ripped off when staying at our great hotels.”

The bill was co-introduced in the House by Rep. Gus Bilirakis, a Republican, and Lois Frankel, a Democrat, both of Florida. Companion legislation was introduced in the Senate by Steve Daines, R-Mont., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.

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