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Dick Smith: Travel booking ‘con’ sucking millions from local businesses

Entrepreneur Dick Smith has taken to social media and launched a sensational attack on American multinational companies.

He says are they’re “leeching” millions from family-owned businesses on our shores.

In a video posted to Facebook, the businessman is urging Aussies to boycott online accommodation websites such as Booking.com, Trivago and Wotif.

He says when Aussies book using the sites, “up to 30 per cent is sent to two huge American multinationals” controlled by wealthy US businessmen.

“It’s a giant con, it’s sucking like leeches hundreds of millions of dollars out of Australian family businesses and sending it to these two sites,” Dick tells Ray Hadley.

Dick tells Ray motels across regional Australia can’t afford not to use the sites because so many people access them.

“I said to the motels, ‘Why would you bother to sign up?’

“And they said, ‘Dick most Australians think it’s cheaper to go through one of these sites and so now 50 per cent do’.

“‘So that means if we don’t sign up to one of these sites, we’ll lose 50 per cent of our business and we’ll go broke’.”

Dick claims the accommodation booking sites also aren’t telling the whole truth on their platforms.

“The other thing you’ll get… is you go on to one of these sites and it says ‘last room’ at $140 and you think, ‘I’ve got to get on to that’.

“But I’ve rung the motels and there’s three or four rooms available!”

Dick is urging members of the public to avoid the major accommodation booking companies and go straight to websites of local businesses.

Click PLAY below for the full interview

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