The American Hotel and Lodging Assn., the trade group for hotels in the U.S., is pushing for legislation to crack down on fraudulent online booking sites that trick travelers into paying for hotel rooms but have no relation to the hotels. The group says the scams cost travelers up to $1.3 billion a year. A coalition of online travel sites isn't buying it. The sites say the hotel industry is exaggerating the online scam problem to push travelers to book directly on hotel sites so that hotels can avoid paying sales commissions to the online booking sites. “It's just a veiled attempt at trying to scare consumers to book directly with the hotel chains themselves,” said Philip Minardi, a spokesman for the coalition of online sites, including Expedia, Priceline and Airbnb. Get the full story at LA Times Read also "AH&LA points to scams to promote direct hotel bookings"