It works for consumers – and in a parallel move, it works for agents as well. For across an increasingly competitive online travel distribution market, Expedia has taken the bold step of extending its Expedia Price Promise to travel agent bookings on all commissionable products.
The Promise: Find a cheaper retail rate than the Expedia Rate on an online site and Expedia will beat that rate by $1 plus give you a $50 credit to your account. That includes the supplier’s own website.
Expedia’s local Price Promise mirrors the promise on its US site. Expedia’s manager of Travel Agent Distribution Asia Pacific, Stuart Udy, has confirmed that it applies immediately for the Expedia Australia and New Zealand sites.
“It’s all about confidence in the integrity of the product” Udy said.
“Agents constantly tell me they love Expedia because they have confidence in the product they offer their clients.”
Expedia’s Travel Agencies Affiliate Program is known as Expedia TAAP for short. Many of its top supporters are corporate agents who are constantly comparing Expedia rates with everything available in the market. These agents must perform because they have a commitment to their contracted clients. They are heavy Expedia users because they know Expedia holds rates that are so highly competitive, Expedia claims they are the best available. As well as the rates, Expedia TAAP offers the broadest availability and pays attractive commission.
“I’ve seen online wholesale net rates in the market which are 5-10% more expensive than our commissionable rates,” Udy says.
“When agents know that an Expedia booking is going to be the most competitive available, the client is happy and the agent is satisfied they’ve provided the best service for the customer.”
The global reach of Expedia product provides a good snapshot of current travel trends (see diagram).
Northern Hemisphere destinations understandably dominate bookings at the moment, accounting just under 60% of the traffic. Europe has leapfrogged the US destinations as US numbers start to decrease after a very strong couple of months. The current top destinations in order are: Sydney, Paris, London, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Singapore, Rome, Hong Kong, Venice and Manhattan.
Edited by : Peter Needham