Advantage Holidays has boosted its hotel portfolio as a result of a new partnership with Expedia Partner Solutions.
The in-house tour operator for travel agency consortium Advantage Travel Partnership said the new relationship was a direct result of a review of its content suppliers in light of their support during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Two existing suppliers have been dropped as part of this review, it said.
The move will give Advantage agents access to around 24,000 hotels in destinations the operator currently offers. The operator said it meant there would be a wider range of ‘quality hotel choices’ across Europe and selected cities in the UK ready for when travel returns to the sector and the option to increase accommodation in new destinations in the future. The deal offers access to all Expedia’s 700,000 hotels worldwide.
The operator said it would also increase competitiveness on hotels prices in Spain, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and Poland, by providing ‘advantageous pricing’ for European city and beach destinations.
Lee Ainsworth, head of Advantage Holidays, said partnerships were no longer just about product and pricing, citing the importance of supportive partnerships in challenging times, such as the current crisis.
He said: “Throughout the pandemic, our partnerships have been more important than ever. We’ve worked hard to build on both new and existing partnerships, by forming a collaborative approach that has really allowed us to be agile in regard to cancellations and refunds for our members and end-customers during this challenging period.
“Our members have always looked to us to provide them with greater access to product so they can remain competitive in the market place but it’s about more than that now, it’s making sure our partnerships work in the challenging times as well as the good.”
The partnership with Expedia’s B2B brand would allow the operator to be in the best position to provide more price competitive product when the market recovers, allowing members to grow their businesses, he added.
Alfonso Paredes, senior vice president, commercial partnerships at Expedia Partner Solutions, said: “We’re thrilled to be working with Advantage Holidays to help create a wider breadth of quality hotel choices for their customers in key destinations around the world. It’s a challenging time for both the industry and travellers, but we’re committed to helping our partners navigate through this pandemic and return to growth as quickly as possible.”
Advantage Holidays offers more than 200,000 hotel options and negotiated air fares. Advantage agents can book financially protected holidays under the central Advantage Atol through the operator, packaging together flights, accommodation and ground arrangements in 43 short and mid-haul destinations and five US destinations.