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CoachHire.com is poised to launch an API to the trade as part of a bid to “disrupt group ground transport globally”.
Managing director, Mathew Hassell, believes the coach hire firm is filling a gap in the market for agents and travel management companies, by “taking the leg work out” when they are looking to book group travel.
The management company, founded in 2012, covers 100 cities worldwide.
The firm, which does not own its own vehicles, can manage bookings for an “unlimited” amount of people, by putting them out to bid.
“Group ground transport has been heavily neglected in the industry,” said Hassell.
“You’ve got Holiday Taxis and A2BTransfers.com but they don’t focus on larger groups or tours.
“We’ll sometimes get 100 bids from different operators and the difference in price could be 400%.
“For a travel agent or a consumer, to find that low-price they would potentially have to make 100 phone calls.
“We do that legwork for them and even though we add on a management fee, often our price is still the cheapest.”
At the moment agents can call up CoachHire.com for a quote or log in online for instant pricing, but its new API, which it plans to launch in time for World Travel Market will mean high street agencies and OTAs will be able to automate the process.
“Travel agents will be able to integrate into our technology in the same way that they can integrate into various OTAs or shuttle businesses and they’ll be able to book group transport for eight passengers to hundreds,” said Hassell.
Hassell said 30% of CoachHire.com’s business is currently B2B but the aim is for that to increase to 50%.