Expedia is speeding up plans to launch its Travel Agent Affiliate Programme (TAAP) across Europe following its successful launch in the UK and Germany.
Cameron Jones, director of business development for Expedia Affiliate Network, said. “It’s gone down so well that we’ve accelerated our plans for other countries in Europe, and there will be some announcements soon.”
When Travolution talked to TAAP in March, there were 200 agents signed up, with hotels the main driver of business. It now has 300 agents signed up, with dynamic packaging starting to gain traction in the run-up to the peak holiday season.
“Hotels and dynamic packaging are generating the bulk of the revenue for us, but there is a move towards the packaging. We’ve seen that customers want the security of a package holiday, and what we offer is ATOL-protected security but with a more flexible product than tour operator packages.”
He said that “gateway cities” were a popular destination, with New York and Las Vegas performing well. Closer to home, Italy is doing well. “We’ve got strong product and pricing in Italy now that the venere.com hotels are integrated, and Italy is always a popular summer destination.”
Cameron said that it was “too early to say” whether Expedia’s appeal to agents was for city or beach breaks., “We’ve only got six months of transaction data so we’re still looking at the patterns,” he said.
He added that the current economic slowdown in the UK was “a positive influence” on TAAP. “All travel agents should be looking for new channels of revenue or a way to extend what they can offer to their customers.” Demand for travel remains strong. “Hotels are fighting each other for business, so there’s some great deals which are stimulating overall demand.”