The Advantage consortium’s new distribution platform will “radically change” how agents sell, according to leisure director Julia Lo Bue-Said.
The Gateway system, built by technology provider Multicom, allows agents to book package holidays, low cost, charter and scheduled flights. Tours and insurance will be added in the coming months.
As part of a major drive on cruise, a cruise booking platform will be introduced featuring all the the major cruise lines along with deck plans and itineraries. Some specialist cruise lines will not be added because they cannot provide XML links.
The group is also appointing Cruise Champions, agents in each area who can share their expertise with fellow members, and will be hosting its first Cruise Champions conference in September.
A total of 150 members have access to Gateway so far but Lo Bue-Said said it was not ready to be fully rolled out yet.
The system will allow the consortium to negotiate better deals with suppliers because they will be able to see exactly what members are selling, she said. Only suppliers who have a deal with the consortium will be bookable on the system.
“If you are serious about your relationship with us, you need to be on there,” said Lo Bue-Said.