Expedia is to turn its attention to ancillary product including tours and activities having completed a major technology migration in the accommodation and air sectors.
Kerry Landeis, vice-president Expedia local expert, told a Small Fish Big Ocean World Travel Market pitch night that the sector, estimated by travel market research company PhoCusWright to be worth $27 billion, was a focus.
She said Expedia had to date only really touched on day tours with 7,600 experiences available globally, but that it was also interested in bringing multi-day product on stream.
A new single global platform, its Local Expert Hub, will provide operators with a scalable, multi-lingual route to market that can be automatically updated through its API connection.
This will allow more tours and activities to be retailed through Expedia’s network of third parties as well as directly on its own website
Besides online marketing opportunities through the Expedia network, it also offers a point-of-sale service to sell tour and activities, on desktop, via kiosks or concierges.
“Direct connect gives operators real-time access to our system. Any time they make an update, that flows through to our customers automatically. All payment processes are automated.
“An extranet allows partners to come in and manage their own rates and inventory and there is a self sign-up platform to join our network.”
Landeis said Expedia has gone through all of its content to optimise for search engines and for new devices like iPads and other tablet computers.
As well as a standalone activities portal, Expedia can also package activities to enhance cross-sell opportunities when a customer buys a hotel room or a flight.
“It gives you a lot of exposure to a lot of consumers who may not have started out thinking about activities. Our local experts sit in markets offering a personalised experience to guests.
“We are seeing a great opportunity in this market. Expedia is 15 years old and we have been going through a massive technology migration.
“We have wrapped that up now for hotels and air so we are very focused on our ancillary products.”