Travel agency consortium Advantage has struck an agreement with travel technology specialist Zolv to provide its members with consumer-facing websites.
The deal will see Zolv replace current supplier Net Effect, and Advantage take more control centrally over content and updating of sites.
Individual agents who opt to use the system will be able to choose from a range of templates applicable to their businesses and be able to upload their own content.
The sites will not offer bookability initially, although there are plans to integrate it with Advantage’s Gateway booking system developed for it by Multicom.
Mark Rowe, Advantage head of marketing, said it was important that the consortium offered its agents online as well as offline support.
“Consumers are looking around online and what they are finding on our members’ sites is mainly just offers. It will evolve into an Advantage approach. We will create and set up the website and funnel the content on to it.”
Rowe said the sites will include more rich content like blogs and destination reviews and agents will be able to opt for which content they want displayed on their site.
Having won the pitch Zolv will work on a full scoping in the new year with the new sites expected to be available from March.
The new web technology stack will be built on the latest version Zolv’s Web Travel Platform, a suite of tools to manage product, content, merchandising, multi-channel white labelling and multi-tenanting.
Zolv said the new platform will give those members who want it, greater control and functionality.
For agents who do not have the time to actively manage their site, they can defer much of the day-to-day updating to Advantage by subscribing to specific channels like luxury, ski, “industry news” etc.
An enhanced offer distribution system is also being developed with enhancements that will benefit both members and suppliers.
Olly Wenn, Zolv managing director, said: “We are delighted to be working with The Advantage Travel Partnership to deliver their next-generation web platform.
“We have already begun development and there’s going to be some great new functionality in there for both members and suppliers.
“But the really exciting thing for us is that this is an ongoing project – so once the initial platform is in place, there will be a rolling program of enhancement and new features.”
Advantage said it intends to keep the web offering affordable to members.
A small set up cost will be charged although any agent that already uses the Net Effect solution will not have pay this.
Monthly charges will be kept similar to Net Effect and Rowe said proceeds from this will be reinvested back into the platform to provide new features.