Trade accommodation supplier Bedbank.com is poised to complete an upgrade to its API connection with leading agency booking platforms.
The Vertical Group-owned specialist supplier says it hopes to be available through both Multicom’s Findandbook and Traveltek’s isell systems within days.
The enhanced integration comes as Bedbank looks to broaden its appeal among a wider selection of trade partners.
The firm has been around for 12 years and is one of the pioneers of the bed bank sector, but has to date been effectively an in-house supplier for Vertical Group partners.
Previously the system was used exclusively by agency consortium Future Travel, a part of the Co-operative Travel Group, but that relationship ended after a retail merger with Thomas Cook.
Along with sister supplier Transfers4travel, Bedbank.com has been revamped to focus on upmarket luxury product and is looking to increase its usage among independent travel agents.
Damian McDonough, sales director, said: “We need to take ourselves out of the crowded two and three star market.
“Luxury is a growth area, particularly so with the whole feel good factor now about the UK economy.
“There is a realisation now that people will pay for four and five star holidays and when they are paying that amount you do not take the easy route and sell them a £5 shuttle transfer.
“We are expanding and opening up to anybody, any independent agent because they are the ones in the luxury end of the market.”
McDonough said agents were looking for suppliers who can offer a focus on a particular sector of the market as opposed to the larger one-size-fits-all partners.
Bedbank benefits from relationships that the Vertical Group has with various hotel operators enabling it to offer exclusive deals, in particular upgrades and special offers, which rival suppliers cannot access.
Agents can access Bedbank direct contracted product via an “Our Choice” button in the search results.
McDonough said the new connectivity with Multicom and Traveltek will offer speedier access to content thanks to properties being mapped under a common IT language.
“We have worked a lot of this common language out so there will be fewer failures in our searches and they will be quicker,” he said.
“There’s this common belief that it’s in the mid-market and lower end stuff where dynamic packaging is coming from, but it’s also in the higher end.”
The Vertical Group is also offering agents free bookable websites in return for them using Bedbank as a supplier to book holidays.
There is no monthly charge and agents will only have to pay a small set-up fee and any third party integration charges.
McDonough added that one major advantage of partnering with Vertical was that everything it does integrates with its TARSC back office payments technology which is widely used in the industry.