Expedia Partner Solutions (EPS) is to extend package rates to all TAAP travel agent members as well as guarantee the retention of their 2020 tiered partnership to the end of 2021.
The global travel giant says the announcement help its partners to exploit the reach of the Expedia Group as the travel sector recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Expedia Travel Agent Affiliate Programme (TAAP) claims to be an industry leading network offering members the chance to earn substantial commissions.
Expedia TAAP package rates had previously only been available to a select group of partners in the Silver tier and above.
However, they will now be available to all tiers meaning thousands more TAAP partners will be able to offer clients an average discount of 20% on accommodation when booked alongside a transport component, Expedia said.
Robin Lawther, senior director of Expedia TAAP, EPS, said: “As a partner to thousands of travel agents – big and small – across the world, we know they have a major role to play in getting the travel industry back on its feet.
“The tier retention program and package rate extension are the latest in a series of steps we have taken to support the industry during this challenging time and help travel agents to recover as travel demand returns.”
The tier retention announcement means over 10,000 TAAP partner agencies will keep their 2020 tier for a further 12 months.
Expedia said the programme “will ensure that travel agents, who have already experienced a decline in annual bookings due to the drop in demand, will not move down to a lower partner tier or receive a reduced commission as a result”.
Expedia added: “Today’s announcement is part of a wider package of measures that Expedia TAAP has introduced to help support its travel agent partners in the wake of COVID-19.
“This past year, the company made 70% of their rates refundable by reclassifying a vast majority of non-refundable rates, helping agents provide more flexibility and reassurance to their customers.
“Expedia TAAP also built out additional self-service functionality that allows agents to cancel bookings themselves instead of calling the Expedia service centre – giving them more choice when it comes to accessing the support they need.
“Expedia Group also launched a COVID advisory service that provides travel agents with on-demand advice for travellers trying to navigate the rapidly changing travel environment.”