Hotelbeds Group unveils new travel agent strategy
Hotelbeds Group, the world’s leading bedbank and provider of business-to-business services to the global travel industry, has announced a global plan for its retail travel agent division to consolidate and update its offering to maintain its position as the top booking platform for travel agents worldwide.
This news forms part of the group’s mission to innovate in the bedbank sector and represents a major strategic milestone following the integration of Tourico Holidays and GTA into the Group in 2017.
Following extensive consultation with customers, it has been decided that the legacy retail business conducted under the TravelBound, TravelCube and GTA retail brands will now be consolidated under the Bedsonline brand – the existing Hotelbeds Group retail brand that is a global provider of accommodation and complimentary travel services designed exclusively for travel agents.
The group will now be working to help customers of TravelBound, TravelCube and the GTA retail brand begin to understand the benefits of moving onto Bedsonline’s booking platform over the coming months.
These changes will be accompanied by a global refresh of the Bedsonline brand that will include a fresh new logo and brand identity that will more effectively support Bedsonline’s market-leading position and value proposition.
The integration of Tourico Holidays and GTA has significantly enhanced the Bedsonline offering by adding exclusively contracted hotel content, a significant proportion of which are directly sourced, and improved functionality. The platform now offers travel agents globally the following benefits:
• Diverse and competitive product portfolio: Over 170,000 hotels globally available (with over 90,000 of those directly sourced, making the content both unique and competitively priced), 24,000 transfer routes and 18,000 activities, PLUS 140,000 cars available for hire – all sourced by a team of over 1,000 contractors globally.
• Powerful and user-friendly technology: Best-in-class search engine designed specifically for the needs of travel agents allows users to filter and compare results in a flexible and practical way, including intuitive email and PDF functions – 70 per cent of existing customers cite the platform as a top factor in choosing the service. Bedsonline’s parent Group is the only distributor to operate its own cloud-based, open source data centre and handles up to 1.5 billion searches per day.
• Local knowledge combined with a global offering: Local sales teams in every market with significant local knowledge and industry know-how ready to take care of all the needs of customers.
When put together, Bedsonline offers customers a 360-degree travel partner offering that is customer-centric and helps partners compete by offering unrivalled technology, the most competitive commercial terms, swift problem resolution and expert team support.
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Carlos Muñoz, managing director, Bedbank at Hotelbeds Group, explained: “Once again it gives me great pleasure to announce another move that confirms our dedication to innovating in the bedbank sector – and a major strategic milestone following the integration of Tourico Holidays and GTA.
“It makes strategic and practical sense for us to continue to develop our travel agent proposition under one integrated global platform and brand. The benefits from this move will help all our partners boost revenues and profits through improved functionality and increased opportunities to upsell high-yielding complimentary travel services in addition to our accommodation offering.”
Alistair Rodger, director of Retail Travel Agents at Hotelbeds Group, commented: “Since starting in this role almost one year ago I’ve been consulting endlessly with our travel agent customers all around the globe. Time and again the feedback about the Bedsonline platform has made taking this decision easy – due to its superior functionality – but we’re looking to continue to improve the experience still further, beyond the booking platform itself, by establishing a truly 360-degree proposition to fully support the growth of our travel agent partners.
“Already we are speaking with our customers globally to explain to them how they will benefit from these changes. Shortly we’ll be hosting a series of events and workshops globally to present the new enhanced offering following the expansion of our product portfolio and strengthened position to negotiate the best deals for our customers with the inclusion of Tourico Holidays and GTA into our Group – along with all the additional improvements we have made by cherry-picking the best-of-class functionalities and know-how from across the three companies, such as improved payment options, operational support and loyalty rewards. We are committed to innovating the travel technology space for travel agents and look forward to announcing further exciting developments in due course.”
The consolidation of the TravelBound, TravelCube, and GTA retail brands under the Bedsonline brand will be rolled out in stages globally. Customer outreach will start the week of September 10 with the French and Middle East markets, with the full migration of all markets globally scheduled in a staggered approach over the coming six months.
An extensive programme is already underway to inform all existing clients of TravelBound, TravelCube, and the GTA retail brand about the changes. Clients will have sufficient time to transition at their own pace and both workshops and technical support will be on hand to support a seamless migration. – TradeArabia News Service