In July, online booking platform Hotelbeds.com announced a three-year plan to increase distribution of its third party hotel rooms by growing the number of its participating travel agents to 64,000 by 2022. The move means Hotelbeds is currently seeking to sign another 14,000 travel retailers and particularly those who focus on luxury, high-end and long haul travel as well as specialty travel.
By adding more travel professionals to the platforms, Hotelbeds will offer more value to its hotel partners by providing incremental bookings of non-domestic and high-value guests through a network of B2B travel trade buyers comprised of travel agents, tour operators, airlines and points redemption partners.
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The platform’s success is built upon partnerships with these B2B entities, which deliver guests who book further in advance, cancel with less frequency, pay higher rates and have higher overall spends while also proving to ultimately be loyal, repeat visitors.
Hotelbeds’ Regional Sales Director at Bedsonline, James Phillips, offers greater detail on why and how travel agents should sign on with Hotelbeds.
TravelPulse (TP): How can travel agents become affiliated with Hotelbeds?
James Phillips (JP): Travel advisors can work with us through our brand Bedsonline that works exclusively with travel advisor clients. The best way for advisors to become affiliated to Bedsonline is to either sign-up through our website or to reach out to one of our sales teams.
We have streamlined the registration and onboarding process so that it’s much easier than before.
We are also proud members of all major consortia; we recognize consortia affiliation and provide the associated benefits from the very start – another great access point for advisors.
TP: How can travel retailers leverage the platform?
JP: At Bedsonline, our vision is to provide a one-stop-shop platform for travel advisors to book all of their travel needs. Currently, we feature over 180,000 hotels and 16,000 tours and attractions, with 22,000 transfer routes.
Our recent ‘We Love Hotels’ campaign really doubles down on our efforts to acquire more hotels as we scale our business – this initiative, combined with our competitive rates and great compensation, means that travel advisors really can book an entire itinerary through Bedsonline.
We have recently added a quotation tool that allows travel advisors to put together full itineraries for customers, then when the customer selects what they want, the advisor can book it right from the final itinerary.
In the transfers category, we have contracted a new super-premium service in all major European destinations, which gives customers benefits such as extended wait times, high-end vehicles, and high-quality drivers.
Because we are travel advisor only and never sell directly to consumers, advisors need to have registered with us to start using the platform.
TP: How can travel agents benefit from working with Hotelbeds?
JP: Our travel advisor clients work directly through our brand, Bedsonline and there are several benefits of working with us including an incredible breadth and depth of product, 24/7 support for travelers globally, and an ever-evolving booking platform.
We have also structured our sales team to support customers in all geographies and scale. For example, for multi-location businesses we might assign a strategic account manager to coordinate across locations, supported by key account managers within those locations.
For any work-at-home or remote advisors, we have sales executives specializing in supporting advisors by phone. Our consortia relationships mean that we offer best-in-class rates and compensation, and we attend all of their significant events so that we’re present in the market and in constant contact with our customers.
In fact, customers are our best source of information when it comes to improving how we operate. On the back of customer feedback, we have extended the timeframe that advisors are able to book on our site. Additionally, we will be introducing an option for advisors to insert a service fee into their bookings and to take more control over their commissions.