Expedia Travel Agent CommissionTravel agency commission Expedia
A Travelenergy's Michael Fisher Interviewer - The Expedia Travel Agent Affiliate Program
Mr. Fisher is President of Travelenergy, a travel agency that provides worldwide travel management and travel management solutions. It operates the Expedia Travel Agent Affiliate Program (TAAP) for Expedia in the USA and Canada. Over the years Michael has worked in the travel sector and his young summer years in the Allied Tours Group.
Gullivers Travel Associates, one of the world' leading travel companies, to join its US business before it was acquired by Cendant Corporation. He founded a travel consultancy firm named Travelenergy, which worked with travel sector associates to develop and implement worldwide travel distribution and market strategy.
Michael, it's no mystery that many travel advisors see Expedia as a competitor. Of course other big OTA's have turned to travel agencies as sales agencies, Orbitz comes to my minds, but there are still many open issues. Could you tell us about the Takap programme? So what does it give the travel agent?
Expedia Travel Agent Affiliate Programme is a travel agency partnering scheme focusing on travel agencies. Expedia generally provides travel agencies with its own line of products and travel agencies receive commission. This programme started about 9 years ago in Europe. It is a long-term obligation to which Expedia devotes considerable amounts of resource.
Today, more than 20,000 operatives worldwide work with us and approximately 3,000 operatives are based in North America. It is our business to offer travel agencies a complete reservation machine with a large selection, availablity and a high price-performance ratio. Instead of competing with our agencies, we offer them the chance to take advantage of our buying power and combine it with their capacity to better serve our customers.
Travel pros have long considered Expedia to be highly competetive. What changes does the Transactional Actions Programme (TAAP) make to the relationships between travel pros and Expedia? Meanwhile, Expedia has developed into a business. More than 9 years ago, Expedia confirmed that the travel agency provided the customer with unparalleled capabilities and service that Expedia could not.
It was a good idea from a commercial point of vie to enter into a relationship with the travel group. Over the years, the Transactional Analysis and Analysis (TAAP) programme has expanded and Expedia has allocated significant funding to this programme. For travel agencies, TCAP offers a link to the Expedia line of products with outstanding advantages such as commission, utilities, promotion and incentive.
There are also a number of B2B and B2C Widget's that allow agency to link to Expedia from their website with the included commission codes if they wish to use them. Given the great value we provide, brokers can also include a servicing charge at our rates. Expedia in turn expects the agent to see TCAP as a dependable business associate and vendor.
A lot of providers such as hotel companies, airline companies and wholesale dealers also have a double conduit to consumers and travel agencies. The Expedia has a 100% guideline that respect the relation between travel agency and customer. As travel agencies are a source for us, we also want to be a source for them. Often there are periods when our buying powers offer Expedia the best prices for a given item, and now the agent can get that item and make it available to his customer at the same price and make a commission and fee.
When and only when travel agencies can use us, it makes perfect business of them to do so. Travel agencies are worried about accessing their customer lists. What is the protection of the customer lists of the travel professionals? If an agent signs up for CATAP, he agrees to abide by ethical principles.
Just like Expedia. Expedia does NOT initially gather or technically manage customer information. The customer is the travel agency. If the advisor is booking, we only use the travel agency information. We at Expedia TAAP are committed to our affiliated bases not contacting their customers and will not do so.
Expedia as a stock corporation is obligated to work according to very stringent guidelines and bylaws. There have been no cases of interferences with the agent/customer relation in the last nine years. Indeed, it should be noted that many agents' vendors (e.g., airline companies and hotels) actually gather and use customer information.
With Expedia TAAP, we can say that your clientele is fully secured. TRUMPF: How is your customers' service managed? Naturally, the first line of service is the travel agent. As much as possible we offer our partner our best possible service. Should the travel agency require help in any non-emergency situations, the travel agency will call our TAAP Technical Center.
It' ONLY for operatives. At Expedia we operate a 24/7 emergency call centre. It' entirely up to the travel agent how he wants to use it. You can be the customer's main centre of assistance, or you can decide to give this number so that the customer gets an additional level of assistance if they need it.
The agent has the sole authority to do this. We' ve learned that an agent can be extremely vulnerable to offering their customers an Expedia phone connection. We are now setting up a white-label call centre that will NOT be identifiable as Expedia and will be able to deal with the same emergency situations on our partner agencies' behalf. However, we will not be able to provide the same level of service to our customers.
THRO: What kind of Expedia related items are available? Are all Expedia services covered? Whole Expedia line is available. Agent use the same tariffs as their customers, but the agent can receive commission and incentive. With our prices, selections and availabilities, we believe that we give brokers the ability to reduce booking times and leverage more of their skills and know-how to serve their customers.
All our Transactional Avenue Management (TAAP) partner can make a reservation for anything that can be found on Expedia.com. THRO: How does the travel agent participate in the interaction with TAP? After registration, the travel agent will receive a travel tracker number. If this is input into the posting programme, the adviser can post everything within the system. Accordingly, the Commission will be applied by the Commission.
We are very proud of our committed GTAP Service Centre. From Monday to Friday, our local staff at our subsidiaries is available via a specific phone line or e-mail. If you have any political or political issues, if you are uncertain about a commission, or if you know how to modify a reservation, or just want to talk to our staff, please feel free to get in touch with us.
There is also a dedicated sale department, which contacts our representatives, either through visiting or participating in fairs. A Travel Agent Advisory Board will also be formed to cover the wide range of travel agency services throughout the state. Is Expedia's customer relations just how clear? Are customer testimonials showing "Expedia"?
Expedia reserves are payable by cash on delivery when the booking is made. Where the customer's credential is used, Expedia may be either identifiable by credential or displayed in a more general manner. Working with our corporate partners, we provide our subsidiaries with the option of what is shown on the billing slip.
What are the benefits of purchasing these through Expedia compared to working with real estate directly or through mainstream sales channels such as travel agencies? Selection, price and accessibility as well as easy reservation and the awareness that Expedia is a dependable, ethic partners. With over 130,000 worldwide hotel destinations, over 400 airline companies and a wide range of other offerings, our agent can go to ONE resource and make a reservation.
Travel agencies value time very highly. What do you do when you find almost everything you need on Expedia, searching through never-ending vendors? The time also comes into the picture when the agent rate store and other vendors compare prices. At Expedia we have negotiated specific pricing and quota arrangements with most of our vendors. In many cases, we found that even the hotels were directly out of stock, but available on Expedia.
We believe that with our outstanding commission and incentives programme, specific promotion, agent assistance and our devoted call centre, we cover the full spectrum of travel agency needs. Here, too, we provide selection, uptime and value in ONE easy-to-use venue. Just become another of the tools in the travel consultant's toolbox.
THRO: What does the commission system look like? When and how is the commission disbursed? We have a very highly competetive commission programme. Through our incentives programme, our travel agent can generate even higher fees. We also have agent campaigns throughout the year, which offer even more advantages to our sales representatives for certain product groups.
Also, we provide commission for air/hotel package, rent a vehicle, activity and insurances. There has been great interest in the Home Based Agents programme, as well as host and mega agencies, where we are offering even more significant fees. As I mentioned before, the whole Expedia line is available, although not all Expedia line items are commission eligible.
Representatives can always apply their services charges whenever they want, and can readily vindicate this by taking the value they are adding to the deal for their customers as their cue. Furthermore, as I said, we are offering very simple incentive schemes that significantly increase these base rates. There are also frequent promotional campaigns that give our partner agencies even higher rates of commission throughout the year.
Commission is transferred to our subsidiaries by direct wire transfers to the specified banking accounts of an agent. The commission is payable in the mid of the following months after the customer's trip. Our Expedia Access portal allows our partners to monitor all their activities and fees at any given moment.