B2B Growth, New Partnerships Showcased At EXPLORE 23
Expedia Group unveiled new partnerships and tech features aimed at expanding its partner network following a strong quarter for its B2B segment where it delivered 55% in revenue growth compared to 2022.
Expedia Group’s White Label Template and API solutions power travel for more than 400 million loyalty members of some of the biggest financial services companies, airlines and hoteliers worldwide.
The announcements came as hundreds of leading travel players met at Expedia Group’s EXPLORE 23: Connect conference, held for the first time at its Seattle campus.
Peter Kern, Vice Chairman and CEO, Expedia Group, observed: “Our growth in B2B is largely due to the pace at which our tech has been adopted by businesses of all sizes who want to either break into travel or expand their current travel offerings. The demand for this business continues to be strong as evidenced by our new partnerships with Mastercard, SoFi, and some of our biggest hotel partners.”
Kern continued: “The work we’ve done in building a widespread B2B network that provides travel to millions around the world through leading names in banking, travel and more, will grow as we continue to establish our tech as the primary operating system for the travel industry.”
New and expanded partnerships include:
Mastercard: “Travel with Rewards” — Expedia Group’s template technology and Mastercard’s digital redemption capability will now power a complete loyalty points redemption program for participating issuers that allows cardholders to redeem credit card loyalty points for travel bookings. Cardholders will access Expedia’s high-quality global supply, including more than 700,000 properties, 500 airlines, 100+ car rental companies and thousands of activities around the world.
SoFi: “SoFi Travel” — Expedia Group’s template technology powers SoFi Travel, which will soon allow SoFi members to book flights, hotels, cars, packages, activities and vacation rentals through SoFi. In addition to quality supply and customer service, the collaboration enables SoFi to benefit from Expedia Group’s vast amount of data and technology, and to take advantage of new features and functionality updates that are integrated automatically.
Ariane Gorin, President Expedia for Business, Expedia Group, pointed out that: “Over the last decade, our B2B segment has grown phenomenally as we power online and offline travel programs. We combine the technology assets that power our own travel brands, with our deep B2B expertise, all backed by the strength of our artificial intelligence and machine learning, so our solutions get smarter every day. We enable businesses of all sizes to succeed in the world of travel, and in an industry that is nearly $2 trillion, there is plenty of room to grow.”
During EXPLORE 23, Expedia Group confirmed its commitment to help more companies succeed in the world of travel, announcing:
Travel OS: Building on Expedia Group’s ambition to externalize its tech in the form of micro-services to help any kind of travel company use its tech to enhance their business, the company shared exciting developments in the form of its travel operating system: Travel OS. Today, the Company announced that its first microservice offered through Travel OS, its fraud capability, has now reached commercial status and its best-in-class service tech and revenue management API are now in beta-testing with partners.
Guest Experience Score: After a year of success working with hotel partners to create a guest experience score that shows which hotels give great traveller experience, Expedia Group announced today that this score will be made available to travellers in the second half of 2023. Hotel partners can view their Guest Experience Score by logging into Expedia Group Partner Central.
Optimized Distribution: In two years, Expedia Group has tripled the number of participating chains using Optimized Distribution, an innovative product that provides hotel partners with greater control of their wholesale businesses. Today the Company announced that new rate-management capabilities will be released later this year, allowing for more flexibility for a wider array of partners to leverage.
One Key – Member Only Deals for flights: In addition to the Member Only Deals for hotels, cruises and activity partners, One Key will now extend these offerings to air partners, helping them increase visibility to One Key members. Member Only Deals for flights will first be available in the U.S. for One Key members. One Key, Expedia Group’s first ever fully unified loyalty program, will launch on July 6, 2023, in the United States, and additional markets will follow in 2024.
Travel Agent Affiliate Program (TAAP): TAAP powers more than 35,000 travel agencies across more than 30 countries with its booking platform built specifically for their unique needs. Expedia Group continues to invest in TAAP and has launched several new capabilities including, enhanced payment options giving travel advisors more flexibility and improved servicing with Live Agent chat to help travel advisors get answers to their questions faster. The company is seeing strong usage with 32% of all agent interactions in the U.S. in Q1 2023 serviced through Live Agent chat. A reimagined booking experience which will make it easier for travel advisors to serve their clients will be rolled out in the U.S. this year with the global launch to follow later in 2023.
Go to www.expediagroup.com for more.
Photos courtesy Expedia Group