By Blake Ng — 28 Sep 2016
The Expedia group attracts 70 million website visitors every month (source: SimilarWeb). In this article we will cover how you can put your products in front of this immense audience. We’ll cover what the Expedia Partner Central is and how you can improve your chances to get your tours or activities listed in the activities tab on Expedia.com and its partner websites. At Rezdy we think that if you follow the steps in this article, you have a better chance to get listed.
Expedia is an American-based parent company of several affiliated travel-related brands and is a metasearch engine. Its mobile app and website can be utilized to book for hotel reservations, airline tickets, cruise ships, car rentals, and tour packages. Standing tall in its reputable service and commitment, Expedia has long been trusted by numerous travel companies and websites across the globe.
Below are just a few examples of websites that list your tours and activities once connected to Expedia:
Expedia.com is widely used not only in booking for package holidays but also in searching for popular activities in different locations around the world. Expedia.com contains listings of activities as well as reviews for them; this only means it is highly utilized as a one-stop search and an evaluation and booking platform for customers.
Travelocity is wholly owned by Expedia. Based in Dallas, they focus on delivering the best experience for travelers. Travelocity owns a few other brands, one of which is Lastminute.com. Lastminute.com was owned by Travelocity before being purchased by Expedia. This UK-based company also has an activity tab where they advertise and sell tours and activities.
Similar to Travelocity, Orbitz is another online travel agent owned by Expedia and is included in the Expedia Partner Central. The benefit of the duplication is that, no matter which among the three you browse first, your product is listed on any of them.
Wotif is a website that provides reservation services in Australia. It is completely owned by Expedia and shares the same assortment and availability with the latter.
There are 3 main reasons why you need to integrate Rezdy with Expedia:
Whether you are a Rezdy user or not, you can freely connect with Expedia Partner Central. However, the integration between Rezdy and Expedia saves you a lot of time and work. When you receive a booking from Expedia and it happens that you don’t have the integration setup yet, you’ll have to manually import the booking details into your manifest, sales reports, and CRM. If Expedia sends you a lot of bookings, that generates a lot of work for you. With Rezdy, however, all of these details are imported automatically. This does not only save you a lot of time but also makes every transaction smooth and convenient.
Secondly, when building up your distribution network to include more and more agents, managing this network becomes more complex. Thankfully, Rezdy’s Channel Manager simplifies this. It doesn’t matter how many agents you have; you can update your availability for all of them in one app. This allows you to manage a large distribution network much more easily. With Rezdy, you can update your availability from one screen, which saves you time and enables you to get the most out of your capacity.
Finally, setting up the integration allows Expedia to access your real-time availability. This means that visitors of the Expedia network websites who want to book with you can see your availability and book on the spot, and have it confirmed immediately. Given that the Expedia network gets 70 million website visitors per month, you want to make it possible for them to book with you directly on the Expedia website.
Getting listed on the activities tab with Expedia will increase your booking numbers and fill up the capacity for your tour or activity.
Expedia’s website receives 70 million visitors worldwide in an average month. As one of the most recognized brands in the travel industry, you can assume they attract a large proportion of individuals who want to travel to your destination. They capture shoppers at all stages of the travel life cycle, including people exploring, booking for other travel services before departure, and in-destination.
Because Expedia has a large variety of activities on their website, they reach the undecided traveler easier than you would. For example, travelers that visit Las Vegas know about the casinos, shows, and the nightlife the place offers. However, thinking about Las Vegas, you wouldn’t necessarily think about the indoor skydiving you can do during the day. A lot of people visiting Las Vegas are unaware of this activity. Connecting to an agent like Expedia would put your product in front of this audience (travelers who don’t know of your existence) who are looking for things to do on the same day in your destination. You want to make it on this list, to attract people you would never be able to attract yourself.
Expedia has localized websites in 31 different countries from Argentina to Vietnam and a strong brand image as an authority in the field of tours and activities wherever it operates. If you can get your tours and activities listed on the Expedia Partner Central, any traveler who finds your products through the Expedia network will automatically attribute it a degree of legitimacy and trust that you might have had to work extremely hard to achieve otherwise.
When partnering with Expedia, they make sure to promote your products through their proven marketing programs. This includes search (like Google Adwords and Bing Ads), online and offline marketing, email marketing, social media campaigns and public relations.
There are several things you have to account for before you partner with large online travel agencies like Expedia. Not every tour operator gets listed by default, but if you can offer the following, we think you’ll improve your chances.
Expedia Partner Central offers its customers real-time booking confirmation; this means you need to be able to provide bookable spots for your tours or activity in real-time.
Allow last-minute bookings and specify how many hours can customers book with you before the tour starts. Of course, you need sufficient time to prepare your tour before people arrive. However, keep your minimum notice as close to the starting time of your experience. Travel agencies like Expedia attract a lot of last-minute bookers that are looking for something to do on the day. You want to make sure your products are available to book, so make sure to push the minimum notice as close to the starting time.
This is not only technical but also in terms of customer experience. For starters, your booking software should have a solid API integration with Expedia. You’d want to avoid manual work as much as possible. When sharing your availability with Expedia, you want the booking information pushed into your booking software, so it automatically populates your CRM, sales reports, and manifest. This will avoid lost customers and makes it easy to keep control over your bookings, even when it’s a large volume.
Schedule your availability for 2 years and make sure people can book 2 years in advance. It’s a good practice of making sure all your availability is published across as many channels as possible. However, make sure it’s also available for a long time. The earlier you fill up your tours, the better. Expedia attracts a lot of people exploring your destination, such as travelers who are curious as to what they’ll get to see and do in your destination before they book their hotels and tours. Some travelers take up to 2 years to prepare their trips, so make sure you always have the availability to attract them to your destination.
A picture says more than a thousand words, and makes your product stand out from the rest. Be aware that your product is listed next to your competitors’. The best picture is likely to receive the booking. Having nice, high-resolution pictures and videos will help you stand out and make your listing always look professional, no matter where it’s being promoted.
Have different descriptions for various online travel agencies. Spend some time to write a special description for your tour specifically for Expedia’s listing. This is because of curation – OTAs want unique descriptions because they are easier to get to the top of the list of search engine responses. Look at the listings of similar products which are already live on Expedia and use its format. Don’t include inconsistent symbols, special offers, or your email address when you submit the description.
Try Rezdy for free, we’ll help you getting listed.