Expedia Group has announced new partnerships and tech features aimed at expanding its network following a strong quarter for its B2B segment where it delivered 55 per cent in revenue growth compared to 2022.
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.
“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,” said Peter Kern, vice chairman and CEO, Expedia Group.
“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.”
The group’s White Label Template and API solutions power travel for more than 400 million loyalty members worldwide.
Expedia Group’s exciting new and expanded partnerships include Travel with Rewards with Mastercard, which is a loyalty points redemption programme to allow cardholders to redeem credit card loyalty points for travel bookings; and SoFi Travel, which will soon allow members to book flights, hotels, cars, packages, activities and vacation rentals through SoFi.
“Over the last decade, our B2B segment has grown phenomenally as we power online and offline travel programmes,” said Ariane Gorin, president Expedia for business, Expedia Group, adding that the company enables “businesses of all sizes to succeed in the world of travel, and in an industry that is nearly US$2 trillion, there is plenty of room to grow”.
Expedia Group is also committed to help more companies succeed in the world of travel with the following developments.
Expedia Group’s travel operating system, Travel OS, will externalise its tech in the form of microservices to help any kind of travel company use its tech to enhance their business, such as fraud capability, which has now reached commercial status. Its service tech and revenue management API are now in beta-testing with partners.
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’s Guest Experience Score will be made available to travellers in 2H2023, where hotel partners can view their Guest Experience Score by logging into Expedia Group Partner Central.
In two years, Expedia Group has tripled the number of participating chains using Optimised Distribution, an innovation that provides hotel partners with greater control of their wholesale businesses. New rate-management capabilities will be released later this year, allowing for more flexibility for a wider array of partners to leverage.
Expedia Group’s first-ever fully unified loyalty programme, One Key will launch on July 6 in the US, and additional markets will follow in 2024. In addition to the Member Only Deals for hotels, cruises and activity partners, the programme 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 US for One Key members.
Expedia Group continues to invest in its Travel Agent Affiliate Program (TAAP), which powers more than 35,000 travel agencies across more than 30 countries with its booking platform built specifically for their unique needs.
TAAP has also launched several new capabilities including enhanced payment options, which provides travel advisors more flexibility and improved servicing with Live Agent chat to help travel advisors get answers to their questions faster.
Expedia Group is seeing strong usage with 32 per cent of all agent interactions in the US in 1Q2023 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 US this year with the global launch to follow later in 2023.