This year, Expedia will look to achieve a stronger foothold in the B2B segment by launching new programmes and cash-based commission structures for agents.
For Expedia, 2018 was a good year! The online travel portal was able to meet all goals it had set for the year. Shiraz Khan, Sales Manager—India, Expedia, says, “We have achieved everything we decided to. The hierarchy structure and market performance went as planned. Going forward, we are targeting agents from all Tier-I, II, and III cities, who are seeking expansion. Agents can explore their options with Expedia’s direct inventories and enjoy the best commissions in the world.”
Khan says that Expedia has teams sitting in all markets to assist agents. “Our management also involves itself and we have direct customer support from Expedia for the agents. However, our best offering is the commission. Agents don’t need to remind us, they get them automatically with discounted prices. Hence, where they earn four to five per cent from other B2B systems, we are giving them at least 12 per cent altogether,” he says. What benefits the agents, Khan adds, is that all commissions come directly from Singapore. “The agents are quite happy about that because nothing gets delayed. We give our commitment that we will provide the commission within 25 days from the check-in date, and it comes as scheduled,” he claims.
Expedia also offers an affiliate programme to the travel trade. “We have this affiliate programme for the B2B segment. Earlier, Expedia was only delivering to end users. With this programme, we are catering to the B2B segment as well.”
For promotion and marketing, they are participating in travel shows and reaching out to agents in several ways. “We are distributing collaterals, movie tickets, raising commissions, and have also put special conditions in place, within the system, where we increase the commissions for those who achieve or go beyond a certain level. We are running close to seven promotional themes,” shares Khan.
Khan says that when it comes to the North, Expedia is doing well in Delhi, Haryana, and Punjab. In the West, it’s performing well in Mumbai and in the East, it has good presence in Bengal. In the South, Expedia is present in Chennai and Bengaluru. The portal is now expanding its roots with a view to capturing smaller cities in the next two to three months.