"We Love Working with Travel Advisors:" Expedia TAAP Open House Focuses on Agents

More competitive rates for clients. More commissions for advisors.

Expedia TAAP's post-pandemic open house at their sunny Toronto lakefront office on 16MAY was a love-in for travel advisors.

Valerie Styger, Travel Agent Distribution Manager for Expedia TAAP, said that only a handful of advisors had seen their office and that they were excited to host dozens of agents.

“We wanted to meet the old-fashioned way, face to face, so we could shake hands and have valuable conversations,” she said.

TAAP officials said a recent study showed that 46 per cent of travellers say travel is more important to them now than it was pre-pandemic. Another 50 per cent say they’re more likely to use a travel advisor than they were in the past.

L to R: Alexandra Pelts, YYZ Travel Group; Cyrus Rustamji, Uniglobe Enterprise Travel; Joanne Gellatly, George Brown College; Beata Kaminski, Expedia TAAP; Ahn Le-Noronha, George Brown College; Larysa Kalyta, George Brown College

The company touted its benefits for agent partners, including:

  • Competitive rates, with savings of up to 20 per cent on hotels by creating special package deals pairing flights, car rental or transfers, with more than 350,000 properties.
  • Earn more commission with wholesale rates on over 150,000 room types from popular international properties like Marriot, IHG and BWH Hotel Group.
  • Secure offers for all scenarios: members only deals, value add promotions, seasonal sales, last-minute deals and more.

“You manage the relationship with your travellers, we manage the relationship with our suppliers directly to ensure that they’re motivated to provide a reliable experience for travellers and that your issues will be resolved when needed,” said Judi Pym, Canadian Account Manager, Expedia TAAP. “That means no more third-party hassles to deal with.

“Special rate programs like the hotel package rates are offered or advisors on TAAP,” Pym explained. “That package rate promotion offers an average of 20 per cent savings off published rates, and this is not available on the consumer site. It’s a tool made specifically for you.”

Unlike some other tools for advisors, Pym said, commissions on TAAP are calculated based on gross booking values, meaning they’re inclusive of taxes and fees.

“In addition, TAAP partners offer the most competitive rates to their travellers because their commissions are not added to the rates. Travel advisors also can take advantage of top-notch agent booking experiences, consistently optimized to drive ease of use and faster bookings,” she said.

Left: Joel Smith, Expedia Cruises, Downtown Toronto
Right: Tyler Shannik, Expedia Cruises, Scarborough

“TAAP offers a wide breadth of quality travel options from around the world helps you inspire travellers and find what they need, so they keep coming back to you.”

Agents also get access to the widest range of properties, flights, car rentals, ground transportation and activities, with real time content, all in one place, according to the company.

With more than 35 property types across 25,000 destinations, plus more than 500 airlines and 175 car rental companies to choose from, advisors “will get the best match for your travellers’ unique needs,” she said.

“When making bookings on TAAP … you do not have to shop around to find the most impressive rates and deals. Unlike other booking sites, we share the profit directly with partners to ensure you receive the best rates without sharing the profit with third party vendors.”

Pym said studies show that 78 per cent of customers buy from the business that responds first.

“A rapid response can make a huge difference wen it comes to getting new bookings. When getting an inquiry from travellers, advisors on TAAP can quickly generate an easy to create, customizable and trackable quote with just two clicks.”

Pym noted that TAAP offers a virtual agent to help advisors with issues.

“If you can’t get your answers there you can effortlessly move into our live chat option. Plus, we have 24/7 worldwide support in selected languages. No matter what stage of your booking journey, there are support agents in more than 40 countries available online or on the phone to help you.”

“We have marketing options as well,” she said. “We’ve designed a TAAP academy as a one-stop shop for on-demand training and easy to plug in marketing tools, so this will help you boost your business as well.

“We love working wit travel advisors, and I’m not just saying that; we truly, truly, truly do. We actively support more than 37,000 travel agencies and more than 100,000 travel advisors across 32 countries. Last year we helped advisors book more than 2.3 million epic vacations.”

Styger said Expedia TAAP is making “very significant investments” to help agents take advantage of new opportunities “to supercharge your businesses, from new shopping experiences and flexible payment options to enhanced travel experience and support.”

A new website url for Expedia TAAP is coming very soon and will provide more travel agent specific features and deliver “a better and more consistent booking experience” for advisors, she said. The site will include valuable new map features and new rooms and rates displays, including Expedia TAAP’s highest value package rates.

“We know it’s important to have this ability about commission levels, so created additional options to make it even easier or you.”

Jim Byers

Jim Byers is a freelance travel writer based in Toronto. He was formerly travel editor at the Toronto Star and now writes for a variety of publications in Canada and around the world. He's also a regular guest on CBC, CTV News, Global News and other television and radio networks.

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