Booking platform Worldia to be rolled out to UK agents

Booking platform Worldia to be rolled out to UK agents

French business described as ‘game changer’

French booking platform Worldia is preparing to launch in the UK with the promise of helping agents to work more efficiently.

Dave Pope (pictured), who joined as business development manager, has been tasked with overseeing the expansion into the British market.

Pope, formerly Not Just Travel’s head of sales and training, said he has been testing the platform with UK agents and gathering feedback.

“It helps travel agents improve their productivity, their efficiency and the quality of what they’re producing for their customers,” he said, adding that one agent called the technology a “gamechanger”.

Paris-headquartered Worldia, described by Pope as a technology-based tour operator, supports more than 5,000 agents across France, Germany, Spain, Holland and Belgium.

Users can create and plan a holiday without leaving the platform, Pope said, drawing on more than 80 destinations and around 800,000 products.

Key features include a white label travel planner, real-time prices and availability, and a customer service team contactable 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Pope suggested Worldia offers a service unmatched by others in the sector, adding: “You can book things online as an agent but I don’t think it’s with the flexibility that we have.”

The business is in the process of applying for an Atol licence, Pope said, with the ambition of securing it in the next few months.

“If it’s the end of October, that would be great,” said Pope, who is looking forward to growing the UK team.

“We’ve just raised €25 million for international expansion,” said Pope. “That’s not just for the UK – that’s also helping Spain and other markets. We’ll also look at the US.”

For now, though, Warwick-based Pope is focusing on giving demonstrations to agents and noting their responses.

“The feedback in the UK has been great so far,” he said. “For us at the moment it’s about awareness. People’s first impression is that we’re a tech company, but the key thing for us is we’re here to help agents improve their productivity and make more money.”

Eventually, Worldia will host webinars and “virtual bootcamps”, Pope said, as well as running incentives and fam trips.

Asked about the level of commission, he said: “We haven’t confirmed the exact number yet, but it will be competitive.”

During Pope’s 34-year career in the industry, which began at Travelbag, he set up a consultancy business which led to work with companies including Loveholidays and Fred Olsen.