Travelgenix partnership allows consumers to book Advantage’s in-house operator for first time

Travelgenix partnership allows consumers to book Advantage’s in-house operator for first time

Previously the dynamic packages could only be booked by Advantage agents

The Advantage Travel Partnership is to make its in-house tour operation bookable for customers of members using its white-label websites for the first time.

Around 25 Advantage travel agents currently use the consortium’s white-label websites although this is expected to rise to 40 by the end of September.

The move means that for the first time, Advantage Holidays & Cruises – which offers flexible, dynamically packaged holidays – will be available to consumers to book online via the consortium’s travel agents. The holidays are financially protected under Advantage’s Atol licence.

Previously the dynamic packages could only be booked by Advantage agents – not their customers – using the consortium’s trade booking portal.

The increased distribution of the consortium’s operator product follows its continued partnership with Travelgenix, which along with Travel Marketing Systems, joined forces with Advantage last year to offer six scalable and affordable website options for members to use.

The white-label websites already offer holidays from more than 130 suppliers which can be booked online.

The partnership was billed as giving the consortium’s agents the opportunity to effectively and affordably compete with leading players in the online travel industry.

David Forder, head of marketing, The Advantage Travel Partnership, said: “Last year we redeveloped our website proposition to offer members a cost-effective scalable, modern solution to help future-proof their online presence and support them in reaching new customers.

“Since then, this initiative has continued to evolve, and our expanded partnership with Travelgenix means members who use our bookable website solution will now benefit from the ability to further utilise the Advantage inhouse tour operation to provide a wider range of options to their customers.”

Travelgenix chief executive Andy Speight said the move would allow small and medium sized travel agencies in the Advantage consortium to substantially increase their sales.

He added: “Our commitment to innovation ensures that small and medium travel businesses are equipped with the high-end tools typically available only to the big names, helping hundreds of travel businesses to significantly boost their booking numbers.

“Collaborating with Advantage to develop this leading tour operator solution for Advantage Holidays & Cruise has been a great opportunity and we’re excited about the positive effects it will bring for Advantage members in enhancing their travel sales.”

Advantage’s head of operations Lee Ainsworth said it made sense to increase the operator’s distribution by making the product bookable through members’ white-label sites.

He said: “Over 84% of Advantage members regularly book with Advantage Holidays & Cruise, so they are very used to what we offer, and feedback from members has been very positive.

“This increased distribution was a natural step for us and re-affirms our commitment to members to ensure they have access to competitively priced holiday options under the central Advantage Atol licence, reducing the onerous need to hold their licensing arrangements. It also demonstrates our continued strategy to deliver technology solutions which futureproof our members’ online presence.”

Meanwhile, Advantage reported “really strong demand” for travel this Easter with bookings up 8% and revenue growth of 25% year-on-year.

All-inclusive holidays represent 37% of all departures as consumers look to manage their budgets “during this time of economic turbulence,” chief executive Julia Lo Bue-Said said.

“Twenty per cent of Easter departure bookings have been made since start of February, indicating that one in five people are booking last minute,” she added.