At its annual partnership event, EXPLORE, Expedia Group devised a three – tier strategy to redefine its travel space, including a new technology platform to power the industry called Expedia Group ™ Open World; a reimagined market that rewards partners for delivering great traveler experiences; and a focus on developing technology for travelers that provides the right information for booking confidence.
“This is not the Expedia Group we were in two years ago, let alone forty years ago,” said Vice Chairman and CEO Peter Kern, referring to the company’s founding in the late 1990s and the fact that EXPLORE was last hosted live two years ago. . “We have spent the last two years reimagining our potential and decided it was time for much needed change. Rather than a commodity-driven market in terms of prices, we envision a world in which travelers are served as the right choice for their needs, with transparency of value and expectations. We are excited to share the ways in which we are being brought to life. ”
Expedia Group Global Open Technology Platform
The company announced Expedia Group Open World, its new purpose-built technology platform created for partners of all sizes to leverage and configure products and services for the success of the travel ecosystem. The platform will provide a complete ecommerce suite, with building blocks like payments, fraud, chats and services, that anyone can use to speed up, improve or even get into the travel business.
“Whether you are a bank with a rewards program, an airline looking to increase their offer, a specialty travel agent aimed at under-served travelers, or the influence of TikTok that contributes to the global dream of their next destination, if you want to be in the travel business, the Open World platform can help anyone succeed. Our platform, together with the new innovations we announced today, is driven by our desire to put travelers first because we believe that when travelers win, we are all, ” said Kern.
“By helping everyone take advantage of our technology and supply, Open World will be able to make our new and existing travel market partners successful with a suite of solutions tailored to their needs, all powered by our artificial intelligence. huge and our machine learning. capabilities, ”said Rathi Murthy, Chief Technology Officer, Expedia Group. “The option is also featured in our new platform. Partners will be able to choose exactly what works for them. “
As the platform matures, it will become a place where developers, data scientists, marketers, entrepreneurs, and others can create new ways to motivate and enable people to travel.
Reimagined Marketplace Rewards Partners for the Traveler Experience
Expedia Group also announced a reimagined marketplace that places the traveler experience at its heart. Using a wide range of data signs, including traveler reviews, customer service interactions and more, each hotel premises will receive a score of new guest experiences. This score will directly affect the search and sort factors that drive visibility in Expedia Group’s market algorithm.
Partners will receive personalized insights and actionable suggestions to enhance their guest experience scores in line with traveler expectations. By incentivising partners to deliver better experiences by transferring more bookings to the high scoring ones, the company hopes to create better connections between partners and travelers and greater long-term loyalty for travelers for all.
“We are redesigning our all-around market traveler experience. Travelers search for the right experience at every price point and star rating level. Our new market will reward partners who advance the traveler experience and deliver on the expectations they have set, ”said Ariane Gorin, President of Expedia for Business. “We want travelers to have great experiences and ensure that partners get credit for the experiences they provide. Our goal is to build confidence among travelers. ”
Hotel partners can now view their guest experience score by logging in Expedia Group Partner Central. The guest experience score will be shown to travelers in the coming months and it is planned to roll them out to other areas of business later in the year.
New Features for Travelers to Build Transparency and Confidence
The company also introduced three new features designed to add confidence and trust to the shopping and booking travel experience.
- Tour Programs: To enable a better travel planning experience, Expedia Group is expanding Tour Board to more product lines. Tour Programs serve as a home base for everything related to travel, from hotels, to activities, flights and more, enabling travelers to save and book goods, and simplifying collaboration with travel companions. Trip Boards is already successful on Vrbo and launches this summer on Expedia, with additional collaboration features later in the year.
- Smart shopping: Smart shopping makes it easier for travelers to compare and select offers by tackling a wider range of options earlier and all in one place. For hotels, this includes room attributes, categories, and upgrade opportunities. For flights, this includes multiple times, stops, seat selection and baggage checking. Smart shopping gives travelers more transparency about their purchases, while partners are exposed to incremental revenue opportunities. Smart shopping is alive today for hotels and coming soon for flights.
- Price tracking: Price tracking reveals past trends and future price predictions for flight searches. It allows travelers to see how their flight prices may change, reducing stress so they can book confidently at the right time. For partners, it encourages travelers to consider and purchase flights that they might not otherwise be able to book. Price tracking is available today on the Expedia app at the US point of sale for flights. It will be extended to hotels later this year.
Following the news from last year that Expedia Group will create a new unified loyalty program, the company announced that this new program is called “One Key” and brings together four different loyalty programs under its auspices. . When One Key launches next year, all members will, for the first time, be able to earn and burn points on any of the Expedia Group brands, such as Expedia, Vrbo, Hotels.com and more, and any one of their travel products, including air, hotel, vacation rental, car, and cruise.
To hear more about the Expedia Group Open World platform and other news, please see the General Session at EXPLORE 2022 available: http://livestream.exploreexpediagroup.com/
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