At EXPLORE 22, its annual partner event held this week in Las Vegas, Expedia Group presents its new technology platform and announce a new marketplace as well as new digital tools developed specifically for thetravel industry.
The strategy of the American group includes three levels aimed at redefining its positioning in the travel sector. It offers a new technology platform called Expedia Group Open World aimed at strengthening the industry; a reinvented marketplace that rewards partners delivering exceptional traveler experiences; and a focus on developing technology that provides the right information to increase traveler confidence in reservations.
” We are no longer the same Expedia Group as in 2020, and even less than in 2000, says its CEO, Peter Kern, referring to the company’s founding in the late 1990s and the fact that this year marks EXPLORE’s first face-to-face edition since 2020. We have spent the past two years reinventing our potential and now is the time to make those changes. Rather than a market that has become commoditized around price, we envision a world where travelers are offered the right choice based on their profile, with transparency around value and expectations. We are delighted to finally be able to share the changes we are implementing to realize this vision. »
Technology platform for partners of all sizes
The new Expedia Group Open World technology platform is designed for partners of all sizes to configure and operate the products and services needed to succeed within the travel ecosystem. It will provide a complete e-commerce offer by integrating modules such as payments, fraud, conversations and services, which each partner can use to accelerate and optimize their online presence, or even take their first steps in the sector. travel.
” Whether you are a bank with a loyalty program, an airline that wants to expand its offer, a travel agent that focuses on specific needs or a TikTok influencer who helps his followers dream of their next destination, the Open World platform accompanies all those who wish to be part of the travel industry. Our platform, combined with the new innovations announced today, is driven by our desire to put travelers first. We sincerely believe that when travelers are satisfied, everyone wins “says Peter Kern.
” By helping everyone benefit from our technology and offering, Open World will enable all of our partners to thrive in the travel market with solutions tailored to their needs, all powered by our artificial intelligence and machine learning. adds Rathi Murthy, chief technology officer of Expedia Group. ” The choice is also taken into account in our new platform. Partners will be able to choose exactly what works best for them. »
As the platform grows, it will become a place where developers, data analysts, marketers and entrepreneurs can create new ways to encourage travel and enable people to travel.
Marketplace with rating
Expedia Group also announced a redesigned marketplace that focuses on the traveler experience. Using a wealth of data, including traveler reviews and customer service interactions, each hotel will receive a new guest experience ‘score’. This rating will directly impact the search and sort factors that drive visibility in the Expedia Group Marketplace algorithm.
Partners will receive personalized information and recommendations, in line with travellers’ expectations, which will enable them to improve their customer experience score. The platform will incentivize partners to deliver better experiences by directing more bookings to those with high scores. Expedia Group thus intends to create stronger and more loyal ties between partners and travellers.
” We are redefining our marketplace around the traveler experience. Customers are looking for the best experience possible, at all price points and at all star rating levels. Our new system will reward partners who prioritize the traveler experience and meet the expectations they set “, explains Ariane Gorin, president of Expedia for Business. ” We want travelers to be fully satisfied and we also want to make sure partners get rewarded for the experiences they deliver. Our goal is to build trust with travelers. »
For example, hotel partners can view their guest experience score now by logging into Expedia Group Partner Central. The hotel rating will be visible to travelers in the coming months. Ratings for other industries will be visible later in the year.
Transparency and trust
The US travel group has also introduced three new features designed to build trust in the travel buying and booking experience.
-Travel Diaries: To enable a better travel planning experience, Expedia Group is expanding Travel Diaries to more product lines. These notebooks include all elements related to the trip, including information on hotels, activities, flights and much more. These features allow travelers to check in and reserve items by simplifying interoperability with travel companions. Travel diaries are already a hit on Vrbo and will launch this summer on Expedia, with additional interoperability features coming later this year.
-Smart Shopping: Smart shopping makes it easier for travelers to compare and choose between deals by providing a wider range of options in one place. For hotels, this includes room details, categories and upgrade options; and for flights, this includes schedules, layovers, seat selection and baggage check-in. Smart purchases offer travelers more transparency, while partners may have the opportunity to generate additional revenue. This feature is live today for hotels and will soon be available for flights.
– Price tracker: The price tracker shows upcoming trends and price estimates when it comes to flight searches. It allows travelers to see how flight prices are likely to change, reducing stress and providing the ability to book with confidence at the right time. For partners, it encourages travelers to consider and purchase flights they wouldn’t otherwise book. Price tracking is available today on the Expedia app for flights within the United States. It will be extended to hotels later this year.
Finally, after announcing the launch of a new unified loyalty program in 2021, Expedia Group has just unveiled the name One Key and the fact that it brings together four of the group’s loyalty programs. When One Key launches next year, all members will for the first time be able to earn and spend points on any Expedia Group branded site, such as Expedia, Vrbo or Hotels.com, on any product (plane, hotel, vacation rental, car and cruise).