The new strategy is based on three pillars Expedia group to redefine its positioning in the world of travel: a new technological platform, which has been called Expedia Group Open World, a new marketplace model that rewards partners who deliver great travel experiences, and a greater focus on developing technology to improve the booking experience by providing the right information at the right time. All the news were presented at the group’s annual event, EXPLORE 22in progress at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, in attendance after a two-year hiatus.
Peter KernExpedia CEO began: “We are no longer the Expedia group we were two years ago – we spent this time reimagining our potential and deciding it was time for more and more change. Compared to a market that standardizes on price, we imagine a world where travelers are offered the best possible option for their needs, with transparency regarding the value and expectations generated. And we are excited to share how we are bringing this vision into reality ”.
Expedia Group Open World: the new technological platform
The new technology platform was created for partner companies of all sizes to enable them to deliver and configure the products and services needed to succeed in the travel ecosystem. Expedia Group Open World proposes itself as a platform focused on the goal of providing an environment that everyone can use to accelerate, increase or even simply enter the travel business. And it does this by providing a complete ecommerce suite with modules for every type of service you need to provide in selling a travel experience. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are the basis of this new project that will allow partner companies to have solutions based on their needs and tailored service choices for their customers. As content grows, the platform will become more mature and become a place where developers, marketers, data scientists, entrepreneurs and other travel stakeholders can devise new ways to encourage and enable people to travel.
“If you want to be part of the travel business – added Kern – Open World is the platform that can help you be successful, whether you are a bank with a loyalty program, an airline that wants to increase its offer, a travel agent specialized in specific niches of travelers, or an influencer who helps the world dream of their next destination on Tik Tok. Our platform, combined with the other innovations announced today, is built on our desire to put travelers first, because we believe that when the traveler is satisfied, we all win “
A new loyalty system for Marketplace partners, based on the Travel Experience
Expedia also announced a completely redesigned marketplace that places the travel experience as its primary value. Using an algorithm that takes into account a large number of signals such as travel reviews, interactions with customer service and much more, each accommodation facility will receive a new score based on the Guest Experience. This score, the Guest Experience Scorewill directly affect search results and change the importance of the various factors that bring visibility to the Expedia Group’s marketplace.
All Expedia partner hotels will receive personalized statistics and recommendations for activities to improve their Guest Experience score in line with the traveler’s expectations. So whoever provides the best experiences will be higher in the search and receive more bookings as a result. There will also be a search view with the best travel experiences in a certain destination. By giving more exposure to those providing the best experiences, Expedia aims to create greater connections between suppliers and travelers and greater long-term loyalty from tourists. Partner hotels can already see their starting Guest Experience Score by logging into Expedia Group Partner Central. However, the score will not be immediately visible to travelers: this will take place in the coming months with a progressive rollout plan that will begin in the summer and will last until the end of the year.
Explains Ariane Gorin, president of Expedia for Business: “We are redesigning our marketplace around the traveler experience. In fact, travelers are looking for the best possible experience at all price levels and at all rating levels in terms of “stars”. This is why we have created this new marketplace that will reward those who put the travel experience first, meeting the expectations that are promised. Our goal is to build credibility with travelers and we make it happen by making sure they have great experiences and partners are rewarded for providing them. “
3 new travel features to build trust and transparency
Trip boards, Smart shopping and Price Tracking are the 3 new functions designed to create a climate of greater trust in those who buy travel and book experiences.
Le Trip Boards (Travel Tables) are already a successful product in Vrbo and will be implemented in the summer on Expedia: it is a collector of all information relating to travel: accommodation, flight, activities, etc. which allows for a greater level of travel planning, giving the traveler the ability to save, book and add new items to the trip.
Lo Smart shopping (Smart Shopping) is a feature that makes it easier for travelers to compare and choose from offers with many items to compare in one place. For hotels, for example, this includes room attributes, category, upgrade opportunities. For flights, this means showing timetables, stopovers, seat selection and baggage included in more detail. These functions therefore add much more transparency in the purchase phase, while partners have the opportunity to show more revenue opportunities. Smart Shopping is already online for hotels and will soon be online for flights.
Just for the flights Price tracking (Price Monitoring) will show past trends and predict future price changes. This will allow travelers to see how the cost of their flight could change, reducing the stress of choice and allowing them to book with confidence at the right time. This in anticipation will encourage the booking of flights that in other cases, with greater uncertainty, would not be booked. Price Tracking features are now available on the Expedia US app, and for flights only. It will soon be extended to flights in the Expedia apps to the rest of the world, as well as to hotel by the end of 2022.
A new unified loyalty program: One Key
Expedia finally confirmed the news on a new loyalty program that unifies the previous 4 loyalty programs. The new loyalty program will be called “One Key” and will allow you to obtain points from the services of all the Expedia group brands such as Expedia, Vrbo, Hotels.com and any other travel product sold by the group. One Key is scheduled to launch in 2023.