Expedia offers $275m in support to hospitality partners

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Group is committing $275 million to help rebound from the impact of Covid-19 and fuel industry-wide recovery efforts.

Research carried out by the group in April shows lodging partners want from online travel agencies in four priority areas as they look to rebound from the pandemic.

These include trends insights on leisure and domestic travel; investments in marketing and demand generation for travel and destinations; increased visibility on sites; and financial relief.

Expedia itself has struggled in the past few months, announcing job cuts and raising fresh liquidity.

Expedia Group’s recovery program is comprised of global initiatives to support industry recovery and property-level relief designed to help independent partners and small chains rebuild their business, attract high-value guests, and optimise cash flow.

“There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ plan for recovery. Restoring travel will take an unprecedented level of partnership across public and private sectors, and a deep understanding of what our partners need,” said Cyril Ranque, president, travel partners group at Expedia Group.

“This recovery program is the first step in our long journey to rebuild a more resilient, inclusive, and sustainable global travel ecosystem.”

Expedia Group is committing $250 million in marketing credits and financial relief.

For each property that participates in the program, the company will reinvest 25 per cent of the compensation earned in 2019 from the property into marketing credits for use with Expedia Group.

The company is also reducing its compensation on all new bookings made within the three-month program period, regardless of the actual stay dates.

Lastly, Expedia Group is extending payment terms for Hotel Collect bookings to 90 days to provide additional financial relief.

The marketing credits and financial relief measures will become available to partners based on recovery signals, including demand trends, from their specific markets.

This approach will provide Expedia Group partners with the support they need when it will be most beneficial.

There are minimum requirements that partners need to fulfil to participate in the program.

The company is currently piloting this program in select countries in Asia.

To support chains and owner groups, Expedia Group released a streamlined version of its optimised distribution solution that allows lodging suppliers to more effectively manage the distribution of wholesale rates among third party travel providers.

The solution is designed to increase revenue by favourably positioning supply partners’ inventory across a network that include airlines, loyalty and membership organisations, financial institutions, offline travel agencies, and more.

To re-ignite demand through market awareness, Expedia Group Media Solutions, the global advertising organisation of Expedia Group, is opening a $25 million fund for destinations.

This recovery plan focuses on destination-led and co-op campaigns, which bring together destination and supply partners with similar audiences to manage their advertising spend while maximising their conversions.

To help furloughed and displaced workers advance during this time, Expedia Group has created a complimentary training and education program called Expedia Group Academy.

The program skill development through online learning modules and live content led by Expedia Group subject matter experts and travel industry leaders.

It will feature concentrations in diversity and inclusion, sales and business skills, and leadership training.

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