Expedia Group says it is recognizing the impact of the pandemic on the travel agency community and is opening up package travel rates to all its customers.
The company’s affiliate program, which has around 10,000 agency partners, will be “opened up” so that exclusive rates for hotel and air ticket packages are available for all.
Previously, only silver and above level members had access to the discounts (around 20%) on products booked via the Expedia Travel Agent Affiliate Program.
Now all tiers will be included in the scheme, as well as those that had silver or above membership in 2020 will retain that level throughout 2021.
The decision to widen the package discount program is based, according to Expedia TAAP, on giving travel agents a chance to recover as travel demand returns.
The travel agency community has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic over the course of the last 12 months, it says.
Robin Lawther, senior director of Expedia TAAP, adds: “As a partner to thousands of travel agents – big and small – across the world, we know they have a major role to play in getting the travel industry back on its feet.”
During the first phase of the pandemic in 2020, Expedia says it reclassified a “vast majority” of non-refundable rates, accounting for around 70% of its rates available to TAAP partners.