What is Expedia Local Expert?
Expedia Local Expert is one of the 20+ brands created by the Expedia group. It aims to provide activities and destination experiences through expertise and top-notch assistance to travellers. With consumers in over two thousand destinations around the world, this OTA has employed 22,000 people in over 70 countries and had a revenue of $10.1 billion in 2017.
This platform is a division of Expedia.com, and it’s labelled under "Things to do", where travellers can book tours, activities, transfers, and purchase theme park tickets in more than a thousand places around the globe. The sales potential of Expedia is astounding, as it also connects with popular online retailers owned by Expedia.
Why sell on Expedia Local Expert
Joining this OTA could help your business experience exponential growth. Using Expedia for bookings would mean offering your tours on one of the world's largest marketplaces. There are several benefits of this massive platform. We consider the following to be the most attractive ones for your operators:
- FREE SIGN UP: Joining the Expedia Local Expert community is fairly simple, and free! To start the partnership it's only required to fill out a form that takes a couple of minutes to complete. In it, operators have to share personal information (such as their name, job title, and phone number), and company details (E.g., business name, website, country of operation, etc.)
- AUTOMATIC PAYMENTS: Upon registering, all suppliers become part of the Expedia Local Expert automatic payment scheme. Expedia Auto-Pay simplifies the billing process by sending payments through the payment method on file in an automated way, discarding the need of invoicing Expedia.
- FLEXIBLE CURRENCIES: While building a business account, operators will be able to select the correct currency their company operates in. This platform allows sellers to get paid on the currency provided on the banking form completed upon signup. Note that changing currency isn't possible, as it would require rebuilding the entire company profile.
- STANDARD REFUNDS AND CANCELLATION POLICY: By far one of the biggest benefits to suppliers is that Expedia allows businesses to decide on an individual customer cancellation policy for the products they sell on the platform. The team will online process full refunds cancelled outside of the time period that you've set, remember to keep it attractive!
- AVAILABILITY ON BRAND WEBSITES: Upon sign up, your listing(s) will appear in searches on Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, Wotif, EBookers, Hotels.com, CheapTickets, and LastMinute.com.au. Luckily, your business could save some precious time as there would be no need to register on each of these brands separately.
Things to remember
This website contains a rich portfolio of tours and adventures across the world, and listing your business could make it fill up the capacity of tours and activities. Before joining the Local Expert marketplace, there are a few things tour operators should take into account:
- Screening process: Expedia is a large online travel agency, so not every tour operator will be listed by default on this platform. Signing up is fairly simple, but you must do it carefully as it will be reviewed by a member of the Expedia team. After assessing the eligibility of your company to be listed on the site, they could either approve or decline it based on the details you have provided.
- Onboarding queue: The length of time your products will be available on the site will depend on many factors. After suppliers upload an activity or tour, it will be reviewed by a destination manager related to the area. This person will ensure quality, value, and service for the Expedia customers. The best way to work around this is to provide as much information about your products as possible. This way you could get prioritized in the onboarding queue.
- Variable commission rate: The commission rate in this OTA is negotiable and will be discussed with the destination manager assigned to your business before your products get uploaded to the platform. Normally, it ranges from 20% to 40%. Bear in mind that the retail rate and commission you provide to them must be inclusive of taxes and charges from your bank.
- Professional-looking listings: Uploading your products in Expedia Local Expert requires high-definition digital photos that are most likely to catch the eye of travellers. The selection process of images is very meticulous and they must be original. After setting up the different components of your listing the team will design your product page to look its best.
- High-reviews: Your business' reputation matters for the success of your business online and this OTA isn't an exception. Expedia customers will be able to review your product upon purchase. When a supplier gets enough customer reviews they will show on the live product page. The higher the activity or tour rating is, the odds of it getting booked again increases as well.