When you imagine the world’s largest travel platform, what names come to mind? If you’re seeking more diverse ways for how to sell your tours on Expedia, you might enjoy what their Local Expert program has to offer.
Expedia Group is a massive online platform with over 200 travel booking sites in 70 countries, including Expedia Local Expert (LX). This online distribution channel focuses on accommodation, hotels and flights, while under the Things to Do tab on Expedia.com, LX offers a diverse array of local tours and activities for guests to explore during their booking phase.
Expedia sees over 100 million visitors per month, with travelers looking to book their entire vacation on the platform. I’ll explain how you can see an increase in bookings if you sign up and learn how to sell tours on Expedia as a Local Expert.
What is Expedia Local Expert
As an Expedia Local Expert, you’ll join fellow tour and activity providers, connecting with millions of visitors online and attracting diverse travelers from around the world. Between their global marketing reach and ability to offer travelers direct bookings, Expedia helps to foster a frictionless booking experience.
When guest books through Expedia LX, your availability, inventory, customer details, and booking calendar are instantly updated. The advantage for experience providers is not managing manual re-entry, double bookings, or over-bookings if guests book through LX.
In addition, Expedia LX supports tour and activity operators with their powerful marketing programs designed to connect with customers at every stage of the buying cycle.
Why become an Expedia Experiences Supplier
Expedia LX offers the benefit of looking after the customer service element of bookings. The platform integrates with your booking system, taking care of payments and email confirmations for guests. Once listed, you only pay commission when you receive a booking. And while travel agent commission rates will differ, it may be worth paying for the extra attention.
Attract travelers where they are already booking
Expedia LX presents the opportunity for guests to capture the interest of travelers as they are in the booking phase. The major benefit for guests is enabling them to book with local experience providers — all in one place.
Acting as a one-stop shop, the “Things to Do” category attracts travelers as they move through the booking process. Expedia LX is a huge benefit for tour and activity operators considering different distribution channels and how they can sell tours on Expedia.
Expedia attracts over 60 million web visitors on a monthly basis. They have a presence in more than 30 countries in 17 languages, showcasing tours and activities on multiple booking sites like Travelocity and AirAsia Go. And when compared to other distribution channels like GetYourGuide and Viator, Expedia captures around 70% of the OTA market share. If you’re looking to benefit from a more diverse online presence, Expedia’s global marketing reach might be the ticket for your tour business.
Another added benefit is Expedia will automatically send booked guests a request for review following their trip. And, in turn, this has the potential for more people to explore your tour business.
If you choose to publish your tours on Expedia as an experienced supplier, you’ll enhance your reach. It’s why operators invest time and energy into publishing their tours on multiple distribution channels. Becoming an Expedia Local Expert isn’t complicated, and thankfully, Checkfront integrates with this online travel agent.
How to Sell Tours on Expedia
Working with online travel agents is just one way of getting your tour business in front of more eyes. Instead of just being a distribution channel, signing up with Expedia Local Expert also acts as a marketing partnership. Expedia claims to spend millions annually on search engine marketing. As a result, they can land in the top search queries surrounding Things to Do.
With strategic placement within the booking process, Expedia Local Expert heightens the possibility of guests moving forward with booking tours and activities. Becoming an Expedia Local Expert allows you to capture more of your target audience as part of your marketing strategy to sell tours primarily if you serve a niche area.
Signing up as an Expedia Experiences Supplier
Once approved, you’ll connect with a Destination Manager and be able to create listings, manage your availability, pricing and content. From there, you’ll be able to negotiate a commission fee paid only when a guest books on the LX platform.
According to Expedia’s terms, as the Expedia Experiences Supplier, you have the ability to set your refund and cancellation policy. Plus, guests want to feel confident that they can rely on flexibility along with full refunds when making booking decisions.
Commission Fees as an Expedia Local Expert
In the travel industry, you should always consider new ways of connecting with your guests. And while using a distribution channel like Expedia comes with an added fee, the payoff is likely worthwhile.
LX commissions can range anywhere from 15-30% of the booking price. However, it’s worth noting that the commission fee as an Expedia Local Expert will depend on what you’re able to negotiate with your Destination Manager. Expedia LX expects content parity and visibility, so guests will see the same price on your website to avoid directly competing with the platform.
Listing on multiple sites helps to connect your tour business with travelers on a global scale. And as you attempt to automate OTA channel management, you might find the cross-promotion increases overall bookings along with revenues.
Set up Expedia Local Expert using Checkfront
Do you know what’s exciting? When booking systems talk to each other.
Thankfully, Checkfront supports many different account integrations and makes signing up as an Expedia experiences supplier a breeze. The Expedia integration allows Checkfront customers to list their items with Expedia Local Expert (LX).
We provide the API, and Expedia can use it to source availability and pricing, giving you control over the default booking status of reservations made through Expedia. So when a booking arrives in your Checkfront Booking Manager, it will be automatically assigned the status you choose. To sign up and learn more about how to sell tours on Expedia, you’ll want to read more in this guide and then fill out their contact form.
To configure the integration in your Checkfront account, navigate to Manage > Integrations > Service Add-ons. Then, hover over the Expedia tile in the Channel Management section, and click on the SETUP link.
Checkfront allows tour operators to connect their booking software with an API designed to integrate with third-party resellers. Expedia Local Expert then seamlessly communicates with our booking software to minimize overbookings while presenting travelers with multiple touchpoints for booking tours and activities.
As an experience provider searching for how to sell tours on Expedia, this is an online travel agent that’s not to be missed. With technology leading the way for tourism recovery, if you choose to join Expedia Local Expert, it can be one of the best ways of selling your tours online.
It’s worth experimenting to see if becoming an Expedia Local Expert is the right marketing channel for your tour business. Instead, a holistic approach allows you to deliver a meaningful guest experience regardless of how or where they find you.