Passport Online Inc. has added 10 new suppliers to its supplier list of cruise, tour, destination and hotel suppliers. The new suppliers include Costa Cruises, GAP Adventures, Guaranteed Departures (Travel Alliance Partners), Lindblad Expeditions, Outrigger Hotels, Paul Gauguin Cruises, SITA, Starwood Mexico Hotels and Resorts, Starwood New Builds, and Travel Bound.
As with all Passport Online supplier partners, travel agents who have Passport Online’s NexCite (a full website program) or VacationPort (a web content system) now have access to all content provided to Passport from these suppliers. The agents can customize if and how individual suppliers are merchandized to their clients on their websites.
This system enables agents to feature preferred supplier content, consortia exclusives, or many other preferences an agency might have for their business. Supplier content is also available for agents to include in email campaigns created using Passport’s integrated email tools.
“We are simply providing agents with a complete electronic marketing program, including websites, email marketing, direct to consumer messaging through TripBlip, and comprehensive supplier content so they can provide the most robust Internet shopping experience for their customers,” said Greg Kott, president and CEO of Passport Online Inc. “Website content is about providing options for your customers when they shop on your website. We know that travel agents have a loyal customer base, and we know most consumers start their shopping online these days, so we need to be sure the content is where the eyes are. It is likely the consumers will finish their shopping in a live environment, on the phone or in their agent’s office, but the web is crucial to start the process.”
Costa Cruises wanted to expand its reach to the large, fragmented travel agency audience. “We at Costa decided to work with Passport Online because they open up a number of opportunities with clients that we are not currently dealing with. Secondly, they have come up with a winning formula on how to communicate efficiently and effectively to the agent, which results in added exposure and business,” said Bill Dwyer, director of field sales for Costa Cruise Lines N.V.
For Travel Bound, it is the access to Passport’s agent network, and their preferred accounts in particular. “TWe see this as a great opportunity to communicate our products and various promotions to thousands of agents and their numerous customers," said Nico Zenner, president of Travel Bound. "Many of our preferred accounts are members of Passport so they’ll now have an easier way to notify their clients of our worldwide hotels and services and easily demonstrate the advantages of FIT to customize any vacation.”
The expanded Starwood portfolio and the addition of Outrigger Resorts are also part of Passport’s ResortPort product. ResortPort delivers a property's rich media and unique vacation content directly to loyal travel agency clients who are actively searching for their next vacation, via the agency website. ResortPort enables hoteliers to control the presentation of their properties within any Passport Online offer or promotion that includes their resort. Hoteliers participating in ResortPort have a dedicated online presence on agency websites.