Travel Leaders Group reports that second quarter bookings through Stream, its prepaid hotel program, are up 42 percent over first quarter 2012. As well, the number of participating travel agencies increased by 13 percent in the second quarter.
The group also reports enhancements to the program including: a low inventory alert, strike-through pricing allowing agents to clearly see specials, average guest ratings, and a “Maximize Your Commission” calculator.
Stream, which was rolled out last year, offers agents guaranteed 12 percent commission levels for over 70,000 competitively-priced properties worldwide and the ability to add opaque markups, the group says.
“Typically, hotel booking activity is stronger during the first quarter of the year than in the second quarter. For Travel Leaders Group to see comparative quarterly data reflect a 42 percent increase in bookings for the second quarter marks success in agent adoption of the program and means that our agents are benefiting by making more in guaranteed commissions,” stated Travel Leaders Group CEO Barry Liben.
“The latest data we gathered on bookings through Stream indicates that our agents find it a very important tool in assisting their international travelers. When London, Paris and Rome are among the top five cities being booked through Stream, it validates that the available inventory and pricing is extremely competitive. Anecdotally we have heard that agents have been able to find inventory in Stream, particularly for London, when they had no luck securing rooms using other booking tools,” Liben said.
For last minute travel to London for the Olympics, Travel Leaders Group notes agents still have access to a choice of reasonably priced rooms available through Stream.
During the July 27 – August 12 Olympic Games timeframe, three-star hotels are available in Central London (Kensington, Covent Garden, etc.) for as little as $177 per night. Four-star properties in Central London can be booked for under $300 a night and even a few five-star hotel rooms are available in the West End for the mid $400’s, the group says.
“In June, we rolled out a number of key enhancements to the program which are designed to save our agents time and create efficiencies in searching for optimal properties and completing the booking process in Stream,” Liben said. Among the enhancements:
• Flexible and intelligent search improvements including predictive typing by airport code, landmark, or city destination into the initial search box.
• Expanded search parameters and preferences for multiple hotel brands and multiple amenities on the initial search page.
• A “Maximize Your Commission’ calculator located on the first search results page.
• More robust search filtering parameters (e.g. part of city, amenities, star rating, guest rating, etc.).
• An average “guest rating” display for every property.
• Promotional “strike thru” pricing displayed so discounts can be easily deciphered.
• Alerts for low room or pricing inventory prominently displayed.
• All available room types with their respective pricing in one display.
• Individual day of the week pricing breakout.
• First page of search results includes an interactive map.
• Less information to enter on the purchase page for faster completion of transactions.
The enhancements also earned support from member agents, the group reports.
Travel Leaders Group’s Stream prepaid hotel program features:
• Twelve percent commissions paid each month for completed stays from the previous month;
• Hotel level photos, maps, and property details;
• Real-time reporting on demand at agency/agent levels;
• Online reservation cancellations;
• After-hours 24/7 support for agencies/agents and clients on check-in date;
• Robust sort parameters to simplify the reservation search process;
• Ability for agencies/agents to easily view their clients’ reservations; and
• Ability to set up unique accounts for all agents in the agency.
Travel Leaders Group’s Stream is now available to all of the company’s wholly-owned, franchised and affiliated travel agencies and agents, including Cruise Holidays, Luxury Travel Network, Nexion, Results! Travel, Travel Leaders, Tzell Travel Group and Vacation.com.