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Consumers aren't the only customers in the travel journey

12/04/2018

When is a consumer not a customer? This needn't be a philosophical challenge. Rather it should be an observation perhaps for many in the travel sector. Despite all evidence being to the contrary, everyone seems to always assume that all travel brands work directly with consumers. 

At Hotelbeds we see things differently as we are focused on the B2B market. For us there’s a big difference between consumers and our customers: one of them is on holiday, the other is busy working to make that holiday perfect.

So if you are not a travel agent, or you don't care about the travel agent sector, then you may want to stop reading right now.

Why? Because our retail offering to travel agents, which we operate under the Bedsonline brand, only works with travel agents. That’s right, no consumers, no travellers: 100% B2B. Capiche?

You could understandably think that with a catchy name like Bedsonline and a sexy brand image, we do work directly with consumers. However, nothing could be further from the truth, we are not a consumer brand: we do not deal with the traveler directly. Ever. And have no plans to!

If it seems that I am labouring the point, it is because recently it has been brought to my attention that some of our customers (travel agents, remember?) were under the misapprehension that we also compete with them to offer services directly to consumers. We have one focus and that is to provide the best content, platform and booking experience, both pre and post for our travel agent partners, and that is more than enough to keep us busy and happy.

Surely by excluding the end consumer you are limiting sales, I hear you say? Frankly, no. Instead this liberates us to focus on creating a service that is 100% designed expressly for the professional travel seller. We’ve developed tools and technology best suited to travel agents, for example search functionality, filtering tools, comparison options, PDF functions, vouchers and much much more; we’ve contracted special hotel rates and deals available for travel agents only; and we’ve deployed teams with local knowledge across the globe, who speak the local language and know the local culture.

In short, a 360 degree travel agent offering. And the business model is working out just fine, thank you. If you are one of the lucky chosen ones who have the delight of selling travel face-to-face to consumers, and you don’t yet work with us, then we’d love to hear from you. Click here to find out more on how to sign up.

Needless to say, if you are a consumer wanting to book your next holiday, we’d still love to hear from you as we can perhaps recommend you to our network of more than 60,000 (and growing) travel agents globally. 

Alistair Rodger, Director of Retail Travel Agents