Are the big players interested in buying smaller agencies? Well, it depends on who you ask.
VANCOUVER — BranchUp founder Michael Drever, best known as founder and former CEO of Expedia CruiseShipCenters, says BranchUp has acquired Collingwood-based Travelwatch Inc.
While BranchUp becomes the sole brand, Travelwatch principals Frank Orlando and Michelle Pinard will continue their roles in supplier relations and content production within the BranchUp team.
BranchUp offers curated social media service for travel advisors, for free. Through its proprietary software the company currently supports more than 1,000 travel advisors with plans to grow to 10,000 subscribers by 2020.
The acquisition serves to support the company’s North American growth plans as the leading provider of travel marketing content, says Drever.
BranchUp provides advisors with travel content directly to their Facebook business page. “Our mission is to help travel advisors grow their business and customer base by providing personalized and relevant travel content at no cost,” says Drever. “By supporting the relationship between advisors and their clients, our engagement reports show that BranchUp outperforms paid advertising by a significant margin.”
Suppliers are also onboard with BranchUp, he adds. The service connects travellers and their personal travel advisor in real time through Facebook messenger, email, or a phone call. Companies already using BranchUp include cruise, tour, hotel and destination marketing boards.
Travelwatch’s Orlando says: “The travel community has really embraced the Facebook content program. More than a thousand advisors joined during the beta period and more are enrolling every day as the word spreads.”
To learn more or sign-up for a free BranchUp account go to www.facebook.com/branchup.