TRVL-launching-online-travel-market-place-Sept.-1-with-commission-2

TRVL launching online travel market place Sept. 1, with commission

TORONTO — TRVL founder Jochem Wijnands says he’s aiming to launch a new online travel agent market place on Sept. 1, 2020, when travel bookings will potentially start picking up again.

Currently TRVL.com operates as a hotel booking platform for travel agents, plus it’s a global travel agent community. Member agents earn commission on two million hotels from suppliers like Expedia, Bedsonline, Booking and Priceline.

Come Sept. 1, the site will also be a platform where agents can be found and connect with customers all over the world.

“The COVID-19 crisis has an unprecedented impact on travel agents. Some are out of work, many are wondering if they’ll ever be able to recover. The online travel agent market place that TRVL.com is building will help travel agents to expand their business beyond the customers they have today,” says Wijnands.

In 2019 Wijnands overhauled his B2C travel booking site, originally launched in 2010 and not without controversy in the trade, into a B2B platform that’s strictly for travel agents only, and free to join. He teamed up with Discover the World to re-launch the trade-friendly site. Travel agents sign up at TRVL.com and are waitlisted while Discover the World checks credentials (i.e. an IATA or TIDS number). Bona fide agents then get the green light and can use the site to make OTA bookings for their clients.

“As a travel agent community, we’re also throwing a lifeline to travel pros that are out of work because of the crisis. It would be a shame if their travel expertise would be lost to the world,” says Wijnands. He says research shows that 80% of consumers say they would like personalized advice when booking travel online. TRVL connects agents with sites including Expedia, booking.com, Priceline and hotels.com.

Using TRVL travellers can book a hotel with the help of a local travel agent without paying more than they would normally pay, says Wijnands. “This service is free. The travel agent will earn a commission of around 10%. The travel agent will be available to the customer for the rest of trip and can also recommend a restaurant, arrange an airport transfer, tour or activity.”