Holiday rental company The Plum Guide is reporting an increase in trade bookings and is preparing to increase its activity with travel agents.
Bookings from agents currently make up around 12% of business for The Plum Guide.
Katherine Pottinger, chief hospitality officer at The Plum Guide said: “Within the year we want to double that 12% agent figure. Today there are two people in the team who take care of travel agents and we will be growing that team.
“We’re hiring a director of sales for corporate and business to business travel including agents, and that will be someone with trade experience.”
The brand will also look at its white label service which sends agents unlabelled documents they can use. The service is available on request but is planned to become self-service.
The Plum Guide’s goal is to increase consistency across accommodation offerings online. The company says, “most open marketplaces rely on peer-to-peer review systems to judge quality, but standards vary hugely in reality.” The Plum Guide instead uses a testing approach that aims to guarantee consistent quality.
Hospitality critics from The Plum Guide visit each home to interview the host and test the property with only one out of every 100 properties in each city is invited to join the collection.
Pottinger said: “There has been a large shift in the way that people are travelling. I think that people want to experience home rentals in urban setting.
The Plum guide has properties in London, Paris, Rome, Milan, New York and Los Angeles and is working on new properties Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon, Copenhagen, Berlin and Tel Aviv which should all be live in June.
The company has raised £14million to expand its collection in 12 new cities, six of which are US cities. By the end of 2019 it expects to offer almost 12,000 verified homes with 100 new hires being made to support growth.
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