Luxury operator Destinology is aiming to woo the trade with an online booking system it claims will allow agents to compete with direct-sell rivals.
The trade portal, Destinologyagents.co.uk, gives agents the ability to decrease or increase their commission to match or beat quotes from other luxury, direct-sell operators.
All prices include 10% commission, which agents can strip down to a net rate or mark up to earn more.
Founder and chief executive Dominic Speakman claimed the company, which has a strong focus on Dubai, the Maldives and Mauritius, offered some of the lowest prices in the luxury sector thanks to high sales volumes, its use of technology and low overheads – it does not produce brochures.
He said: “There is an opportunity to use our technology to get these good rates to agents, which allow them to compete.”
The system features live availability for 1,100 luxury hotels, which are all bookable online. Features include photos and videos of hotels, including room types, and the ability to email quotes to clients.
The operator, which only recently started working with agents, wants all trade bookings to be made online instead of on the phone.
Speakman is confident the system’s design and content – the same as that used by its own reservations staff – will encourage online bookings.
“There is a cost implication to using the phone. If we can train agents to book online, that enables us to give them cheap prices.”
He did not reveal trade targets, but added: “If 50% of business came through the trade I’d be happy”.
New head of trade sales Diane Court, who is targeting miniples and small independent agents, said: “We’ve had a lot of interest from homeworkers.”
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