Dutch company TRVL have developed a recommendations based platform that can make anybody a travel agent for their friends and earn a commission in doing so.
What’s Wrong With Normal Travel Agents?
It’s all a matter of individual experience. Amsterdam based TVL don’t necessarily see the main problem as being the travel agents themselves but rather the large amount of time that we spend deliberating over exactly where we would like to go. TRVL’s CEO Jochem Wijnands appears to believe that we often need some extra input to help us to quickly narrow down our choices and to build up the ‘confidence’ to actually book something.
TRVL sees the missing element that could help us to quickly solidify our holiday choices as recommendations. Their new peer-to-peer travel booking platform therefore uses recommendations from friends / loved ones (basically, people we trust) to help the potential traveller choose a destination country / resort / hotel / car rental company.
How It Works.
Agents (us) have access to discounted agency rates for booked trips and the commission paid by the hotels, airlines and car rental companies is split between the agents and TRVL. Agents are paid their commission by bank transfer once the traveller has completed their trip.
It is thought that agents (i.e. you or I) could earn up to 10% helping other travellers to book their trips.
Travellers are connected directly to the hotel, air and other suppliers so you or I (as the agent) don’t have to deal with the money and therefore don’t have that risk. As far as the customer is concerned, the service is essentially free. The platform itself is free and no fees or charges apply anywhere.
How Do You Become an Agent?
Becoming an agent simply involves visiting the website http://trvl.com/ and signing up with your email address.
What Does This Mean For Your Business?
As a business, you could use TRVL to book your trips. This could therefore mean that you are able to cut the cost of those trips. If you are in the travel agency business you are of course likely to see this as a potential threat but it remains to be seen how popular the service becomes.
As a model in itself, it could be something (like affiliation commissions) that you might want to explore further.