Technology

Travellers Choice’s new tech to turn members into OTAs

Christian Fleetwood

Christian Fleetwood

Travellers Choice members now have the ability to trade as individual online travel agencies (OTAs), thanks to a revolutionary new tech offering unveiled by the company on Saturday during the network’s 2019 conference in Adelaide.

Developed in partnership with Vancouver-based software company Snowstorm Technologies and available to all Travellers Choice agencies at no cost, ‘TC One’ will provide the group’s members with a single, easy-to-use, highly-intuitive booking platform with live dynamic inventory.

Speaking to Travel Weekly in Adelaide, Travellers Choice managing director Christian Hunter said the new booking platform, which he described as revolutionary, could be a selling point for the cooperative going forward.

Christian Hunter and Snowstorm Technologies CEO Riaz Pisani/Travellers Choice

“From the outside looking in, I think this is going to make [Travellers Choice] fairly attractive for new members, because the only way they’ll have access to this tool is through our networks,” he said.

TC One will initially launch with 1.5 million properties and activities; however, in Travellers Choice will progressively bring other preferred suppliers – including air, FIT, accommodation, cruise and touring products – onto the platform next year, according to Hunter.

“The really exciting thing for us is the scope of the system and where it can go into the future. Immediately, it’s going to plug a big hole for our members where they’re really challenged in the hotel space,” he said.

“So, this will give them a solution where they can compete there. And it will also provide them with an online presence, which is going to allow them to compete in that space.”

The new tool will also plug a hole for the company’s preferred partners who did not have access to the same pricing as OTAs. For Travellers Choice, this saw a leak outside of preferred partners – but not anymore.

TC One offers B2C capability, enabling any Travellers Choice member to install an online booking tool on their agency website.

“We can now bring that [lost revenue] back inside, because we now have a platform that will essentially allow them to trade as their own OTA,” Hunter told Travel Weekly.

“Again, this is just scratching the surface. The system will enable our members to have an online/offline presence – a platform where customers can start a booking online and finish it off in-store, or vice versa.

“Customers can access their own bookings and add elements at their own leisure, again with all elements tracking back to the agency’s business and, of course, fully commissionable.

“This is game-changing technology for Travellers Choice members and no other independent group has anything like it. The scope is simply immense.”

Featured image: Christian Hunter announces Travellers Choice’s new members-only booking platform, TC One/Travellers Choice

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