TripBAM, the hotel rate shopping tool, is adding some new functionality that will help travel management companies save even more money for their customers and improve their attachment rates.
Founder and CEO Steve Reynolds said TripBAM has developed a sort of three-tiered system of searches.
It can be set to search only “like for like:” the same room type in the same hotel with the same amenities. If TripBAM finds a lower rate, it doesn’t even have to bother the customer; it sends the information straight to the travel agent for rebooking.
If companies want to take the saving opportunities a step further, it also can be set to search “same but similar:” swapping a king bed for a queen, for example, or a suite for a standard room with similar amenities.
“A company might also decide that the $40 breakfast included in the room rate isn’t worth it,” Reynolds said.
The third tier is TripBAM’s original “cluster” method of searching. The customer creates a cluster by selecting hotels, usually within the same geographic area. TripBAM performs daily searches for lower rates at all the selected hotels and alerts the customer when a lower rate is found.
Staying within policy
Another new feature allows agencies to send TripBAM bookings that include outbound air but no hotel.
“We’ll send an offer to traveler that says, ‘Here’s a great hotel with a great rate,’” Reynolds said. If the offer is accepted, the traveler stays within policy, preferred supplier agreements are strengthened and the agency’s attachment rates improve.
“All the customer has to do is click the green button in the e-mail offer,” he said. “We’ve done it all for you.”
Travel agency focus
Reynolds told Travel Market Report that the company, founded in 2012, originally focused on the consumer market.
“But we did a quick pivot,” he said, and now most of the company’s energy goes into fine-tuning the system for travel agencies and their corporate customers.
So far, it has agreements with three mega-agencies, five out of the top 10 and 10 out of the top 20. Combined, they represent a potential 81 million hotel bookings, Reynolds said, “and our goal is to touch all of them.”
TripBAM also has signed direct deals with several of the top 100 corporations, but “the majority are coming through their TMCs,” he said. “Companies get a better deal if they go through an agency.”
Next on the horizon: TripBAM is working with the WIN Travel, a consortium with about 200 agencies, to prepare for a European expansion. To that end, it is adding new multicurrency and some multilingual functionality.