What is Expedia Local Expert, and How can Tour Operators Benefit?

20 Mar 2016     |    Taz Bareham

The next time you go to a hotel and visit the concierge desk for more information about the local area, you might be surprised to find out that it’s not an actual hotel employee behind the desk. In fact, it could be a staff member working with Expedia Local Expert. This innovative program was launched by Expedia as a way of shifting its focus to the tour and activity industry. As a tour and activity provider, here’s what you need to know:

What Exactly is Expedia Local Expert?

Expedia Local Expert is a division of the travel giant that is known for online bookings and great vacation packages. Local Expert employees have replaced concierges in leading hotels throughout the United States, including those in Orlando, Las Vegas and New York. There also are Local Expert divisions at resorts in Hawaii and Mexico. Essentially, the hotels no longer employ their own concierge services and instead they lease out the premium desk space in their lobby to Expedia. The employees who work for Expedia can sell tours and activities in the area in order to earn a commission.

It’s a system that benefits all parties. The hotel does not have to spend money on the salary and benefits of a full-time staff member, and they also can earn a profit by leasing out the space in their lobby. It’s a trend that is taking hold across the accommodations industry, and it’s likely that Expedia Local Expert will continue to pop up in more and more leading hotels and resorts across the globe.

How Does It Benefit Tour Operators?

Expedia Local Expert can benefit tour and activity providers in a wide variety of ways, including:

  • Expedia is a brand that is trusted amongst travelers, and Local Expert employees are well-trained and well-versed in the industry. When they recommend a tour or a specific company, it is likely to be a valued recommendation amongst the hotel guest. This can benefit tour operators who receive bookings through Local Expert, as they will become a trusted brand as a result.
  • Local Expert can help increase their visibility as a tour and activity business, and attract customers that the individual company may not be able to reach on their own. As the Local Expert system continues to grow, more tour and activity providers will be able to benefit.

Integrating with Expedia Local Expert doesn’t mean that you have to take on more administrative work and put in more hours in the office. You can simply rely on Rezdy, the online booking system created specifically for the tour and activity industry. Rezdy will showcase your live availability through the Channel Manager, where Expedia Local Expert can quickly and easily resell your products. Rezdy automatically updates your availability, and manages the payments for you.

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