At American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT), our clients turn to us for unrivaled value. That’s the main reason why we took the leap in acquiring Egencia, the business travel arm of parent company, Expedia Group (or Expedia for short). By acquiring Egencia, we strengthened our partnership with Expedia, which brings about greater value for our clients.
How do clients benefit from that value? They’ll get access to different rate types like Expedia Business Rates, payment flexibility, a multitude of accommodations worldwide, and a better booking experience overall. Let’s first look at the breadth of options.
Diverse global accommodations
According to Travel Weekly’s 2021 Power List, Expedia is the largest travel company in the world based on gross global sales in 2019. So having Expedia accommodations can benefit travel managers looking to round out their travel program and appeal to a wide variety of travelers’ tastes and location needs. With more supply, travelers will have better options for booking accommodations.
Not only that, Expedia sources accommodations for both their consumer and business channels. Those accommodations are available to Amex GBT clients whether they book online through their corporate booking tool or offline with a travel counselor.
Here’s how Expedia’s rich global supply translates into numbers.
Travelers can choose from over 700,000 properties globally
Everything from classic business-friendly hotels to private rentals is accessible through our booking channels. Expedia reports that, as of September 2021, their accommodations include:
- 400,000+ traditional hotels across 35,000+ destinations.
- 250,000+ private rentals, including apartments, apart-hotels, and condominiums.
And those numbers keep growing. When you consider all of Expedia’s properties on a global scale, you can see how the number of options can draw travelers toward your corporate booking channel for all their business accommodation needs, including short- and long-term stays.
To avoid high hotel costs, many travel managers try to discourage travelers from booking their business trips through consumer booking sites instead of corporate booking channels. With that objective in mind, we did a little research and found that when travelers book outside of their corporate travel program, they often book directly with Expedia.com. As a matter of fact:
Expedia.com has been cited as a top site for US and UK corporate travelers booking outside of their travel program.1
That’s a sign that having Expedia accommodations in your corporate booking channel can help managers looking to optimize the booking experience for travelers. Better hotel search results can boost participation and overall confidence in your travel program, especially when travelers are offered flexible payment options, discounts, and amenities.
Flexible and competitive rate types
Because our partnership with Expedia is now stronger than ever, our clients get access to multiple rate types and payment options that let them improve cost-savings within their travel program without compromising choice.
Expedia Group Business Rates (EBRs). These rates are negotiated specifically for business travelers and are now available to all Amex GBT clients. Why are they so special? EBRs include flexible cancellation policies, including same-day cancellation and at least one added discount or amenity, like late checkout, parking, or breakfast. When searching accommodations, travelers can find EBRs at tens of thousands of chain and independent properties worldwide.
Pay now or pay later. Travelers now have the option to pay at the time of booking or pay later at the hotel. Proof shows that payment flexibility is high on the priority list for travelers. In a 2019 Expedia survey of global traveler expectations, 71% of travelers said they would abandon their purchase if their preferred method of payment was not available. Fortunately, most properties offer both refundable and non-refundable rates. And many of those rates are discounted, which can result in greater savings, especially on last-minute trips.
Rich, quality shopping experience
Speaking of booking, in a 2019 global survey of frequent travelers, Expedia found that the quality of property content is the second most important factor in having a positive booking experience. Given that feedback, let’s look at what travelers will find when they search through Expedia’s accommodations for an upcoming trip:
- Up-to-date, detailed property descriptions localized in 40+ languages.
- High-quality photos.
- Clear information on amenities.
This enhanced booking experience can motivate travelers to book the preferred way – by attaching their accommodations to their airline reservation – which makes traveler location details easily available in the event of a crisis. That’s essential from a duty of care perspective.
Both travelers and travel managers win out
Having Expedia accommodations can be a win for travel managers who are looking for built-in savings for their travel program while satisfying the diverse needs of their travelers. As we plan ahead, we’re looking into expanding the availability of Expedia content across booking channels and geographies for our clients. For an optimal experience, we’re also exploring more Expedia Business Rates based on their needs.
If you’d like to find out how Expedia can enhance business travel for your company, contact us. If you’re an existing Amex GBT client and would like access to Expedia accommodations, reach out to your Amex GBT representative, who can get you started.
1 Results from an online survey of 757 US and 222 UK adult business travelers who have spent at least the equivalent of five days traveling for business and requiring some form of lodging/overnight stay in 12 months prior to survey. Survey conducted by Ipsos, one of the world’s largest research companies, fielded October 30-November 20, 2019.