EXPERIENTIAL gifts company RedBalloon is planning to introduce a travel agent portal which would provide revenue share on bookings, Chief Executive Officer David Anderson has exclusively revealed to TD.
Set to debut over the next few months, RedBalloon is working to secure a number of partnerships to tie into the platform, with a view to making the company’s products more accessible.
With more details to be announced shortly, the portal will provide a booking platform through which travel agents will have access to experiential product, and will receive a percentage of sales.
“Our plan is to try and give travel agents access to product they can staple into an itinerary or build an itinerary around,” Anderson said.
“We are working on a number of step-change opportunities for us to get suppliers more broadly into travel agents and OTAs domestically so it’s easier to access and book experiences
“Our objective here is to find a way to get product into travel agents’ hands.”
“There are huge membership organisations with whom we’re seeking to partner with to provide more availability to our suppliers.”
Anderson added revenue shares will vary, “but will be very much in line with the rest of the market.”
The industry-focused push comes as RedBalloon enjoys a rapid return to profitability and growth, after quickly consolidating during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We were about 10% through the first couple of months of this year and at the end of Mar we were -90%…one day we had about $300 worth of revenue in the business,” Anderson recalled.
“We were 30% on last year for Sep which was incredible….taking Melbourne out of the equation our growth rate for Sep was 60%.”
The RedBalloon CEO hailed the company’s strong balance sheet and trust in the brand from consumers as key to helping weather the coronavirus.
“With all of the Tourism Australia and Destination NSW work where they were spending lots of capital, we were able to sit within that and provide our brand as a mechanism for customers to move from that broad level of consideration to booking.
“We also pushed really hard on the at-home experiential capital which saw us get back to like-to-like by the end of Jun.
“Melbourne’s still down 50% year-on-year, but what we’re seeing is the other states are up hugely, particularly WA, SA and Queensland.”
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