Using Expedia as a channel for revenues remains important and not a site that can easily be ignored. I am finding with the properties that I work with that it accounts for a good 20% of the overall online bookings. Finding support on how exactly to maximize revenues through Expedia is difficult to find online, however. I thought it would be useful to have a series of posts outlining some of the important details on how to get started with Expedia, and how to take full control of your offerings on the site to ensure you do not lose out.
Partnering with Expedia
Signing up with Expedia is signing up for multiple sites all at once. You enroll into Expedia.com, hotels.com, and venere.com. The first two sites are heavily promoted on television and online. Venere.com is not as heavily marketed, and is not supported by a lot of the CRS companies, either. It appears properties have to enroll with Expedia directly in order to appear in the search results for Venere.com.
To get started, the process is quite simple. You can either get in touch with your account manager for your CRS (if you have one) or visit their website, JoinExpedia.com.
The process is a bit lengthy, so do set some time aside to fill in all the information properly. This is a process that can not be completed in five minutes. Alternatively, you can have someone from Expedia contact you, but you will either have to fill out the information on paper and fax it back to them, or tell them over the phone. Filling out the form online is much simpler and quicker, in my opinion.
After all the paperwork is filled out, you will still need to sign a contract to get started with them. A short time period after the contract has been signed and sent in, your account manager will get in touch with you to show off your hotel property on the site. Then it is up to you to close off inventory for sold out dates, change rates for special occasions, and watch the reservations show up.
Do be aware of the different options in receiving reservations from Expedia. You can either receive the reservation information through fax, or through their Expedia QuickConnect which sends the reservation directly to your CRS. The QuickConnect will mostly have an additional fee of $2.00 or so per reservation for transmitting the information down to your Property Management System.
Contact Numbers for Expedia Hotel Support
When your property is live, and you have problems with bookings or need to close off inventory when the power is out, the best way to get a hold of someone at Expedia is by phone or fax. This information is tedious to search for online, and is not easily discovered in the Hotel Extranet for Expedia. You can find it by running a Rooming List Report, for example, but who wants to run a report just to get the contact number?
I have pulled it out for everyone's convenience to pass around to Front Desk Agents or others who may need it in times of need.
For non-North American properties, visit their main page which lists the whole range of numbers: