Travelport says goodbye to Opinions travel review system for agents

Travelport has pulled out of fronting the Opinions travel review system it launched in conjunction with Vinivi, as it shifts focus to core products.

Announced in an email to members of the service last week, Opinions will now be known as Trip Expert Opinions and will be wholly owned and operated by Travelport’s original partner in the project, France-based Vinivi.

The basic service will remain free to agents and the premium version, which is an internal reviewing system for larger agent networks, will also be available.

Soft launched in December 2009 after a version was tested in France the year before, Opinions was billed as a “TripAdvisor for B2B” with reviews of hotels written by agents using Travelport-run GDSs, as well as customers of rival distribution systems (by February 2011 around a third of members were not Travelport subscribers).

The announcement says:

“As part of its continued investment and improvement plan to focus on core products and services, Travelport shall no longer be involved with Opinions.

“At the same time, Vinivi, who has always run and managed Opinions on behalf of Travelport, wishes to continue providing the service to the 11,000 members around the world.”

In the three years since the service was rolled out, some 6,500 hotel reviews were added to the Opinions platform (it also had forums and “expert locator” tools).

The majority of the 11,000 members joined at the time of launch, a Travelport official says, with modest growth of around 13% between 2011 and 2012.

Nearly one in five members (17%) accessed the service at least once a month. The service tried social media to engage with users, but enthusiasm appeared to wane after an unfortunate faux pas with its Twitter account in July 2011 and there has since been no activity beyond May 2012.

At the time, Travelport was not alone in trying to encourage agents to write reviews of the products they had experienced on familiarisation trips or from customer feedback.

Sabre had its AgentStream service and Amadeus was mulling over launching a similar system of its own, joining the ranks of media companies such as the UK and US versions of Travel Weekly, with their respective subscription services, and StarService Online.

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Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May was a co-founder and member of the editorial team from September 2009 to June 2017.



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