Travelport: Third of Opinions members do not use Travelport
Travelport Opinions launched in France in 2008 and has since been pushed to agents in other markets such as the UK, South Africa, Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand, capturing 7,300 members and 9,000 “questions and answers” by the end of 2010.
At the outset, Travelport was keen to stress that Opinions is a GDS-neutral platform, urging agents of all persuasion to sign up and connect with other agents around the world.
But some may have been forgiven for thinking this would be a difficult strategy to achieve, not least given that it has Travelport in the title of the product.
An official says that over two years since the platform’s launch, a third of members using the system are not connected to the Travelport GDS.
One of the reasons for its spread around the world (125 countries represented) and its reach into non-Travelport businesses is down to its referral system and LinkedIn-type network service where members can find others in the system by connections and shared interests.
The idea of arming agents with more information and the ability to connect with one another is not new, of course, but Opinions (built on a French-run B2C platform known as Vinivi) has become a strong play for Travelport in recent years.
Kevin May is a senior editor and one of the co-founders at Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.
He has worked in regional newspapers (Essex Enquirer) and started his career in journalism at the Police Gazette at New Scotland Yard in London. He has a degree in criminology, a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism and will be publishing his first book - a biography about electronic band, Depeche Mode - soon.