BREAKING NEWS: Canadian Tour Operator Packages To Be Dropped From Expedia.ca

Expedia plans to stop selling packages from Canadian tour operators on Expedia.ca.

TravelPulse Canada learned recently that this major shake-up – representing an estimated $300-$350 million in annual sales – would be coming.

ADVERTISING

We reached out to Expedia Group and received the following statement:

“The package marketplace is large and attractive. Expedia Group currently competes in this marketplace both by creating our own packages and by sourcing pre-bundled inventory from tour operators,” an Expedia Group spokesperson said in response to TPC inquiries.

“Because pre-bundled inventory from tour operators is not sourced directly from Expedia Group supply partners, it may result in an inconsistent experience for our travellers. For this reason, we are evaluating the best way to deliver packages sourced via third party tour operators on Expedia.ca and through Expedia Cruises.”

Following the initial version of this story, Expedia Group sent a message emphasizing that “there are no changes to the Expedia Cruises business being evaluated.”

The company also noted that it did not confirm the August 23 date a source named as the stop-sell date for Canadian tour operator packages on Expedia.ca.

The Expedia spokesperson added: “As we’ve stated in previous earnings calls, any changes we are making to our organization are to sharpen our focus by doing fewer things and being great at them. We continue to assess and evolve our priorities and teams to focus efforts in the most valuable areas.”

Richard Vanderlubbe, president of hybrid online/in store travel agency tripcentral.ca, says he’s “a bit surprised” by the Expedia decision.

“It’s quite a statement that selling pre-packaged tour operator product in Canada isn’t worth it. It would mean that whatever revenue generated from this segment wasn’t worth it in terms of transacting or servicing it. This might be true, but the unspoken reason may be that it might be in their interest to promote their own dynamic flight plus hotel packages.”

How well could Expedia dynamic packages compete with the products of major Canadian tour operators. “We’ll see,” said Vanderlubbe. “The proliferation of low cost carriers combined with Expedia’s buying power in hotels cannot be dismissed.”

Vanderlubbe added: “The entrenched tour operations must be careful not to be disintermediated by their own airlines giving favourable airfares for packaging. If not, it might be back in the future – you never know.”