Content and consumer engagement are the focal points for Trip Xpertz, a new OTA which was launched in Toronto yesterday by travel industry veteran Brad Miron.
The new platform went live Jan. 31 with the launch of Mexico Xpertz, the first in a long line of destination-specific OTAs which Trip Xpertz will roll out over the next three years. In Canada, Trip Xpertz is hosted by The Travel Agent Next Door.
Miron told PAX that the new platform is a response to consumer demand for engaging content over price, a shift in the OTA segment which he said is 10 years overdue.
“I saw a huge gap in the market place between consumers’ utilization of websites versus traditional OTAs, which are utility-based,” Miron explained. “The consumer is looking for larger engaging experiences and over the last decade, the consumer has gravitated toward other sources to find that information, from Google to TripAdvisor to Pinterest. What we’ve created with Trip Xpertz is something that drives the consumer from inspirational to aspirational, then to product and price.”
According to Miron, that content will include high-quality images and video, much of which will be provided by tourist boards, as well as video content created by destination experts including local residents and experienced travellers. In addition, the sites will be ad-free and no re-marketing will take place, Miron explained.
With each destination-specific site functioning as an OTA under the larger Trip Xpertz umbrella, Miron explained that within each destination site, visitors will be directed to increasingly specific content; for example, within Mexico Xpertz, site visitors will find 10 links (soon to be 15) such as Acapulco Xpertz and Huatulco Xpertz, under which regional experiences, hotels and attractions can be found.
Subsequent Xpertz sites will follow the same model. Miron said that over the next 18 months, Trip Xpertz will roll out sites for Florida, Las Vegas, California, the U.S. and Europe, with the rest of the world to follow within 36 months.
“We’re going against convention but the consumer moved past the traditional OTA 10 years ago, demanding content, Miron told PAX. “We’re filling a gap that should have been filled a long time ago."