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Monday,  July 22, 2024   3:11 PM
Hotelbeds restructures as "HBX Group," unveils new fintech products

Hotelbeds has launched a new group brand, called “HBX Group,” to lead the B2B TravelTech company into what it calls the “next phase of its evolution.”

According to an Oct. 18 press release, the company has introduced four new product lines to meet the needs of the end consumer.

“As we continue our transformation as a world-leading TravelTech company, HBX Group simplifies our structure into four distinct brands under our new umbrella,” said CEO Nicolas Huss. “We have completely rebuilt our tech stack over the past year to support this shift and better serve our clients and partners by improving our reliability and number of self-service tools to maintain our market position.”

HBX Group says it will go to market with a collection of B2B solutions, each with a “clear proposition and market focus” that meets the needs of its growing client base across more than 190 global markets.

The grouping of brands includes: 

Hotelbeds, which caters to specific needs of hoteliers, tour operators, airlines and online travel agents; 

Bedsonline, exclusively serving the retail travel segment; 

Roiback, the HotelTech partner for independent hotels and chains seeking growth through direct channel solutions; 

TravelStack, providing all products, services and solutions to businesses looking to enter the travel arena.

HBX Group will also be simplifying its brand architecture, to provide a much clearer and streamlined experience for all partners, the company says.

As a result, existing product brands, including last minute travel and Carnect, will continue to operate but will eventually be fully integrated into the HBX Group ecosystem.

Hotelbeds’ long-standing flagship event, the MarketHub, as well as its innovation hub, the TravelTech Lab, will also be endorsed by HBX Group.

Technology rebuild

The new HBX Group transaction platform is an open-source relational database management system emphasizing extensibility and SQL compliance, allowing for more effective use of data and unlimited scalability.

This complete re-platforming, re-architecture and new cloud based infrastructure enables HBX to have a global, cloud-based modern tech stack on which to build its future ecosystem strategy.

The transformation “futureproofs the company,” said HBC, with functional changes that are easier to implement and benefits reaped by agents through easier access to more accurate data, reduced downtime and quicker responses.

The company has refactored all visible channels – including its websites – which are now device agnostic.

The changes are driving “tangible increase” in booking conversion, the company said, and have been achieved for a capital expenditure of €11 million.

Ecosystem creation

With the changes, HBX Group says it is “better-placed to support its clients and partners by offering the full scope of travel products, including ancillary services, and selling them in one package.”

“Being an ecosystem player enables us to provide our customers with interconnected products and services, which complement each other and which, when combined and sold seamlessly together, gives our clients what they want, when they want it,” added Huss. “It also streamlines the buying process while enabling clients to upsell ancillary products, enhancing their business and providing frictionless travel to the end consumer.”

To support the transition, Hotelbeds’ accommodation, mobility and attractions sales teams have been brought together as part of the new group infrastructure, enabling them to cross-sell all product lines and streamline client relationships as they will now have one point of contact for all sales activity.

New fintech solutions

The company says it will also introduce fintech products in 2024, including travel insurance, payment solutions, and multi-currency solutions.

The products will be embedded into the company’s core business to offer its clients and partners these services across their total business volumes.

The size of the opportunities” is already large and growing,” the company said.

For example: the travel insurance sector alone is currently worth €15 billion and is expected to grow to €99bn by 2030, according to research by Spherical Insights & Consulting.

“As travellers increasingly seek the connected trip experience with all aspects of their travel included in the same ticket, we must ensure we’re meeting this need through travel insurance and associated financial products,” added Huss. “We have offered hotels since our inception in 2001, later adding car hire, transfers and attractions. Financial services are the natural next step in our business development and one our clients have asked us to provide.”

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