Hotelbeds Group and City Expert announced a strategic partnership for the implementation of the Guest Experience Desk.
The new initiative will allow both companies to offer a specialized concierge service within hotels, providing the end consumer with information about a destination, as well as the sale of activities, tickets for events and transfers.
This model for the distribution of tourist products and services comes in addition to those that the Group’s bedbank already offers to the hotel industry: Hotelextras B2B for hotel receptions, along with widgets and white label solutions for hotels in the direct channel. For the Group it also means the opportunity to substantially enrich the value proposition it has traditionally offered to hotels with which it maintains a commercial relationship in the main Spanish cities.
Meanwhile City Expert, through its team of in-destination experts and service-desks located within hotels, will be able to assist the end consumer in purchasing a wide portfolio of activities, transportation, car rental and other services in the main Spanish tourist destinations. These include Madrid, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Tenerife, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Seville, Benalmádena, Málaga, Cádiz, Córdoba and Jerez among others.
Although this partnership is focused around the main Spanish cities, both companies aim to extend and replicate this collaboration model in other popular and emerging destinations, with Dubai as the next target market.
Javier Arévalo, Director at Ancillary Bank of Hotelbeds Group, comments: “Traditionally, the information points (or tour desks) have been located in holiday destinations. However, now there are many destinations which are undertaking great initiatives to enrich the proposal for independent travellers who seek to live local experiences.
“This alliance is a response to the new dynamics of the market. City Expert is a perfect ally to meet the expectations of both hoteliers and their own guests, not only for its presence in the main Spanish destinations but for the excellence in its customer service. I am convinced this is the beginning of a success story.”
Enrique Ybarra, President of City Expert, said: “The agreement with Hotelbeds Group will allow us to expand even more the City Expert network of information points and the sale of tourist services. We are convinced that we will also provide what is necessary for travelers to enjoy the best in-destination experiences and for hotels to offer personalized attention to their guests. Without a doubt, all parties will benefit from this partnership. “
Roger Moragues, destination lead for Ancillary Bank at Hotelbeds Group, an area specialized in-destination, emphasized the value proposal for the hotel industry: “With the partnership of City Expert, we offer a personalized service to hotel guests that allows them to enjoy a wide portfolio of experiences in destination, assisted by a local team of experts. At the same time we customize our proposal to the hotelier, with the possibility to divert some tasks normally handled by the concierge. “
Isaac Flores, Director of City Expert Spain, added: “City Expert is present in several of the most popular destinations in Spain and with the help of Hotelbeds Group we are going to extend our services to many more, continuing with the values that have brought us to this point: strategic locations, personalized attention and technology.”
The Ancillary Bank business of Hotelbeds Group distributes ancillary products (excursions, event tickets, theme parks, cruises and car rental products) to retail travel agents, wholesalers, tour operators, airlines, online travel agencies, hotel industry partners, activity providers, tourism boards and points of sale. Ancillary Bank provides a global portfolio with the aim of leveraging its customer base to obtain additional income from the cross-selling of ancillary products. The products are also distributed through two sub-brands: Carnect, the car rental distribution specialist that offers more than 500 car rental providers, and Isango! a leading B2C tours and activities website.