UK tourism businesses are being offered the opportunity to broaden their distribution by working with the trade through a new online initiative.

The Travel Trade Ready platform and auditing function claims to equip suppliers with the tools needed to work with the trade.

Annual individual business membership starts at £300 plus VAT. Costs for small group businesses leads in at £275 plus VAT per partner.

Annual membership is £195 after the initial 12 months.

Suppliers who sign up can take an advanced product audit, and when approved receive access to a database of relevant buyers.

The audit begins by asking suppliers to select the type of buyer they want to engage with – tour operator/DMC, OTA, education operator, coach operator or group travel – followed by up to ten questions that are weighted depending on importance to the buyer.

From dynamic pricing and commissions, to lead times and vouchers, it assesses a business and confirm if operators and agents will “theoretically” work with them.

Developer Mike Newman is described as a travel business practitioner with more than 20 years’ experience working with tour operators and suppliers.

He is to showcase the development at the UKinbound conference in Bristol on February 5-6.

Newman said: “Whether you’re a small attraction in Cornwall or a network of hotels in Scotland, working with the travel trade can be incredibly valuable to a business but many companies fall short of buyer requirements, which is where Travel Trade Ready comes in.

“Our audit helps companies analyse where they are in their travel trade process and offers a safe space to up-skill and learn how to work with buyers.

“Our membership packages offer great value for money, and the opportunity for companies to really develop their travel trade business.

“We also understand that it can be incredibly frustrating for buyers, when they meet with a company that doesn’t understand what it means to be travel trade ready.

“We want to help them save time, money and resources through our platform which provides a one-stop-shop of exciting, fun and dynamic products from companies that we guarantee have the correct tools in place to engage with the travel trade.”

UKinbound chief executive Joss Croft said: “Over 50% of all inbound tourism is booked through an intermediary, which shows how critical the travel trade is to the inbound visitor economy.

“As a membership organisation, we know that our buyer members are constantly looking to engage with new suppliers, but that it can be frustrating when there is a lack of clear understanding of what is required.

“Ensuring that buyers are only engaging with trade ready suppliers on the Travel Trade Ready platform is going to make face to face meetings more efficient and effective for everyone; and providing immediate support for those suppliers that are not yet ready, can only be a good thing for our industry as a whole.”