Lastminute.com is to work with travel agents in a partnership programme giving them access to its group portfolio of 80,000 hotels to sell online.


The Internet retailer hopes to distribute its hotel content – 40,000 properties from parent company Sabre’s global distribution system and 40,000 from Travelocity, medhotels.com and lastminute.com – through its new Partnership Programme of white-label and affiliate deals.


Agents already sell medhotels.com’s properties but have never had access to the group’s full range of hotels.


Vice-president distribution and business development Vic Darvey is in talks with several well-known companies.


The scheme has been launched with social networking site wayn.com as its first major white-label partner and has already partnered with frenchconnections.co.uk, the holiday property lettings portal which sells its French hotels.


Darvey added: “We are extending content we provide. Traditionally it would just be medhotels.com product but now there is no limitation.”


The company is looking for agents or companies of any size with a website, including tourist boards, to be partners. There is no cost for agents and commission levels depend on sales volumes.


Integrating lastminute.com’s booking system on to a partner’s site takes four hours, he said. “There is huge pressure for agents to have a website and this is an opportunity to give them a comprehensive online presence.”


The company offers three types of partnership deal – affiliate, white label or XML link. Lastminute.com is also launching an affiliate back-office system which enables agents to analyse sales data and conversion rates. The technology allows the agency’s name to appear on the customer’s credit card statement.