Trade supplier Affordable Car Hire announced its move into the holiday extras market to hundreds of agent partners at last night’s Travel Weekly Northern Ball.
Angela Day, Affordable founder and chief executive, revealed the new Affordable Xtras division at the annual event in Manchester.
Speaking to Travel Weekly ahead of the announcement, Day said Affordable had to “move with the times” by bringing an enhanced product offering to the trade.
She said discussions at World Travel Market last year gave the firm the confidence that there was demand and that Affordable’s entry into the extras market would be supported.
The firm will sell everything from UK coach hire, taxi transfers, airport hotels, parking and lounge passes to executive transfers and travel insurance.
It will also offer more quirky product like Harley Davidson hire in Dubai, the UK and parts of Europe, and short-term car leasing for corporate and leisure customers.
Day said: “We have excellent product and very competitive rates. We have gone out to suppliers who are interested in working with us because of the relationships we have with lots of agents.”
Travel agents can register interest for the extras programme now, and the platform is due to go live at the beginning of October.
Day said Affordable will be adding more product to the site next year. Everything but insurance can be bought online and agents can integrate the product range into their own selling systems.
Both API electronic data connections and white label options are available to agents.
Day said: “We are not carbon copying any existing suppliers in the market. We will have interesting product and it’s a great ancillary extra for agents to earn extra money.
“We hope it will just change the dynamics of how ancillary products are put together.”
Day said Affordable already has very close relationships with agents though its car hire business and she intends to build on this to encourage and train them to sell extras.
“This is an opportunity for me as a business owner and entrepreneur to develop ourselves as a business. I feel it’s the right way forward for us.
“I love the car hire business – I have done for 24 years – but it is very exciting to add these extra strings to our bow.
“We appreciate, as with anything in the travel industry today, it’s pretty low yield so it’s all about numbers and working in partnership.”
Day would not reveal targets for the new extras platform except to say: “If it add a few percentage points to our bottom line, fantastic.”
Affordable will launch its own extras sales training portal at this year’s WTM.affordablextras.com