Visit England are soft launching a new product that was initially linked to the Discover England Fund programme. The “new online platform, Tourism Exchange Great Britain (TXGB), is a one-stop exchange for English tourism suppliers (e.g. accommodation providers, attractions, tours, etc) to link with distributors (e.g. online agents) with reach all over the world”.
Those in England involved in DEF projects should already be aware of the new platform and the opportunities it presents, via DEF development channels. Those not involved in DEF projects may not have seen the outline released in a recent VB/VE newsletter. As this is a DEF project it isn’t open to colleagues outside England but I am speculating that, in time, it might be due to the VB/VE relationship and the current international focus of the project.
I know very little beyond what is contained in the VE outline briefs and I am getting very mixed opinion from those already partly in the know via their involvement in DEF. Headlines from the brief include a 2.5% commission from the suppliers paid to the site on top of any commissions charged by the distributor on any sale made via the system. Distributor participation is free. Details of how distributors choose to distribute which product on the site, or not, and the financial and other contractual arrangements between suppliers and distributors operating on it are yet unclear, even after reading the briefing materials. This is of course the type of nitty gritty information that we all need to understand before we can start making any firm judgements on how it serves the interest of local businesses and the DMO’s, many of whom are distributors and or whose business models are increasingly impacted by the activities of third party distributors.
I am already confident that this is a very exciting opportunity for many suppliers. I am less certain about is how it will mesh in with existing destination management and destination-based distribution and marketing channels. Regardless, it is clearly a very significant development and one I feel you would all wish to be aware of and, in England, actively engaged with from the outset.
See the VE web page giving the outline here (note the more detailed briefing material for supplier and distributors can only be found once you click to register an interest). The original newsletter can be found here and for ease I have added links to the more detailed distributors brief here and the suppliers brief here, so you don’t have to go looking for them.
Any informed views and comments on this major initiative would be welcomed.