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The Travel Experts: a "TripAdvisor" for Travel Agencies to evaluate and select their suppliers

The new platform for tourism professionals


The magazine “Que Choisir” had set a cat among the pigeons by denouncing the fact that at least 25% of consumer reviews were false... Since then, the AFNOR standard has emerged and companies have regrouped to regulate practices and uses. However, it is inevitable that subjectivity remains. How much does the comment of an individual weight compared to that of an expert? New efforts are multiplying, as seen with TheTravelExperts.fr, to provide professionals with the tools they need.



TheTravelexperts.fr is a platform that brings together the two main families of the tourism industry: producers such as tour operators, car rental, airlines... and distributors such as travel agencies.
TheTravelexperts.fr is a platform that brings together the two main families of the tourism industry: producers such as tour operators, car rental, airlines... and distributors such as travel agencies.
Selectour Afat was the first to launch its experts community.

Today, with thousands of reviews by travel agents, it enhances its consulting position with certified comments.

Travelport in partnership with Vinivi created a website for the profession to encourage exchanges between retailers.

And in December, it was Albena Gadjanova’s turn to present its platform: thetravelexerts.fr.

It is exclusively aimed at travel agencies with the objective to assess, rate and select their suppliers based the recommendations of tourism experts.

What is the future of this platform?

When we learn that according to the Observatory of Next Tourism 26% of travelers choose their hotels or holiday destinations based on consumer opinion, while it is not surprising, it only confirms that distributors must take this route as well.

Thetravelexperts.fr is a platform that brings together the two main families of the tourism industry: producers and distributors.

The aim is to enable travel agencies to create a network within themselves.

They have access to databases of suppliers that they can then rate.

Its creator, Albena Gadjanova, defines her website as "the first professional TripAdvisor in France."

Double entry

Suppliers have access to public pages and the average ratings set by the agencies.

But the comments written are only visible to members with an identification system via a login and password.

The rating of suppliers is based on series of professional criteria: booking, speed, and transaction ... and is based on a total of seven points.

Over 1,500 suppliers are now registered on the website.

A community panel

The purpose of this site is to create a community to test, understand and improve the tourism industry.

The aim is to finally have a permanent panel guaranteed by a small compensation that will be selected based on 5 reviews given on different suppliers. This principle gives an incentive for distributors to participate.

TheTravelexperts.fr therefore encourages interactivity between professionals.

Albena Gadjanova said: "I’m hoping for an exchange between the different families of tourism to create a link between them so they can together enhance the tourism industry."

Additional options to complete the website

Other web platforms are being launched to complement the website’s services: a blog and a YouTube channel.

With an average of two articles posted per week, the blog is very active. The Youtube channel offers additional information.

Videos of professionals related to tourism are published to shed light on little known jobs. For example, a wedding planner specializing in tropical islands...

In addition, a newsletter combining weekly videos and/or articles is sent to suppliers registered on the website.

Albena Gadjanova also puts together MOOC (online courses, Editor's note) to nourish the knowledge of travel agents. She develops and explains certain professional concepts.

And in 10 years?

The website already includes suppliers from Francophone Europe, but its creator wishes to expand it.

However, this concept already exists on the other side of the Atlantic, so she seeks to export it to Russia and China.

The translation work is already well underway. The Maghreb is also interested in this concept.

The goal for Albena Gadjanova is to have nearly 2,000 active travel agents by the end of 2014, and 10,000 in total.


Written by Valentine Montembault translated by Joséphine Foucher the 23/04/2014
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