FareHarbor has added travel metasearcher Kayak.com to the FareHarbor Distribution Network, expanding the number of affiliates that are able to distribute and sell activities and tours through FareHarbor’s reservation software. This partnership illuminates how e-commerce software suppliers are getting into the game of making sales, and not just enabling them.
According to a report by Arival, the in-destination event organizer and information source, Kayak.com is now an affiliate/reseller on the FareHarbor Distribution Network. Both FareHarbor and Kayak are owned by Booking.com.
The Network is, in effect, an online travel agency (OTA), as it has the capacity to sell tours and activities offered by FareHarbor customers through a variety of other channels, including airlines, hotels, and other travel sites (such as Kayak).
Erika Sternburg, director of strategic partnerships at FareHarbor, told Arival, “It’s too early to say how impactful [the Kayak relationship]will be, but I think it’s generally good exposure for our clients. Anything we can do to help get our clients more eyes is something that we like to be able to do.”
According to Arival, FareHarbor’s terms can be more favorable than those offered by OTAs—a flat 20 percent commission, which includes the affiliate’s 15 percent cut. Arival points out that FareHarbor’s operator/customers can choose to become part of the Network or not. If they join, though, they cannot choose which third-party sellers they work with; any affiliate in the Network can distribute the operators’ activities. That lack of control over distribution channels may limit the appeal of the Network for some activities operators.
In addition, the Network also gives activities operators the ability to cross-sell the activities of other operators in their area, earning commissions and perhaps the appreciation of their non-competing neighbors.
For a more complete explanation of the partnership, and a discussion of the broader implications for the travel industry, see the full Arival, report here.