Sabre has rolled out a deals feature to users of its travel agency community platform, Agentstream.
Agentstream users accessing the Deals & Extras tab can view and filter results for Deals, Activities & Tours, Events, Attractions, Ground Transportation and Other (including offers for the National Geographic Travel Phone and Linear Air business jet service).
Travel agents using Agentstream can give each deal a thumbs up or thumbs down vote, and then select "booking info" to receive a format code to book hotel deals in the Sabre GDS.
While hotel rooms are bookable in the Sabre GDS, many of the "extras," including theater tickets, tours and other activities, can be booked on supplier websites.
Agents earn commission on the transactions.
So if you view the deal for the Affinia Shelburne New York hotel in Manhattan (book two nights and get 5 percent off the best available rate), you can click on "booking info" to get the format information and then view exact pricing in the Sabre GDS.
When you decide to rate the offer, you indicate whether you want to give it a thumbs up or thumbs down, choose whether your rating is based on things such as price, commission, dates offered or inventory availability, and then optionally submit comments which would get passed along to the supplier.
Agents can then share the deals on Twitter and Facebook, customize them, and provide links for consumers to their agency websites.
And they can also promote the deals with clients by creating PDF brochures or via HTML email.
Sabre positions Agentstream as a platform for travel agents using any GDS or those who have no GDS affiliation.
Much about Agentstream Deals & Extras, though, clearly is geared toward Sabre-connected agents, who make up the bulk of registered users of the social platform.
All of the hotel deals are available in the Sabre Red Workspace, the travel agency desktop platform.
An Apollo or Galileo agent using Agentstream isn't going to have much use for Sabre GDS booking codes.
You don't have to be an Agentstream-registered user to view the deals and you can navigate to supplier websites for the posted deals which are available outside of the Sabre GDS.
The idea behind Deals & Extras may be to further promote suppliers to Sabre users, and give agents a chance to show their clients that "deals" aren't the sole province of flash sales sites or deal newsletters.
It is also an experiment for Sabre in social media -- travel-agent style.
“AgentStream Deals & Extras puts unique, in-destination information at agents’ fingertips so they can better serve their travelers and drive more revenue for their businesses,” says Chris Kroeger, senior vice president of marketing for Sabre Travel Network. “By integrating new social components such as expert-generated reviews and social media sharing, we’re giving agents the cutting-edge tools they need to further differentiate themselves as they enhance the traveler’s experience from start to finish.”
It may be advantageous for Agentstream users to get access to inventory that isn't normally bookable in the GDS.
At launch, Agentstream content focuses on destinations in North America and Latin America and Sabre hopes to globalize the content in 2012.
Note: Tnooz has a content agreement with Sabre where some Tnooz posts appear in Agentstream.