TUI Travel-backed user content service Cheqqer has started its international roll-out this week and turned on a Spanish version of the website.
A few months behind schedule (TUI first said the next launch after the original Netherlands would be in late-April 2010), Spain will supposedly kickstart a wider European launch programme for Cheqqer ahead of its one-year anniversary in October this year.
Cheqqer boss Sandra Leonhard says online travel and social media has reached "significant scale" in Spain and it was therefore the logical next place to unveil a country version.
One of the "larger online travel markets" is next on the launch schedule, Leonhard says.
To coincide with the Spanish launch, Cheqqer is integrating reviews taken from staffers dotted around the TUI empire, including travel agency staff, airline crew and destination reps.
The idea is to tap into the expertise of around 50,000 potential reviewers and boost the 900,000-odd reviews from customers.
Leonhard says there is not a major incentive programme to persuade agents to get involved apart from a review competition every month.
"We are moderating the tips to ensure that they are useful and relevant to our users and also to avoid any marketing messages. We have developed a separate questionnaire tool which gathers these tips."
Interestingly, agents across the sector are increasingly seen as dependable and providers of content to third party review sites.
Travelport Opinions is gradually rolling out around Europe following its successful launch in France in 2009 and some agents are encouraged to contribute to review sites and other social media.