eDreams Odigeo has added millions of hotel rooms to its Prime subscription service as it gets ready for the ‘new normal’. Sam Ballard reports
eDreams Odigeo, Europe’s largest online travel company, has expanded Prime, its innovative subscription service that borrows its name from Amazon’s subscription offering for retail, in a bid to make travel more flexible and accessible.
Prime, which previously covered flights, now includes more than 2.1 million hotels worldwide. The move has been made as the company deals with travel in the age of Covid-19, and low customer confidence. (A recent YouGov poll showed that 64 per cent of British people are too scared to fly during the pandemic.)
Prime was first launched in 2017 and now has 500,000 subscribers who get access to discounts and special promotions, as well as a priority customer service telephone line. It is available across eDreams, Opodo and GO Voyages.
eDreams Odigeo says that Prime members save an average of €250 per trip across hotels and flights. Membership costs £59.99 per year.
The company says that with domestic and short-haul travel set to be key in the post Covid-19 landscape, the subscription “will benefit thousands of travellers, notably those who are not planning to fly abroad in 2020 as they will now be able to make standalone accommodation bookings for nearby getaways at the most competitive prices in the market”.
Dana Dunne, CEO of eDreams Odigeo, says: “We are proud to continuously leverage our tech capabilities to offer dynamic and engaging products to our new and existing customers.
“Prime is a revolutionary proposal, the very first travel-related subscription programme. It allows us to develop a deeper relationship with our customers and adding hotels and further flexibility to this offering will further strengthen our customer loyalty.
“It is more important than ever to be agile in the travel sector and our announcement today shows that our business is able to pivot as necessary to continue leading our industry and innovating for our customers in the face of Covid-19.”
In the future, Globetrender expects many more travel companies to be offering subscriptions as it encourages people to travel and provides cash upfront for the provider.
Elite Subscriptions is a trend that Globetrender cited in its Future of Luxury Travel Forecast. Jenny Southan wrote: “In the 2020s, Netflix-style subscription business models will take off in the luxury travel realm, providing members with unlimited stays and experiences for monthly or yearly fees.
“Innovators include luxury hospitality company, Inspirato, which launched a subscription-based service in 2019 that enables people to book as many five-star hotels as they like without paying nightly rates.
“Five years in the making, subscribers to Inspirato Pass receive unlimited access to more than 60,000 vacation homes, hotels and resorts around the world for a flat fee of US$2,500 a month. (An extra US$500 allows you to share it with friends and family.)
“Brent Handler, founder and CEO of Inspirato, says: ‘The conceptualisation of Inspirato Pass was a natural next step in the evolution of the luxury travel space. [It] gives affluent travellers the freedom to book a wider variety of trips and experiences on a more frequent basis, without the burden of nightly rates all at tremendous value.'”
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