Traditional wholesaling finally moves online but not in the way we may have thought. That’s one interpretation of the launch by Orbitz Worldwide of logo - orbitz for agentsa travel agency portal offering commissions of 10% on accommodation bookings and 4% on packages, rates that are much better than its existing affiliate program for online partners. It’s a move that makes a lot of sense, opening another distribution channel for Orbitz (which has 80,000 hotels on its books) while giving agents access to new product, some which would not be available through the GDS. What’s most interesting, I think, is the way it changes the relationship between online and traditional travel agents, many of whom resent their web rivals. There would certainly be some irony if this succeeds.

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