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What is WebBeds and What does WebBeds do?

  Posted in Resources  Last updated 3/04/2024

What is WebBeds?

WebBeds is a large and fast growing business-to-business (B2B) supplier of accommodation to the travel industry. WebBeds is also low cost with a diversified, global, customer base well placed to benefit since travel markets have reopened around the world.

It works closely with travel product suppliers, such as hotels, and buyers such as online travel agents to form an intermediary relationship.

This blog will explain everything you need to know about what WebBeds does and how it works.

Table of contents

What does WebBeds do?

WebBeds is a travel wholesaler, buying hotel inventory in bulk and selling it on to providers such as OTAs, who will then make it available to purchase for travellers.

James Bishop, Senior Director Global Ecosystem at SiteMinder, interviewed Mark Desborough, Chief Operating Officer for Hotel Divisions at WebBeds, to discuss more about what they actually do.

Simply put, “WebBeds is a wholesaler that sources content from accommodation providers, aggregates and then distributes inventory (via a website or API) to travel sellers such as travel agents, tour operators and online travel agencies (OTAs) globally, who then sell to the travelling public.”

The global nature of WebBeds source markets means accommodation providers have access to sales markets anywhere in the world, and benefit further from the large client base we have selling tour operator packages, offline sales and in opaque channels, maximising distribution opportunities for all types of rates the accommodation providers can offer.

Unlike OTAs such as, Airbnb, or some other travel booking platforms, WebBeds doesn’t sell to travellers or use traveller data for marketing or sales purposes.

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WebBeds review: Challenges, tactics, and priorities

Is WebBeds a good partner for your hotel? Wholesalers like WebBeds can certainly offer some benefits, such as getting your inventory in front of as many eyes as possible. But it’s not always smooth sailing, with the risk of reduced profitability for hotels.

Let’s look closer at WebBeds and how it stacks up.

WebBeds challenges

Unsurprisingly, the main challenge for WebBeds, the wholesale market, and the entire travel industry is navigating the complexity and uncertainty as countries seek to rebound from COVID-19. Unfortunately, some companies both on the supplier and distribution side may not make it through which means the market will be challenging and unpredictable.

However, the strong capital position of WebBeds’ parent company, Webjet Limited, reassures WebBeds partners that the travel wholesaler will be well-placed to support them and capitalise together on all the opportunities when travel rebounds.

WebBeds tactics

WebBeds has adapted the way it works to respond to individual market needs. Its contracting teams have pivoted to be laser-focussed on contracting additional and specific domestic products and more flexible rates based on feedback from its distribution partners to its sales team. 

WebBeds is also seeing more bookings for longer booking periods, as well as very short lead times, as a result of uncertainty.

The market feedback it has from its distribution partners, and rich search and booking pattern data from its systems, enables WebBeds buyers to work closely with all accommodation provider partners to make sure they are delivering the best offers to clients.

It’s this diverse distribution partner-base, both geographically and from a business model perspective, that means WebBeds is primed to help hotels take advantage of business as it returns initially to the domestic and leisure segments before a broader sector uptick.

WebBeds priorities

WebBeds has used the pandemic to focus on strategic projects that will help it meet its objective of becoming the industry’s #1 B2B accommodation provider.

The goal is to be the easiest partner to do business with and multiple supplier and client-facing initiatives are underway to reduce friction and improve experience.

WebBeds also has a strong history of innovation and is identifying opportunities to further separate itself from the rest of the industry. They are constantly reviewing its current platforms to deliver the most robust, efficient and flexible technology offering.

WebBeds is well placed to aid accommodation providers as 75% of its bookings are intra-regional and its client mix provides strong exposure to the leisure market which has had strong pent up demand following the pandemic.

Image representing webbeds extranet

What is WebBeds B2B direct connect?

WebBeds B2B Direct Connect is a direct integration or API connection which refers to a specific service offered by WebBeds to hotel partners. 

It allows for a more streamlined connection compared to the standard marketplace model. 

The benefits of this for hotels include:

  • Less manual processing and faster sales
  • Real-time inventory management and data-sharing
  • Better ability to control rates and room allocations
  • Customised reports with detailed data

It works via hoteliers implementing a secure API connection with WebBeds to enable the seamless exchange of information.

This is perfect for hotels which have the technical resources, or are partnered with someone who does, to enable API integration. It also suits hotels which have a large volume of inventory and want greater control and efficiency over the way they distribute.

How does WebBeds extranet work?

The WebBeds extranet is the most popular way for hotel partners to connect and manage their inventory.

To use the extranet, a hotel must first sign-up as a partner on WebBed’s website.

Once they have credentials, hotels can log onto the extranet to:

  • Manage inventory and rates to be sold, including types, descriptions, photos, and availability.
  • Receive and confirm sales, and manage modifications.
  • Generate reports and analyse trends.
  • Update property information including general details, contact details, policies, and more.
  • Access support and resources from the WebBeds team.

The extranet should provide a user-friendly interface, so hoteliers can perform actions with ease in their own language.

The specific features and functionalities of the extranet may also vary depending on the particular partnership agreement a hotel has with WebBeds.

Benefits of managing WebBeds hotel bookings on SiteMinder

WebBeds has been happy with its longstanding partnership with SiteMinder, the only software platform that unlocks the full revenue potential of hotels.

They have been able to work closely together on the connection, meaning that accommodation providers have access to all functionality provided by SiteMinder.

This in turn means that WebBeds can pass this to its distribution partners, leading to increased business for all stakeholders involved.

WebBeds and SiteMinder have also been working together to unify the various accommodation supply integrations WebBeds is supporting into a single platform.

As WebBeds has grown over the last few years, it has bought other companies and until now has had multiple platforms where bookings are being processed. This has meant that many WebBeds supplier partners have had multiple connections active.

Consolidating these leads to greater efficiencies and a lower cost of doing business for its supplier partners while continuing to have access to the global distribution partners that WebBeds works with.

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