Upside Business Travel continues making inroads into the TMC distribution channel, signing up Short’s Travel Management to sell a private-label version of Upside’s corporate travel booking platform. A pioneer among TMCs when it launched its own online booking tool in 2010, Short’s will sunset its Travel Management OBT and transfer clients to Upside’s platform.
Short’s was working to enhance the Travel Management tool as recently as April, when the TMC began integrating flight delay and missed connection risk indexes from Lumo. But Short’s CEO David LeCompte said the decision to reimagine its OBT service model was motivated largely by changing client demands amid the Covid-19 pandemic, which has placed a premium on corporate duty-of-care responsibilities and driven demand for a “modern, personalized travel experience that surpasses legacy tools.”
Upside’s booking platform includes health and safety data for airports and hotels, sourced from Expedia’s EPR Rapid API and ATPCO’s Reassurance Universal Product Attributes, respectively, as well as ATPCO’s Next Generation Storefront flight information standards.
The planned timeline of the TMC’s switch from Travel Management to Upside wasn’t immediately clear.
Short’s is the second TMC to sign a reseller deal with Upside, following Omega World Travel, which inked a pact with Upside in early September. At the time, Upside chief commercial officer Jason Wynn made no secret of the company’s intention to carve out market share among TMCs seeking to expand their capabilities to serve clients in the post-Covid travel landscape.
“We believe the marketplace is up for grabs in a way that it hasn’t been for years,” said Wynn, who went on to tout adopting Upside’s platform as a way for TMCs to “win new business and defend their client bases in this great reset.”
Meanwhile, Upside in July announced a strategic partnership with TravelBank, another travel management provider that recently has enacted a plan to distribute its services through TMCs.