How a Sydney startup secured a partnership with one of the world’s biggest travel sites

Being confident in your offering and clearly defining its strategic use can help your startup secure a partnership with a big player in your field, Booking Boss CEO Renee Welsh says.


Booking Boss, an online booking system for the tourism industry, has partnered with online travel giant Expedia, a deal which will see its offering expand around the world.


A key to landing the deal was being certain the product was completely ahead of the game before even approaching Expedia, Welsh tells StartupSmart.

“I always approach strategic partners with that mindset,” she says.


Before approaching a large organisation, Welsh strongly recommends identifying how your startup can solve a problem for them, why you are the best company to do it and how it will add value to their business.


“There’s always something a small company can provide a large company so never be afraid to find out how your solution can impact them positively,” she says.


While you can’t guarantee that a larger organisation will be willing to adopt your solution, Welsh encourages startups to give it a shot.


She also advises that you speak to what you will do and deliver on any promises made.


“It’s always nerve-wracking,” she says.


“If you make sure you are true to your word, you will be respected by any business in the world.”


Having a unique product


Welsh says the partnership formed because of Booking Boss’s one-of-a-kind system for tour operators, trade distributors and consumers.


“Booking Boss is a reservation and booking management platform for tours, activities and attractions,” she says.


The unique thing about Booking Boss, Welsh says, is its integrated channel manager, which lets clients instantly feed prices, availability and specials through websites powered by Expedia so consumers can make purchases in real-time.


“For the consumer this means instant confirmation and no waiting at the gate to exchange your voucher for a valid ticket,” she says.


Welsh says the automated system also reduces chance of fraud.


“It’s a much more seamless and consumer positive experience,” she says.


Though it’s too early to report on financials, Welsh says Expedia’s massive marketing campaigns, global reach and multi-million dollar deal with Tourism Australia to boost international visits into the country present immense opportunity for Booking Boss.


“There will be significant uplift in the volume and number of bookings,” she says.


Expedia, which offers more than 10,000 activities and 250,000 accommodation options, has a robust online portfolio including major international brands and


With beta testing due to finish in the next two weeks, Welsh says they have been adding on operators everyday including large scale tour operators of major attractions across Australia and New Zealand.


“Our main goal for 2016 is to continue to expand globally and set up offices in Europe and the US,” she says.



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