Earlier this month, Expedia announced its API for in-destination, local activities. The API was announced at Expedia Partner Conference 2015 as part of the Expedia Local Expert session. The API allows local activity suppliers to integrate reservation systems directly into the Expedia ecosystem. The API has been in private beta with a number of activity suppliers throughout 2015, and Expedia plans on a broader, public release early 2016.
Initial integration partners for the API include BookingBoss, Rezdy, Rezgo, and TourCMS. During this closed, testing period; Expedia has not published any documentation. However, Expedia is known for its open strategy across its API portfolio. When the API is ready for public launch, expect Expedia to invite local activity suppliers of all shapes and sizes to integrate with the new API.
While we wait for public documentation, the nuances of the API remain unknown. However, at a high level, the API is RESTful with a JSON data format. The general functionality includes availability check, booking confirmation, and cancellation processing. Features that remain on the roadmap include non-paper voucher redemption. Keep an eye out for the broader, public release and doc publication.
Expedia is not the first provider to release an in-destination activity API. Viator, GetYourGuide, and BeMyGuest are just three of the many providers to offer in-destination focused APIs. Expedia's value proposition stems from its larger ecosystem. While Viator, GetYourGuide, and BeMyGuest all focus solely on in-destination, local activities; Expedia has included its new API into the larger Expedia environment that includes services around flight, car, hotel, vacation and other offerings. Further, Expedia has been on an acquisition tear the past few years; and the API functionality can be applied to any of its popular brand names (e.g. Travelocity, Orbitz, Hotels.com, etc.).