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5 things to know about new travel booking platform

Last Updated Oct 23, 2017 at 4:20 am EST

The man behind Apple News wants to shake up the travel industry and give travellers a cut of commissions from online hotel bookings.

Jochem Wijnands launched TRVL this year. Here are five things you should know about using the online platform.

What is TRVL?

TRVL is a website that allows travellers to sign up as so-called TRVL agents and search for hotels for their trips or recommend places to stay to others. The agents receive a commission — up to 10 per cent — any time someone books travel through a link they provide.

Who can use it?

Anyone over 18 can sign up for the service, so long as they abide by the site’s rules.

Anyone can message a TRVL agent on the website, without having to sign up, and book a recommended hotel through a link they provide. However, the site is currently blocked in Ontario.

Where does the commission money come from?

Online booking websites, like Booking.com and Hotels.com, have a built-in portion of the price that typically goes to a travel agent, said Wijnands.Travellers who book online themselves pay that fee but don’t receive the service, he said.

TRVL lets its agents recoup that cost by cutting them in on the commission hotels pay to websites that send customers their way.

How much does it pay?

TRVL agents receive up to 10 per cent of the cost of the hotel booking in payment 30 to 60 days after the trip takes place. So, travellers can recoup up to $20 on a $200 hotel, for instance. However, money earned for each booking depends on the price of the hotel and the percentage of commission TRVL offers.

Does it cost anything to book?

The service is free to use. TRVL makes its profit by taking a cut of the commission its booking service providers pay.