It’s how you get there.
On our river cruises, you don’t just pass through a destination – you experience it. Our ships carry a fleet of bicycles on board so that our guests can
explore the heart of Europe on one of our guided bike tours or on their own. Because it’s not just about where you go. It’s how you get there that matters.
By Kate Rice
Rich Media Exchange (RME) offers travel
agents an efficient and search-engine-friendly way to use images and videos on
their websites, in client proposals, marketing materials and social media.
Kulin Strimbu, president and CEO of
the company, said that such content increases the amount of time visitors spend
on a site, citing research showing that
consumers are 60% more likely to buy
when video is on a site.
In May, RME, which began aggregating
media and building its technology platform in August 2013, launched its Rich
Media Marketplace, which gives agents
access to a continually growing media
library that currently holds 1,500 videos
and 160,000 images of destinations, hotels, resorts, shore excursions and tours.
Agents can build their own slideshows
out of these images or pull videos from
the media exchange, after which they can
send them to clients, use them in electronic newsletters or embed them in their
This capitalizes on search engines’ appetite for rich content, particularly video,
which they rank higher than all other
content, according to Strimbu.
Tom Brussow, president of Sunsational
Beach Vacations in Pewaukee, Wis., and
an RME client, said the product was essentially one-stop shopping for images
and video. He said he can pull media
about his preferred resorts and tour operators from the exchange rather than
searching multiple sources, a level of improved efficiency that can be crucial for
time-pressed travel agents.
Brussow said he creates image slide-
shows to send with proposals he emails
to clients, and he embeds videos on his
“It is very easy to pick out eight or 10
photos and say, ‘I realize you are interest-
ed in El Dorado Royale, so here are some
additional unique images,’” he said.
Brussow said that because he sells an
aspirational product, videos and images
are essential to his sales process, while
also making his site more attractive to
“Anything in that area that can help me
as a travel agent get eyeballs on my web-
site is huge,” he said.
Because RME has content from ma-
jor suppliers, Brussow can embed videos
from one of his preferred tour operators,
Apple Vacations, which he said works
well for agencies like his that are closely
aligned with specific suppliers.
He also uses the images in social me-
dia such as Facebook and Pinterest, which
links its viewers to his site.
And, he added, all of
RME’s content is copyrighted.
“You can’t just go out there and pull
images off of Google and call it safe to
use,” he said. “All of these images are
copyrighted and licensed through Rich
Media and safe to use.”
RME gets its content from a wide vari-
ety of suppliers, including hotels, resorts,
tour operators, destinations, restaurants
and excursion companies. With a pro-
duction team of about 30, it can also pro-
duce content, either shooting new video
or turning to its library of B-roll, footage
that was shot for other clients but not
used in their final videos. In some cases,
that means it can provide video without
having to turn on a camera.
“I can just recut it because we own the
B-roll,” Strimbu said.
As both a content producer and a con-
tent distributor, RME has multiple rev-
Content subscribers, whether they be
travel agents, agencies, consortia, tour
operators, excursion companies, attrac-
tions, bloggers, news publications or oth-
ers, pay $69 per month. RME has a pre-
ferred agreement with the Outside Sales
Support Network, whose members can
subscribe for $50 per month, and it is in
discussions with other groups.
At the same time, it is a content distribu-
tor. Distribution clients can turn to RME
to have it push their content to subscribers
and to Rich Media partners. These media
partners include AOL/Huffington Post,
along with their 56 subsidiaries, and the
with 1,800 chan-
tor and the New
$49 per month
for the basic dis-
plan or $69 per
month for the
Tech firm brings agents one-stop shop for SEO-friendly content
Rich Media Exchange gives agents an efficient way to access
search-engine-friendly images and video content for their
websites and marketing efforts.
Editor in Chief
column, From the Window
Seat, will resume
in the July 6 issue.