Why was my request to connect to the program declined?

Some programs on the Travelpayouts platform require the brand’s approval to connect. This means that your Project and its details will be reviewed by the brand to make sure that you meet their requirements. If you don’t, the brand may decline your request.

Understanding the reasons behind rejection is essential to improve your approach and boost your chances of successful partnerships. So, without further ado, let's run through the red flags that brands are looking for when reviewing your Project.  

Reasons for rejection

  1. Your Project doesn’t have enough travel-related or original content 

Brands work with content Projects that have unique and regularly updated travel content. If you have a “template site” without a blog section and relevant content, your request to connect will likely be rejected with a recommendation to place more content on the site and reapply later.

  1. Wrong Project type selected

Each brand has strict rules regarding what types of Projects are allowed in their programs. You can find this information on the program’s page in the Allowed brand promotion methods and channels section.

If you choose the wrong Project type (e.g. content creation type when you're running a travel agency), your request will be declined. We'll provide you with detailed information about why you were rejected and the types of Projects that are not allowed in the program.

  1. Misaligned Niche or Audience

Brands are looking for partners whose target audience aligns with their own. If your niche or audience is vastly different from the brand's target market, your request may be declined. For example, if your website is focused on backpacking trips in the mountains, and you're applying for a program in the Cruises category, your request will probably be rejected.

This also applies to the target countries and the language of the program, if the brand's target countries are not relevant to your Project’s audience, your request will be rejected. 

  1. Non-compliance with the Terms and Conditions

Carefully review the brand's Terms and Conditions before applying to their program. Failure to comply with their guidelines, such as using unauthorized promotional materials or violating advertising policies, could lead to rejection. Ensure that your marketing practices align with the brand's requirements so that you present yourself as a responsible and reliable partner.

  1. Your email doesn’t match the contact information on the website

Your Project is great, but the email in your account is different from the contacts on the website, or the domain in the email differs from the domain name of the site. 

In this case, your Project will be rejected with a request to place Hello Travelpayouts in the code of any page of the site to confirm domain ownership. Once you’ve done it, you can reapply to the program and your request will be approved.

If you have a YouTube channel, you can be requested to place <Hello TP> in the "About" section and re-apply again.

  1. Booking.com strict guidelines:

Booking.com program has rather strict rules when it comes to approving requests:

    • They don't work with metasearch and price comparison websites. 
    • The brand only approves websites functioning exclusively as travel blogs — therefore, simply having the "Blog" category among others won't be sufficient to join the program.
    • Only Projects with website blogs are approved, having a blog in social media or video platform is not enough.
    • Using the word "Booking" in the domain name is forbidden by Booking.com.

What to do if your request was rejected

If your request to connect to a program is declined, carefully read the feedback in the email we sent you. 

To re-apply it is important to fix the issues in the Project, which you initially requested to connect or choose a different Project that fits the program’s terms and conditions. You can read more in the Re-apply to the program after rejection article.

If the reason for rejection is not one that can be fixed (for example, your audience differs from the target audience of the brand), you can select other programs from the catalog that fit your Project better.

You can also try applying for instant connection programs that don’t require the brand’s approval to connect. This way you can start using affiliate tools straight away.

We also recommend reading our How to choose an affiliate program article if you're struggling to find the right programs to connect to.