TUI and Booking.com announced a strategic global experiences, activities and excursions partnership, providing millions of Booking.com customers worldwide with direct access to the rapidly growing activities segment of TUI and its digital subsidiary Musement. The contracts have been signed and the cooperation will start in summer 2020.
Activities is one of the growth drivers of the TUI Group, which last year sold approximately ten million activities in holiday destinations and in European home markets, such as Germany. Through the strategic partnership with Booking.com, one of the world’s leading online travel providers, the TUI Group is now significantly expanding its third-party business in the activities sector. Under the agreement with Booking.com, customers will eventually have direct access to a portfolio of over 70,000 tours, attractions and activities via TUI subsidiary Musement, launching incrementally on Booking.com over the coming months. Musement will be the first third-party provider of tours, and activities inventory on the Booking.com travel platform, as the company seeks to expand its offering and provide customers with a more comprehensive end-to-end travel offering.
TUI acquired Musement, a Milan-based technology start-up, 18 months ago and intends to develop it into the world’s leading platform for tours and activities. The next step is to grow the platform’s portfolio to encompass one million activities, experiences and excursions. In addition to guests enjoying these activities in holiday destinations, a growing offering in the European home markets is also planned. The goal is for customers to be able to take full advantage of the digital offering whether at home or on holiday.
“Attractive and varied options all over the world, easy and quick for customers to book – that is what we will offer through this cooperation. The expansion of digital experience marketing is a focal point of TUI’s digital strategy. The purchase of Musement and the expansion of its portfolio of activities, bookable on the platform, is now being followed by the partnership with Booking.com, an expert in worldwide marketing. We have a unique profile in the activities sector, which makes us attractive to both customers and major tourism partners,” said David Schelp, Managing Director of TUI Destination Experiences. The Group will further accelerate its transformation into a digital company.
“Seamlessly connecting travellers with the widest possible choice of great things to do is part of our long-term mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world,” said Lawrence Hester, Vice President of Attractions at Booking.com. “We know that people are already starting to dream of taking trips once it’s safe again, even if that’s a bit closer to home at first. We’re busy laying the foundation to make sure we can provide our customers with the best possible mix of tours, activities and unique experiences all on one platform. TUI and Musement have a highly-compatible technology platform, a scalable business model and a curated offering that we believe will be very appealing to our global customer base. As such, we are delighted to be taking the next steps in this journey together with them.”
The marketing of TUI’s products to Booking.com customers is currently slated to start in July, with customers being able to choose from up to 70,000 options from the Musement inventory of tours, attractions, activities and experiences. As part of the agreement, the TUI subsidiary will continue to expand its portfolio over the coming weeks and months, taking into account the special requirements of Booking.com. The diverse portfolio includes also numerous activities for holidaymakers on vacation in their home country this summer, from wellness and adventure experiences, to tickets for museum visits and attractions, as well as guided city and individual sightseeing tours. A growing part of the portfolio also includes exclusive offers that travelers can only find at Musement.