The collaboration is set to give traditional lodging access for the first time to truly indie and unique local experience offerings that will be slated in early 2017 at hotels around the world, the company announced on December 13.
“This is not just a simple API integration,” said Ho Viet Hai, the CEO of Triip. “Rather, our product team is executing on a vision to make travel and tour booking more seamless.”
Ho Viet Hai also noted the incidence of increasing Indie travellers shifting back to hotels from Airbnb and other platforms, while still demanding a unique local experience.
“We asked a very simple question: How to make traditional lodging more Indie? Our answer was to give travellers best-price guarantees on lodging while also staying true to Triip’s vision of providing authentic local experiences at the same time,” he adds.
The solution was the partnership formed between Triip.me and Booking.com which leveraged on the networks pairing Triip’s inventory of over 6000 local guides in 660 cities with Booking.com’s 1,073,647 properties in 227 countries.
Under this partnership, Triip’s new booking practice will also offer frequent travellers the lowest rate on hotel rooms, free international phone access through Flexiroam, as well as honoring travellers’ reward status achieved on other websites.
However, Mr.Ho emphasises that the venture was not a direct competitor to Airbnb or other similar marketplaces, saying that “We do not see ourselves as a direct competitor to platforms such as Airbnb. Instead, we see ourselves as an enhancement to traditional lodging.”
Targeting avid super travellers, Triip’s new booking experience will be especially useful to those who travel constantly both for businesses and lifestyle purposes.
“Now that we’re building the product, we’re seeking partnerships with any hotels around the world interested in having a more hands-on approach to the bookings we’ll be sending them, and also getting the word out to super travelers so we have sufficient early adopters to optimize the experience.” concluded Mr. Ho
Founded in 2013 by Ho Viet Hai and Lam Thi Thuy Ha, who had been in the tourism industry as a tour guide herself, Triip initially allowed Vietnamese people to curate their own tours to offer to travelers. The company is currently present in almost 100 countries.
Triip is backed by Gobi Partners and is, as a matter of fact, the Shanghai-based VC firm’s first investment in Vietnam. In February 2016, Gobi Partners has invested US$500,000 in seed funding to the travel platform which links travellers with knowledgeable locals.
By Vivian Foo, Unicorn Media