Two OTAs, Booking.com and Klook, have agreed to a long-term partnership that allows travellers to access Klook attractions and experiences directly on Booking.com.
Travellers can now visit the Attractions tab on Booking.com to purchase attraction tickets or experiences provided by Klook. Currently, Klook experiences are live in over 175 cities, across over 30 markets on Booking.com, and the majority of these are available in Asia and Oceania.
This means that when a family makes an accommodation booking on Booking.com, the algorithm will then recommend bookable family-friendly attractions and experiences through Klook.
The Klook partnership follows Booking.com’s earlier collaboration with Viator and Musement for the North American and European markets respectively.
In 2020, Booking.com made several attempts to build an attraction vertical, but “outsourcing was not the avenue to go”, Matthias Schmid, senior vice president, Booking.com Trips division, revealed. “We were very strong and very good in generating global traffic, but it’s not our core competency, which is why we decided to build strategic partnerships (in the attractions space).”
“Borders are opening up, restrictions are easing, and travellers are once again traveling and showing more enthusiasm and vigour than ever before. With everyone keen to get the most out of every opportunity, experiences are more important than ever. They make a trip special, meaningful and above all, memorable,” noted Schmid.
Although the three partnerships are not exclusive, Schmid stressed that Booking.com is not looking to “proceed with additional integrations”, and it is more about “strengthening” current commitments.
He said: “The focus during the pandemic was on scaling the attractions vertical, which means putting all these products on the shelf. The next step is to improve the customer’s experience to make sure that our system learns to make the right product recommendations to our customers.”
Meanwhile, Wilfred Fan, chief commercial officer, Klook, added that this partnership will help merchants “reach an even larger customer demographic globally and accelerate travel recovery in the region”.
He pointed out: “(During the pandemic,) we had to go really deep to explore things that even the locals were interested in. We have helped to open up more experiences for people (in Singapore for example) to discover, which is now available to all customers globally.”
When asked about getting service providers to be more responsive to customers who have booked experiences, Fan shared that it is a “continuous education product” for the South-east Asian market, and trainings to directly interact with customers are conducted regularly.
“This is because people in South-east Asia are used to face-to-face service. But once it comes to online communication, they are not used to it, and there is a loss of (communication) due to language issues or it is just not general practice,” Fan said.