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08/13/2021

Why Hotels Should Consider New Travel Booking Partners

As more startups like Tourist Journey appear, hotels may want to forgo OTAs in favor of these new platforms that attract guests who typically spend more and stay longer.
Michal Christine Escobar
Senior Editor (Hotels)
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Recently, Tourist Journey, a digitally connected travel platform, announced its launch. Aiming to change the way consumers book travel, Tourist Journey provides a platform offering highly curated, personalized, and instantly bookable itineraries including more than 1,000 tours and experiences, 3,000 hotels, as well as curated packages and customizable journeys across 20 countries in Europe, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa.

The platform offers consumers its My Journey process, which enables any user to generate a fully personalized trip itinerary inclusive of hotel accommodations, tours, experiences, and transfers. Following a series of prompts that get to know who the traveler is, where they want to go, and what their interests are, a completed trip itinerary is created in under 3 minutes with everything ready to book instantly. The traveler can edit their trip (change hotels, switch out tours, or leave extra free time), send a pdf to a friend, save and return, or go ahead and book. This process would typically take hours or days to curate independently or require a traditional travel agent and a lot of advanced notice. The simple process, underpinned by complex technology and paired with an extensive roster of tourism and hospitality partners across the globe, creates a valuable product for consumers.

But how does a travel platform like this benefit hotels?

To find out, HT spoke with the Tourist Journey Founder Ben Julius.

How do hotels benefit from partnering with you?

We offer hotels a high quality client, who's looking for something special. Our users spend more than average in a destination, and we have a significant volume of booking which go for higher room categories on property. 

We also offer hotels a channel by which to connect to leisure travelers who are booking as part of a package. Our package concept puts the hotel as an important component in terms of experience - and not an afterthought. We have two types of packages - pre-built tour packages - which we call journeys, and others which allow the user to construct their own customized journey through our unique Create my Journey process. In both cases, we include hand-picked hotels, and work with many hotels via package rates - which allow users to get potentially better hotels at lower rates thanks to the lack of rate transparency. This is great for hotels who wish to maintain their rates online, yet don't reach their target occupancy - a common issue during the current times of Covid-19.  

We see the hotels we feature on Tourist Journey as our local partners. We are currently working on a revolutionary way of presenting hotel content, selling the hotel through its vibe, experience, and philosophy rather than the lists of amenities and facilities we have become accustomed to. And we have started a pilot to partner with some hotels' concierge as our local content provider, in order to sell the hotel and destination better, and provide a greater guest experience for both the hotel and our brand.

Why should hotels be interested in partnering with new or unconventional websites and apps like Tourist Journey vs. traditional OTAs?

The traditional OTA's are overwhelming and mostly prioritize hotels based on commission rate or price and do not allow hotels to really present themselves for who they are. For many hotels that's fine, but for the interesting and unique hotel inventory which we have in Tourist Journey, it often doesn't do justice and the hotel therefore ends up with a guest audience who doesn't entirely match their concept. We reach a specific audience and are increasingly finding ways to present the hotels uniquely, and connect the right guest to the right hotel.

We will be launching in the USA as well as another 10 countries in Q4 2021.