Destination experiences: A global online platform made in Europe

The world’s largest corporations in the USA and China are data driven enterprises. The EU would like European corporations to embrace the digital transformation in order to safeguard prosperity and jobs. TUI Group is driving digital innovations in the travel industry.

Individuality and convenience for TUI guests

The digital world offers consumers a more individualised choice of products and added convenience. Amazon, the third-largest retailer on the planet, has hundreds of millions of products in its range. It uses algorithms to predict customer preferences and display relevant products before a purchase decision is made. Ordering a product is a simple process involving just a few clicks on a computer or mobile device. Can the tourism industry learn something from this business model?

There is a fundamental difference between retail and tourism. A tourism company doesn’t sell products. It sells experiences. For many people a holiday is the most important time of the year. It’s about interacting with other people, enjoying good service and feeling well looked after. One aspect of Amazon's business model that can be transferred to the tourism industry is uncompromising customer orientation. TUI achieves that with digital tools. Guests can choose the room they want to stay in at an increasing number of our hotels and online check-ins eliminate waiting times at the reception desk. Also, thanks to progress in artificial intelligence, TUI is able to provide guests with a more bespoke and personalised service in the process of selecting their holiday.

Online platform for local excursion providers

Another aspect we are focusing on to a greater extent is holiday activities for guests, who often prefer to explore the natural environment and get to know the country and the locals rather than spending two weeks at the poolside. The excursions market is highly fragmented. Over 90 percent of excursion providers are small, independent businesses with analogue sales structures. The TUI Group has made this process a lot more efficient and convenient by acquiring the Milan-based startup Musement. It now has an online platform providing local enterprises with a digital marketplace where they can quickly and simply present their products and services to 27 million TUI customers. There are activities in more than 130 countries on the Musement platform – from guided tours to museum tickets and diving courses.

Only one out of five destination activities can be booked online. TUI’s subsidiary Musement offers a digital platform that connects small businesses with 27 million TUI customers.

TUI is a digital service provider offering personal care at the destinations

TUI delivers more customer value than its digital competitors because it has a 9,000-strong Destination Experiences team offering guests a broad portfolio of high-quality holiday experiences. With a total of 150,000 activities, TUI is the leading destination experience provider delivering benefits to guests and a wider community. For example, TUI is also creating employment opportunities in Europe by setting up its own digital development teams in cities such as London and Porto. As a result, hundreds of new IT jobs are opening up in the EU travel industry.

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