July 21, 2024

Adventure Destinations League

Navigating Travel Wonders

Trip.com Bets on Travel Experiences with Prioticket Deal

Skift Take

Trip.com recently expanded attractions as a bookable category for travelers worldwide. Its partnership with Prioticket highlights the increasing trend of B2B partnerships in the experiences category.

Online travel conglomerate Trip.com Group is expanding its global reach in a deal with the booking system Prioticket.

Trip.com, the international brand of China’s largest online travel conglomerate, will now have access to all of Prioticket’s products. The deal will help Trip.com expand its reach in Europe, the U.S., and the Middle East. It comes as Trip.com’s homepage now advertises “attractions” as a “new” product offering.

Prioticket is particularly focused on Dubai, Abu Dhabi, London and New York, according to Prioticket CEO, Gert-Jan Ruiter.

“Experiences is one of the most opportunistic and untapped markets in travel today,” said Pranavi Agarwal, a senior analyst for Skift Research who wrote a 2023 Skift Research report on the tours, activities, and experiences market.

Significant deal for Trip.com

Trip.com and Prioticket have been connected for years, with Prioticket largely integrating into Trip.com’s platform. Now, Trip.com is looking West by integrating into Prioticket’s inventory and booking system.

“It made sense to optimize this and become direct partners,” said Ruiter. 

Trip.com will now have access to inventory that includes hop-on hop-off bus tours from City Sightseeing Worldwide, tours at the Museum of the Future and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, and Harry Potter Studio Tours in the UK. Trip.com will also be able to access Priotricket’s partners and more than 50 other reservation systems. 

Broader industry trend

Trip.com’s partnership is one of many B2B deals emerging in the experiences industry, which experts say is part of the rise in the popularity of experiences. The trend may help lower the barrier to entry for niche online aggregators.

The move did not shock experts as experiences continue to skyrocket in value. Several B2B partnerships have emerged in the last several years.

Large online travel agencies like Booking and Expedia have established partnerships with TUI Musement and Viator, respectively.

Ruiter added that Expedia also uses Prioticket for experiences. 

Agarwal said that B2B partnerships are reducing the barrier to entry because they allow online aggregators to increase sales with existing inventory from partners. 

She added that experiences are becoming an increasingly important driver for where consumers choose to travel, making it an essential part of the product offering for large online travel agencies. 

However, experiences remain a small revenue source for the largest travel players. The category counts for only a few percentage points of gross bookings.

“It is simply not a core area of focus for major OTAs,” Agarwal said.