Technology

Booking.com’s new partnership makes travelling Southeast Asia easier for Aussies

Booking.com has entered the rideshare game with Southeast Asia’s largest rideshare platform.

Established in 2012, Grab is a mobile ridesharing platform based in Singapore. It connects millions of travellers to drivers, merchants and businesses across the region.

The deal sees Grab’s rideshare service integrated into Booking.com’s mobile app, allowing international visitors to Southeast Asia access to local on-demand rides, and marks the entry of the OTA into this space.

Furthermore, it extends Booking.com’s seemingly ambitious push to produce all-in-one functionality, as it said, with a “single app that provides complete control over accommodation and travel, meaning no need to download unfamiliar apps”.

Users of the Booking.com app are now able to access Grab in Singapore, with services to be available in Indonesia and Thailand by the end of the year.

Services in Cambodia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Vietnam and the Philippines are set to be rolled out over the coming months, Booking.com said.

Luke Wilson, area manager for Booking.com Australia, said: “Australia has one of the highest volumes of inbound tourists to Southeast Asia out of any country in the world.

“We’re incredibly excited to offer this new feature to Aussie travellers, providing them with easy, secure access to rideshare in Southeast Asia to help them explore and live like locals when on holiday.”

“Our mission is as simple as it is ambitious: we’re making it easier for everyone to experience the world. Looking ahead, we’ll continue to test and develop innovative products. By placing intuitive technology in our customers’ hands, we’re giving them the freedom to explore – with greater choice and personalization than ever before.”

The announcement follows yet another acquisition for a key player in the rideshare space.

On Tuesday, Travel Weekly reported that Uber had finalised a deal to acquire a Middle East-based rideshare competitor, Careem.

Careem’s co-founder and CEO, Mudassir Sheikha, said the partnership was the next step in his company’s journey to become the region’s “super-app”.

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