Technology

Lonely Planet moves into OTA territory with new acquisition

In a move that is set to put it up against online travel agencies, Lonely Planet has announced the acquisition of tech start-up TRILL Travel.

Founded in NYC in 2017, TRILL is an invite-only marketplace for influencers to monetise their social travel content and guide consumers to book their next travel experience, powered by user-generated content.

Leveraging AI technology, TRILL analyses pictures and automatically creates links to booking sites. This allows users to book a hotel, experience, or table at a restaurant by simply touching a picture.

By combining Lonely Planet’s ‘Pathfinders’ with TRILL’s current ‘tastemakers’ (these are the companies’ respective terms for influencers), Lonely Planet is poised to have one of the largest influencer networks in the market.

This is the second acquisition that Lonely Planet has made since Cabrera joined the travel guide publisher in February this year, having also purchased destination information platform ArrivalGuides.

“We are looking at this acquisition from an asset perspective,” he said.

“We want to incorporate TRILL’s tech and capabilities into our digital products and soon reimagine our Pathfinders program.

“TRILL is another example of how we strive to enable a seamless user journey and interaction between influencers posting content, consumers looking for adventure, and our travel partners.

To attract and incentivise influencers, Lonely Planet will also adopt TRILL’s revenue share model, which automatically pays out commissions for confirmed bookings tied to each individual post.

“This dual-sided marketplace helps travel brands drive direct bookings through organic social content, and acts as a monetisation platform for content creators,” Cabrera said.

TRILL founder and CEO Eric Shepard said: “About 70 per cent of Instagram content is travel-related, and consumers are constantly looking to recreate these experiences.

“I also saw a large movement in socially-driven commerce, especially in the fashion space, and thought, ‘why can’t this be done in travel? Let’s put these pieces together.’”

Reporting directly to Cabrera, Shepard will play a large role in Lonely Planet’s venture experiments going forward.

His first initiative will be integrating TRILL’s technology and model into Lonely Planet’s digital properties, then focusing on finding further transformative adjacent spaces in travel.

“Lonely Planet is the perfect platform to fully realise the potential of TRILL,” Shepard said.

“I’m extremely excited to be part of this new chapter at Lonely Planet and look forward to finding other ‘TRILLs’ out there looking to push the envelope and thrive.”


SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Aviation

“My heart palpitated”: Influencer raises $83,000 tip for airport pianist

A kind stranger raised a whopping amount of money for a pianist who spends his days tinkling the ivories and raising spirits at an international airport.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Experts warn of yet another Sydney lockdown extension, as Tasmania reopens to Victoria and SA

We’ve coupled the good with the bad in this domestic travel update, but we won’t judge if you only choose to read the positive stuff.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

“The product of travel has lost its value”: AFTA chair pens letter to ScoMo

Tom Wanwaring has his handwriting down pat after penning a letter to the PM. Travel Weekly understands he opted for a felt tip and even sealed it with a custom wax stamp.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas to host frequent flyer “point-bidding frenzy” for exclusive experiences

The airline will host a series of auctions so its frequent flyers can use up the points they’ve been hoarding since the start of the pandemic.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

NCL returns to cruising after 500-day pause

Harry Sommer and Ben Angell have given each other a big virtual high five, after the cruise line commemorated its return to the water by making a little bit of history in the process.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Baillie Lodges snaps up luxe Barossa Valley property

The company has expanded its portfolio with the addition of this gem in the middle of South Australia’s wine region. They had us at wine.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

IATA Travel Pass the “green light” to fly internationally with Qantas and Jetstar

After trialling and testing a number of potential solutions, the Qantas Group has revealed what Aussies will need to get outta here and overseas.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Travel demand “to return with a vengeance”, says Flight Centre’s Aussie boss

Kelly Spencer and her team at Flight Centre all have their catching mitts on in anticipation of an aggressive travel bounce-back.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Aurora Expeditions’ partnership with Virtuoso goes global

Aurora Expeditions CEO Monique Ponfoort is doing the happy dance after securing a global deal with the luxe travel network.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Marriott appoints four first-time GMs for signature Aussie hotels

It’s all looking very peachy over at Marriott, with the hotel giant’s career development program bearing fruit in the form of four new GMs.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Queensland channels Van Morrison in new $2.4m tourism campaign

Does “Van the Man” feature heavily in your Spotify playlists? Well, we guarantee you’ll be bopping along to this new campaign from TEQ.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

New marketplace lets travel agents avoid GDS surcharges (and keep incentives)

This article is all about GDS, the NDC and LCCs. If all of those acronyms have gone right over your head, we suggest skipping to the next story.

Share

CommentComments