Berlin-based GoEuro, a well-funded travel planner platform announced today that it has inked a distribution partnership with Chinese travel booking platform Qunar. It hopes to capture some of the spending power of Chinese tourists wanting to take less traveled routes around Europe.
The firm told TechCrunch this is the first partnership it has signed with another travel platform to provide its core data, and its first move into Asia.
Qunar’s users will be able to search and book rail tickets to thousands of European destinations, via the GoEuro integration, including small towns and villages as well as major cities and tourism hubs.
Naren Shaam, CEO and founder of GoEuro, said: “With over 10 million visitors to Europe from China annually, our new partnership with Qunar, will provide us with the opportunity to highlight new European destinations to this rapidly growing market.”
GoEuro said it makes money through “commercial relationships” with its partners, which include transport providers like bus and train operators. Now international travel search sites also want to bolt a European offering onto their own platforms without having to do the legwork of building out a local transport network themselves.
GoEuro said it has more than 500 European transport operators integrated into its multi-model travel search platform, and is able to serve up results for 13 European destinations: the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands, Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic and (most recently) Sweden.
GoEuro launched about four years ago and has since attracted about USD 145 million in funding demonstrating the attractiveness of the multi-modal sector. The firm raised USD 70 million in a round announced last autumn.
The partnership with Qunar will see its product integrated with Qunar’s platform to — as GoEuro puts it — “capitalize on the brand’s strong reputation in China, and take advantage of the country’s growing independent travel market”.
The partnership initially only covers rail tickets, but GoEuro says plans are in place to build the necessary API connections to include bus offerings from over 500 European companies to Chinese visitors too.
In 2015 Ctrip made a “significant” minority investment in its former rival Qunar which now continues to operate its business independently.
In a statement on the GoEuro-Qunar partnership, a Ctrip Group spokesperson said younger Chinese travelers especially are looking to explore “off the beaten track destinations”. “It is vital that we offer an easy to use digital platform to enable this,” they added.
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