LEISURE & ENTERTAINMENT | Staff Reporter, Singapore

UOB launches online travel marketplace

The platform uses the APIs of Agoda and Expedia for booking hotels and flights.

UOB launched its online travel marketplace, The Travel Insider, that will help customers search, plan, and book their trips. According to an announcement, the platform was built through a partnership with Agoda and Expedia.

UOB Singapore head of personal financial services Jacquelyn Tan noted the increasing significance travel shown through their card data which shows that it has been a top spend category over the past few years. “Last year alone, travel-related spend grew 11% over the year before. We have also observed a shift in the way people plan and book their travels, with more using online resources. Online travel billings increased at 20% year on year in 2017,” she added.

UOB gathered top insider tips, curated content to create travel guides, and proposed itineraries and worked with its partners to ensure that competitive and extensive deals can be found easily in one location.

In building The Travel Insider, UOB shortlisted Singaporeans’ top 20 travel destinations based on UOB card spend and data aggregated based on insights supplied by its partners, Agoda, Expedia, Mastercard, Visa and airline partners.

UOB noted that travel intentions research has shown that Singaporeans are careful planners, with more than one in two planning and booking everything before they arrive at their destination. “With The Travel Insider, these intrepid planners can explore the best of itineraries, travel guides, tips and deals. The online marketplace also has a planning tool that makes it easy for the traveller to create and to save their own itinerary and then to share it with travel buddies who in turn can give comments and suggest their own preferences for the holiday,” the bank said.

UOB uses Agoda’s and Expedia’s application programming interfaces (APIs) to create options from more than a million hotel and flight possibilities. It said this the first time a Singapore bank has used the APIs of both online travel giants to build an integrated travel marketplace.

The marketplace currently offers over 350 deals from its partners in the airline, hospitality, and travel industries. 

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