Lonely Planet announced that it is acquiring Trill Travel. The recent acquisition is notable because it could be marking a shift in the travel industry. What we are seeing is a traditional travel website scooping up a platform that’s powered by artificial intelligence.
Trill uses social media and artificial intelligence to create a unique travel-planning experience for users. The AI-powered platform makes it possible for users to book travel experiences based on Instagram posts. That means that browsers can instantly turn their holiday envy into vacation plans. The person who creates travel-related content that sparks a booking gets a cut of the deal. All of the content on Trill is linked to actual booking websites using artificial intelligence.
Lonely Planet is definitely looking forward with its latest move. It’s possible that the popular travel website is seeing the writing on the wall in a way that other brands in the same space simply aren’t seeing yet. Lonely Planet will use Trill’s technology and capabilities to enhance its existing digital products. This puts Lonely Planet in a position to acquire and distribute more content without actually investing in content creation.
It has been announced that Lonely Planet’s existing Pathfinders program will be upgraded to incorporate the spirit of Trill. You may already know that Pathfinders is Lonely Planet’s real-world travel arm. This platform allows users to browse content from a network of travel bloggers, photographers and social media personalities. Anyone who participates in the Pathfinders program in the future will be able to cash in using the current revenue-sharing model that Trill uses. Is envy really the best way to inspire travel bookings? It looks like Lonely Planet is betting on the idea that it is. The brand sees the dual-sided marketplace as the answer to distributing tons of content cheaply and using envy to generate bookings.
[Image Source: Trill Travel]