Isango white labels to continue as TUI takes over, but Qantas switches to Viator within days
The tours and activities agency was snapped up for an undisclosed fee in late-February.
Speaking at the ITB expo in Berlin last week, Carlos Munoz, managing director of HotelBeds, one of the brands within the Accommodation and Destinations division in which Isango now sits, says the company made the acquisition as it was more efficient to buy a ready-made platform and service (“with good technology”), rather than build its own.
Tours and activities is an important and growing side of the business at TUI, he says, as it looks to expand its portfolio alongside bed-stock to include products for travellers one they are in a destination.
Isango will help the company achieve this goal, Munoz claims, pushing product and content across its existing B2C websites as well as featuring in the agent workflow systems TUI supplies throughout its network (apart from in Germany, where an agreement was signed with rival T&A supplier GetYourGuide the same week as the Isango deal).
The white label/affiliate business is an “area of focus for us”, TUI says. “We are looking for all opportunities to ensure that all our product is made available to a wide ranging customer base.”
However, one white label which has already dropped away is with Australian airline Qantas.
The pair have had an agreement for the past three years (with a six-month extension until recently) for Isango to power the local tours and activities pages on the Qantas website.
The airline decided not to renew the partnership, TUI says.
Step forward Isango rival Viator, which has taken up the reins of white label supplier of product to the Qantas website.
The pair have regularly featured in the world of airline white labels, with European low cost giant EasyJet carrying Viator content for around five years as Ryanair stepped up its own tours and activities play through Isango.
Kevin May is a senior editor and one of the co-founders at Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.
He has worked in regional newspapers (Essex Enquirer) and started his career in journalism at the Police Gazette at New Scotland Yard in London. He has a degree in criminology, a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism and will be publishing his first book - a biography about electronic band, Depeche Mode - soon.