Asian aggregator of local tours and activities, BeMyGuest, has acquired former competitor Indiescapes for an undisclosed amount. This move will add the numerous travel experiences across Southeast Asia currently curated on Indiescapes to the BeMyGuest site. It will give travellers a wider range of individual local experiences to choose from, as well as enable hosts and travel businesses to reach out to more travellers.
The acquisition comes just a month after angel funding in BeMyGuest by South Korea’s third largest online travel agency, Tidesquare, and the successful investment of S$500K (US$402K) in seed funding in October, 2013.
Clement Wong, Founder and CEO, BeMyGuest and travel industry veteran said, “We’ve been admirers of Indiescapes from a professional and competitive point of view for some time. They’ve done a great job collecting selective travel experiences and we’re very excited to incorporate these additional activities throughout Asia, providing our customers and partners with an even wider array of unique local travel content.”
A recent report done by market researcher PhoCusWright states thatfour in five travellers seek tour and activity options when planning their travel arrangements online, with the sector being valued at an estimated US$100 billion per year globally. It is evident that the tours and activities sector is a lucrative market for travel distribution, but it is largely unavailable and noticeably absent from the content currently offered by online travel agents and global distribution systems.
While BeMyGuest lets local travel businesses connect and market their travel experiences with little or no online marketing, Indiescapes gives travellers a choice of travel experiences curated by hosts with plenty of local experience. With this move, Indiescapes hosts will benefit from the wider customer base of BeMyGuest’s travellers seeking individual and immersive travel experiences beyond the commercial package tour framework. Also, BeMyGuest’s current partners, consisting of over 250 suppliers, SMEs and individual operators, will be more able to cater their offerings to experience-seeking travellers.
Heidi Shum and Min Seetoh, Founders of Indiescapes said, “We view this acquisition as a positive progression for our existing customers. With so many synergies, joining BeMyGuest will provide our clients with exposure to a wider network and provide a significant increase in bookings.”
“By digitalising and standardising local travel content from suppliers across emerging markets, we provide a marketplace for travel products otherwise unattainable for travellers who seek a unique experience, while supporting local businesses,” concluded Wong.