Michelin’s acquisition of Tablet Hotels is an interesting deal, and one which signals the arrival of a major new player in the hotel distribution landscape.
Michelin, the French tyre manufacturer and publisher of the famed Michelin restaurant guides, has a market capitalisation of $18.8 billion, and in a similar vein to Airbnb, it recently set up an Experiences division to combine and grow its travel-related assets. It has tested initiatives including offering Chinese travellers kitchen tours with chefs at Michelin-starred restaurants.
The goal of the acquisition is for the Tablet Hotels team to lead the digital transformation of the print-oriented Michelin Red Guides for restaurants and Green Guides for tourism, and to build a broader online travel platform which includes hotel bookings. Tablet/Michelin will be coming in to competition with the likes of Booking and Expedia, but with Tablet’s digital expertise and Michelin’s financial backing it is certainly one to watch.