UK: Turneo, a B2B platform that aims to drastically simplify how travel and hospitality brands offer and manage in-destination experiences, has officially launched.
The Shopify-style experience store – and new module using ChatGPT – has attracted early adopters including apartment managers [including Airstay, Pragueforyou, Walqinn, Zagrebapartments, Character Rentals], regional hotel chains [including Maistra Hospitality Group, The Hotel Fitzgerald, The Nest and TimeOut heritage hotel], hostels [including Swanky Mint and Hostel 63] and campsite brands.
According to Turneo, in-destination experiences remain the single most elusive opportunity in travel.
For travellers, they represent the highlight of their holiday; the very reason they want to travel at all. Yet for travel brands, they pose an operational nightmare.
Due to to a lack of digital infrastructure, the $250 billion experience market remains “overwhelmingly offline, complex, and expensive to offer”, according to the platform. This is becoming an ever-growing problem as more and more travel brands are looking to use experiences to differentiate their offering [through so-called experiential hospitality].
Turneo’s B2B travel experience platform is set up to change just that. It wants to enable any travel brand to seamlessly connect to, recommend, and manage the full range of travel experiences: from transfers to tours, from adventurous hikes to relaxing retreats.
Previously, this type of technology may only have been available to the largest global players but Turneo believes that it gives hotels, campsites and travel brands a means of sharing their truly unique recommendations with travellers via a simple booking tool.
The plug-and-play solution can be seamlessly integrated across all customer touchpoints, including the new travel planning chatbots that will soon become standard amongst hotels and OTAs.
Matija Marijan, co-founder and CEO of Turneo, said: “By combining the incredible interactions of ChatGPT with the unique knowledge and insights of local travel brands, guests get what they value most: meaningful, immersive experiences, recommended by a local expert, without any hassle in booking.”
Historically, offering experiences created an operational headache for travel brands and hotels – overstretched staff were left juggling in-house offers with third-party contracts, tracking availability in real-time, and staying on top of guest requests.
Turneo’s platform is designed to provide a one-stop shop that centralises the management of all third-party tour and activity providers, as well as in-house experiences. In this way, all experiences can be integrated into a single view for easier tracking of performance.
Marijan continued: “We want our partners to focus on what they do best, and we take care of everything else. The hotels, hostels, and campsites that we work with today have the most incredible stories to tell about their local area and the best insights into what their guests should do during their stay. Turneo is about providing the tools to help them deliver those experiences.”
In addition to its API which can interact with OpenAI’s GPT models, Turneo also offers no-code tools to build customer-facing experience stores in minutes.
“Just as Shopify enables every entrepreneur to create an amazing e-commerce store, Turneo enables every travel business to create a fully tailored experience store, without the need for tech investment and resources,” added Marijan.
Fran Kauzlarić, co-founder of Turneo, said: “With Turneo, we can flex to every stage of the journey. For smaller travel brands, just starting out, our set-up takes minutes and doesn’t require any complex or costly integrations. These partners often start selling within the week and are then in a position to innovate and scale.
“At the other extreme, major hotel chains have seen our solution drastically simplify their operations, whilst also offering a much more sophisticated and seamless guest experience,” added Kauzlarić.
Turneo was founded in 2022 by Marijan, previously senior director at Expedia’s B2B division, and Kauzlarić, formerly innovation lead at Brussels Airport.
The platform is currently live with travel brands across the world and the two founders closed their first funding round of £695,000 earlier this year. The round was led by Ascension Ventures and Underline Ventures, with participation from Silicon Gardens and angel investors including Expedia and TripActions [Navan] executives.