United Overseas Bank (UOB) today announced that it is launching its online travel marketplace, The Travel Insider, to its customers in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. This is the first such travel marketplace by a bank in each of the three countries.
The Travel Insider was first launched in Singapore in March 2018 in response to customer demand for a one-stop travel marketplace where they could easily search, plan and book their holidays. Since the marketplace’s Singapore launch, close to 25,000 unique visitors have visited the online marketplace every month to search for inspiration as they plan their next holiday and to secure attractive travel deals. In 2019, the number of new visitors to The Travel Insider outperformed Google Analytics’ benchmark by close to six times.
Ms Jacquelyn Tan, Head of Personal Financial Services Singapore, UOB, said that the love for travel goes beyond its Singapore customers, with travel-related spend being one of the top card spend categories across the region. In fact, travel-related purchases on all UOB cards from 2018 to 2019 accounted for more than 15 per cent of total UOB card spend.
“Our card data shows that UOB cardmembers travel intra-regionally frequently for work and for leisure, with Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand topping their list of travel destinations. Given the significant role travel plays in our customers’ lives across the region, we have tapped UOB’s regional network and expertise to bring The Travel Insider to more of our cardmembers. With this regional expansion, we are the first bank in Southeast Asia with an online travel marketplace to help our customers to search, to plan and to book their holidays in one place.”
“We have also expanded the content and travel deals within The Travel Insider for Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand to help travellers make the most of their regional trips. In Singapore, our customers can also access these exclusive travel promotions through our award-winning mobile banking app UOB Mighty in addition to The Travel Insider’s website. We will be extending this same suite of offerings to UOB Mighty progressively in our other markets, starting with Malaysia this year,” Ms Tan said.
Connecting customers to local deals within the region The local editions of The Travel Insider in each market draw on UOB’s regional connectivity and ecosystem of local and international partners to offer a range of international and local travel deals. To make it easier for them to discover the best travel deals, UOB’s regional cardmembers will be prompted on UOB Mighty to access The Travel Insider when they are in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand so that they can enjoy the same promotions as their local counterparts.
Expanding beyond borders – a growing ecosystem of partners With the launch of The Travel Insider in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, UOB has also expanded its team of travel partners, with online travel agent Booking.com and Singapore Airlines coming on board alongside the likes of Agoda and Expedia. With all these partners coming together, travellers can now choose from more than 1,000 travel deals across 23 destinations on The Travel Insider.
UOB has also drawn on the APIs (Application Programming Interface) of its new partners so that they can start booking their next Singapore Airlines flight or other flights and accommodation from the online marketplace. Today, one out of four visitors who visit The Travel Insider’s Book Now page use the functionality and the Bank expects that more customers will enjoy this convenience as its expands its partnership ecosystem to provide consumers with more travel options and services.
Increasing Insider insights
One of the elements that makes The Travel Insider unique is providing travellers with tips from locals and inspiration guides on genuine experiences over standard tourist sightseeing holidays. These local travel insiders hail from fields such as architecture, engineering, landscape and teaching and their diverse backgrounds enable them to share unique experiences in their hometowns that go beyond the usual tourist sights.
The Bank has increased the number of local insiders from 16 people to 29 across 20 countries. Combined, these insiders have recommended more than 500 uniquely local experiences to travellers, such as enjoying the perfect egg coffee in Hanoi or playing a game of pinball while doing laundry in New York City. With 170 inspirations guides already available on the marketplace and more to come, travellers will be able to live like a local while abroad.
The expanded number of travel guides also means that travellers looking to explore their country further will be able to find inspiration through The Travel Insider. For example, they can explore the limestone cliffs of Bali, Indonesia, snack on traditional homemade nyonya treats in Penang, Malaysia, or wander around a sea gypsy settlement in Phuket, Thailand.
As part of the regional launch of The Travel Insider, UOB will be offering exclusive deals on the marketplace every Friday from 17 January to 14 February 2020. To find more, travellers can visit https://thetravelinsider.co or UOB Mighty.