Online travel giant Booking.com today launched a ride-hailing service on its app through a partnership with Grab, giving users access to millions of drivers in eight Southeast Asian countries.
The move is expected to connect international travelers visiting Southeast Asia with local on-demand rides through the app, which they are already familiar with. This removes the language and currency barriers that can prevent many visitors from using local transport providers, the company said in a statement.
The feature is available in Singapore beginning today and it will be available in Indonesia and Thailand by end 2019, according to the statement. Meanwhile, Booking.com‘s users in Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Cambodia, and Myanmar will be able to enjoy the service in early 2020.
Besides access to Grab drivers, the partnership between two platforms also provides users with in-app, cashless payments in the user’s currency and customer service in the user’s language for more convenient trips. That said, users can easily plan and organize their trips in a single platform without the hassle of checking multiple apps.
The integration of Grab’s ride-hailing services into the Booking.com app is part of a strategic partnership between Booking Holdings and Grab. The international travel firm joined Grab’s series H investor list in October by pouring USD 200 million into the latter. As part of the deal, Grab rolled out a hotel booking feature earlier this year, allowing users to book hotels through Booking.com or Agoda. Both are subsidiaries of Booking Holdings.
Founded in 1996 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, Booking.com is considered a leading online booking accommodation platform worldwide. According to the statement, the company aims to connect travelers via a single platform that they can use to book, pay for, and manage every element of their trip, from accommodation and transport to experiences and attractions.
The website is available in 43 languages and it has over 28 million listings in more than 153,000 destinations in 228 countries and territories. Booking.com offers 30 different types of places to stay, including homes, apartments, B&Bs, hostels, farm stays, and more. Furthermore, the company said that it has welcomed over three billion guest arrivals across all properties since 2007.