Culture Trip and Lonely Planet are abandoning any previous concerns they had about being competitors and enabling advertisers to take advantage of their combined audiences.
The pair will offer distribution to partners on both platforms via different advertising tools.
The partnership has been called Travel Reborn, with the brands saying their mission is to change how travelers experience the world going forward and move on from “past practice marked by overtourism and cookie-cutter experiences.”
The pair add that they will continue to promote sustainable travel options.
Travel Reborn aims to offer advertisers and partners a range of solutions including display, bespoke campaigns and mobile app integration.
They will also provide insights on traveler behavior and content engagement to advertisers.
Dr Kris Naudts, founder and CEO of Culture Trip says: “Together we want to help our global audiences discover new experiences, develop new habits and reshape how they connect with places and cultures - it is a truly unique alliance within our sector that has the opportunity to change behaviours for good.”
Luis Cabrera, CEO of Lonely Planet, adds: “Since the publication of its first guidebook in 1973, Lonely Planet has believed that responsible travel can be a force for good, and now, as the world re-emerges from lockdown, we have an incredible opportunity to rethink how we go about it.”
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Traditional guide book publishers have had a hard time transitioning to the digital world with criticism often levelled at them for becoming online travel agencies rather than finding better ways to sweat their assets.
Lonely Planet brought in Cabrera as its new CEO early last year and the company went on to make several acquisitions as well as launch a new website in July.
More recently the company opened up API access to content on some 8,000 destinations and joined forces with Intrepid Travel to launch Lonely Planet experiences.
Culture Trip meanwhile has trodden its own interesting path, garnering huge attention with an $80 million raise in April 2018 and the promise of the launch of its take on an OTA, which was unveiled in August 2019.
The two companies are now bidding that their combined audience of more than 100 million, as of the second half of 2019, will be an attractive proposition for advertisers.