Uber is making big moves to expand its travel-related
offerings, including a partnership with Viator that will enable users to book its
experiences and activities through the Uber app and the expansion of its “Uber
Travel” service globally to more than 10,000 cities.
The Viator integration is part of Uber
Explore, launched in March to give users the ability to book activities - in
categories such as art and culture, nightlife and music and shows - and book a
ride to the location at the same time. At launch the content came from Yelp but
now it includes Viator and OpenTable.
"We are thrilled to be teaming up with Uber to give its
users access to the world's largest experiences marketplace," says Sarah
Dines, chief commercial officer at Viator.
“This partnership is an opportunity to expand the ways in which Viator serves
both travelers and locals by offering them memorable experiences wherever they
Uber users will see a curated collection of Viator
experiences in the app, which Dines says are “the most memorable, unique and
high-quality experiences” for each destination. The bookings are fully managed
is limited to 14 large cities in the United States and Mexico City and Madrid (for
Open Table only), but Uber says it will add more markets in the near future.
Launched in May in the United States and Canada, Uber
Travel is now available to users around the world.
By connecting the Uber app to an email account – originally only for Gmail and
now adding integrations with Outlook and Hotmail - flight, hotel and restaurant
reservations are automatically imported into the Uber app so travelers can book
rides for their entire itinerary without having to input addresses. Users that
choose to book in advance with Uber Reserve through Uber Travel earn 10% back
in Uber Cash.
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In the United Kingdom, Uber
Travel includes additional ground transportation options. Since August U.K.
users have been able to search and book train and bus trips in the app, including travel on Eurostar and for airport transfers, through a partnership with multimodal travel platform Omio.
The updates to Uber Travel
and Uber Explore are part of a suite of updates the company is announcing today
under the heading of “Go, get and give,” with chief product officer Sundeep Jain explaining
the goal is to help customers as the holidays approach.
Uber Charter, announced
in May and launched in Florida and Texas in June, is expanding today to
more than 20 major cities around the U.S. Uber says the service – which enables
booking of party buses, passenger vans and coach buses - has been very popular
and average booking lead time is 24 days “proving that consumers are willing
and ready to engage with the platform in a ‘plan ahead’ capacity.”
Additional updates today
include new features for the Uber Connect gift delivery service, instant Uber
digital gift cards and an “Uber Eats Holiday Shop” that can deliver a curated
selection of groceries, alcohol and other items from major retails like
Walgreens and Albertsons.
In Uber’s third quarter earnings
report, released November 1, the company says revenue was $8.34 billion from
June through September, a 72% increase from a year earlier. Uber’s ride-hailing
business grew 73% and its delivery business was up 24%.
*A previous version of this story said Uber has a partnership with Eurostar. It has been corrected to show that Eurostar tickets are available in the Uber app through the partnership with Omio.