AirAsia Berhad announced yesterday that it would be acquiring a 50% stake in online travel planner Touristly Travel Sdn Bhd (Touristly) through an asset injection and loan deal valued at RM11.5 million.
The transaction will see AirAsia Berhad add the digital platform of its Travel 3Sixty inflight magazine, valued at RM6.5 million, into Touristly via AirAsia Investments Ltd and extend an RM5 million convertible loan to Touristly for working capital and development.
The digital platform comprises the online brand for the Travel 3Sixty inflight magazine, touchpoint on airasia.com and online advertising assets, which will allow the startup to reach AirAsia's 60 million guests annually.
Touristly, which will operate under the Travel 3Sixty brand following this deal, will also gain access to offline advertising assets, including the physical copy of the inflight magazine, overhead cabins and seat trays on AirAsia aircraft.
AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes will also serve as Chairman of the Board for Touristly upon completion of the acquisition.
The deal according to the company would strengthen AirAsia's ancillary portfolio by offering its guests on-ground activities such as restaurants, theme parks, attractions, spas and tours in the 70 destinations covered by the airlines.
Touristly CEO Aaron Sarma said, "Working with AirAsia has been on our minds since our inception. The insight we can gain from AirAsia's 15 years in the travel industry will help us better understand the Asia Pacific market and quickly adapt to deliver real value to our customers. Our dream was to help travellers to Asia Pacific find amazing things to do in the region, and we are truly excited about this opportunity to be able to share our platform with more people."
AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes said, "We see enormous potential in Touristly, which perfectly complements AirAsia's existing travel offering. Our guests will be able to choose from thousands of activities when purchasing a flight and this brings us a step closer to becoming a truly one-stop digital airline."
Launched in June 2015, Touristly is a trip planner that lets travellers customise their holidays. Its central feature an interactive trip planner that allows travellers to curate their holidays with thousands of deals available on the platform, share their itineraries and book them. The platform currently features over 13,000 deals on tours, attractions, theme parks, activities, spas and restaurants in 70 destinations around Asia Pacific.