Michelin is to take a swipe at the online travel agents market with the acquisition of a booking site focused on boutique, luxury hotels.
The France-based tire company that publishes Michelin guides for restaurants and tours, quietly acquired Tablet Hotels in October, an online agency headquartered in New York.
The company was founded in 2000 by Laurent Vernhes and Michael Davis and with 52% of its customers in North America, Michelin is aiming to build a stronger presence in these locations as a result of the takeover.
The purchase of The Tablet follows Michelin’s acquisition of Bookatable.com in January 2016 and Restaurantes.com in December 2016.
Pascal Couasnon, director of gastronomic and tourist activities of the Michelin group, commented: “Travelers and foodies are now looking for experiences which tell a story, and which help them discover a universe where they can show their appreciation of the local cultures. Tablet is part of this new lifestyle that fully corresponds to the ethos of the Michelin guides. We want to offer our readers the best, by revealing places that offer this extra soul and express the fruit of the work of hoteliers and passionate chefs alike.”
The Tablet selection currently has 3,500 hotels listed as well as the Tablet Plus Club, which is a market that Michelin reportedly is keen to capitalise on.
Laurent Vernhes and Michael Davis, co-founders of Tablet, commented: “Michelin and Tablet share an unbiased approach to curation. Our dedication to integrity has made us leaders in our respective fields, and now we’re combining forces for a ground-breaking union that will change the scale of Tablet and transform the Tablet Plus program. Likewise, hotel reservations driven by expert curation and exclusive privileges will be a significant addition to Michelin’s travel portfolio.”