Tui Group has strengthened its position in the excursions, tours and activities business in destinations by taking over Italian technology start-up Musement.

The acquisition is designed to enable the travel giant to grow further in what it sees as a high-margin segment, expand its portfolio of experience offerings and to customise them for its 20 million holidaymakers a year.

The firm will initially be managed as an independent unit within Tui Destination Experiences. The cost of the acquisition was not disclosed.

Milan-based Musement, set up five years ago, offers travellers around 35,000 products in 1,100 cities around the world.

Its portfolio ranges from admission tickets for museums, events and attractions via guided tours to boat and bicycle tours.

Musement has 130 employees and one million users.

Tui claims the deal will enable it to become the first provider to connect digital purchasing, distribution and production of experiences with physical delivery of the services in 49 countries around the world.

The company completed a merger with Hotelbeds Group’s destination management arm only last month.

Tui plans to offer customers destination experiences and activities from the time of booking holidays all the way to their departure.

Tui’s single customer platform and Musement’s technology will enable the group to offer relevant, personalised offerings before the start of and during their holiday.

The expected earnings growth will be delivered through a broader product range and stronger digitalisation of the business.

Customers will be offered the opportunity to create their own individual experiences from a diverse range of products.

Alongside hotels and resorts and cruises, Tui destination experiences is one of the group’s three growth areas.

Tui Group chief executive, Fritz Joussen, said: “We are aiming to provide the most highly personalised experiences possible to our
20 million customers. This will require a stronger digitalisation of our business.

“For me, digitalisation and personalisation are inextricably linked and constitute the key success factors for the future of tourism.

“With the acquisition of Musement, we are taking a further crucial step in this direction.”